Former President Mary McAleese barred by Vatican from speaking at conference on women
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Former President Mary McAleese barred by Vatican from speaking at conference on women

FORMER PRESIDENT OF IRELAND Mary McAleese has been blocked from speaking at a conference due to take place in the Vatican next month.

According to the Irish Times, McAleese was amongst a list of speakers scheduled to speak at the Why Women Matter conference on 8 March.

However, their appearances were not granted approval by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the most senior figure in the Vatican.

Following the decision, Voices of Faith, the organisers of the vent being held to mark International Women’s Day, have changed the location of the event to a space outside the Vatican and have invited McAleese to be a keynote speaker.

Managing director, Chantal Gotz, told the Irish Times that the organisation had issued appeals to the Cardinal to change his mind, but he refused.

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As a result, they made the decision to move the conference elsewhere.

McAleese is believed to have sent a letter about the matter to Pope Francis, who is due to visit Ireland later this year as part of the World Meeting of Families event, an event in which Cardinal Farrell is heavily involved.

The Cardinal is a Dubliner who has spent much of his clerical life in the US and is the most senior Irishman at the Vatican.