By MICHAEL SNEED email@example.com
† The Errin’ Aisle? Cardinal Francis George has RSVP’d he is unavailable to attend this year’s Irish Fellowship Club’s St. Patrick’s Day Dinner on March 16. His eminence is otherwise engaged. But speculation is running rampant amongst the Chicago Irish: Is the reason Cardinal George is absenting himself from the annual Irish fest because Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will be there?
† Background: Ireland’s government, furious over the clergy sex-abuse scandal, has recently shuttered its embassy to the Holy See (Vatican) for reported “cost-cutting” measures.
† The big question: Has Cardinal George now become the latest participant in the “cold war” between Ireland and the Vatican over its shamrock fury of the Catholic Church’s failure to tell the truth about its major sexual-abuse scandal there?
† Answer: The cardinal’s office tells Sneed that Cardinal George has a previous engagement that night: He is attending a youth retreat at Guerin College Prep High School in River Grove.
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