Former Irish President Mary McAleese has opened up on a major diplomatic row with an American cardinal who was later disgraced for covering up child sex abuse.
The Irish leader was publicly berated by Cardinal Law for her open support for the ordination of women priests.
The Catholic Bishop told McAleese that he was: “Sorry for Catholic Ireland to have you as President.”
The former President, now studying theology in Rome where she has published a book on canon law, told the Irish Independent that the Cardinal also attacked a junior minister who had accompanied her on the trip.
She told the paper: “His remarks were utterly inappropriate and unwelcome.
“Cardinal Law lambasted me and a considerable number of the official delegation after ushering us into a room where a well-known American conservative Catholic, Mary Ann Glendon, was waiting to lecture me on my views on women priests.”
McAleese told the paper that the cardinal’s language and attitude were nasty and he demanded that she sit down and listen to the orthodox view on women’s ordination from Glendon.
She added: “We were initially gobsmacked by this arrogant man.
“I then told the cardinal that I was the President of Ireland and not just of Catholic Ireland.”
McAleese then revealed how a heated argument broke out between the two.
She said: “I felt he had insulted Ireland and the Irish people.”