Picked up an interesting piece of video from the The St Genesius Blog. If you watch it carefully you will see our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, checking his mobile phone more than once during his recent visit to Castel Gandolfo while the Pope was addressing those invited.
There is a letter in the Irish Times today from an Anthony Murphy expressing surprise that in the wake of the audience Mr Kenny seemed to think that the Pope had had nothing of importance to say, even though others there thought he had made some important points. Well, there is your answer Mr Murphy. The Taoiseach had other things on his mind during the address.
I wonder what could have been so important that, sitting as his was in the front row with nothing between him and His Holiness but empty air, he couldn't leave the phone alone? In normal circumstances this would be a serious breach of protocol. However, in charity I must bear in mind that all the facts of this incident are not known. Perhaps there was a serious family emergency that Mr Kenny was monitoring. Perhaps there was a crisis of state so extreme that he was obliged to stay in touch (though I would think if something that important were going on we would have heard about it). But if something else was going on that he thought was so important that he couldn't put his phone away, surely it would have been better to postpone his visit rather than risk giving the impression that he was willfully being discourteous?
Still, whatever the case, I can't imagine it'll have done his chances of a private audience with the Holy Father, which recent PR indicates that he wanted, much good.