Papal Nuncio’s Diplomatic Immunity

Legate legs it

We were standing around in the pub of choice, debating the thorny matter of Vatican diplomatic immunity.  And when I say standing around, I mean of course that some were sitting around and one or two were lying around.  You know who you are!

What the fuck does diplomatic immunity mean? demanded a voice, from somewhere at my feet.

Sir, you have the floor, I conceded.

It means, said someone else, that if the Papal Nuncio runs into a shopping mall with a chainsaw and dismembers twenty or thirty young mothers and old-age pensioners, he can’t be prosecuted.


Because he’s a diplomat.  He’s immune.  You can’t arrest diplomats.

I didn’t think he was very diplomatic with the shite he was talking last week, said someone else.

You can arrest diplomats if they don’t reach their car in time.


The embassy limousine is considered to be foreign soil.

The car?  The car is foreign soil?

Yep.  If the registration says CD, nobody can touch him.  That stands for Corps Diplomatique.  It’s French.

That’s shite.

No it’s not.  But he must have a chauffeur and the engine has to be running.

So if the engine stalls, the car stops being foreign soil?

Yes.  That’s the law.

That’s bollocks.

No it’s not.  Look it up.

What if the Papal Nuncio pulls down his pants and waves the Apostolic Appendage out the  window?

Same thing.  Cops can’t touch the prick.

That’s bollocks.


How about if he had a diplomatic bag?  Could he jump into it?

He could, and he’d be safe from arrest provided he made sure to zip it up.

So the Papal Nuncio, in theory, could run around a suburban shopping centre, dismembering small children with a chainsaw while waving his bollocks at the public and as long as he jumps into a bag when the slaughter is ended, there’s not a damn thing the cops can do about it?

Not a damn thing.

Fuck.  That’s amazing.

Not only that, but he doesn’t even need a bag since we all signed the Groenhavningen Convention.  All he has to do is pull on the Diplomatic Hat and in the eyes of the law he’s on foreign soil.


Deadly serious.  A beret will do.  Or a Panama hat.  A monkey cap.  Anything at all as long as it has a little badge on it that says CD.  That’s Chapeau Diplomatique.  It’s French.

How about a Yarmulka?

Yes, if the Papal Nuncio happens to be Jewish.

An umbrella?

I heard it doesn’t even have to be a hat.

That’s true.  Technically, it could be a sock.  Or a bra.  Or a strap-on dildo. Or a tutu.

How about a glove?


An apron?  With a gimp-mask?


A handkerchief.

At a sneeze.

A glove?




Or a condom?

No.  The Vatican forbids condoms.

How about a willy-warmer?

Yeah. That would work.

So let me get this clear.  If the Papal Nuncio, in theory, happened to go berserk in a shopping mall with a chainsaw, while wearing a diplomatic hat, gloves, sunglasses and jockstrap, there isn’t a thing the cops could do.


Suppose, said a voice from the floor region, suppose he had a diplomatic chainsaw?

Eh …

Or a diplomatic machine-gun?

Well, strictly speaking, as long as he could wear the chainsaw or the machine-gun as a hat …

They can’t shoot him?

Even if he happens to be mowing people down at random?

Even if he happens to be dismembering members of the public.  They can’t shoot him.

No.  He’s on foreign soil.  It would be an act of war against the Vatican.

They’d probably send in the Swiss Guard.

Oh God, you couldn’t have that.

No. No.  God no.

No no no no.  Certainly not.

Jesus no.






25 thoughts on “Papal Nuncio’s Diplomatic Immunity

  1. Of course, you only need respect diplomatic immunity if you are afraid of the consequences of breaching it.

    If one argued force majeure and decided to act against someone guilty of conspiracy, what would the consequences be?

    What sanctions could the Vatican take against Ireland? Send in the Swiss Guard?

    What other countries would rally to support a medieval dictatorship that has connived with paedophilia?

  2. Ireland’s agreement to respect diplomatic immunity is with the international community, not with rogue states.

    There are 101 members of the Swiss Guard – the FCA could cope with them.

  3. The Italians might object.

    There is no need to be held in thrall by the residue of 19th Century political conflicts. If Ireland called it day with the nonsense of maintaining diplomatic relations with a state that has not even space for an embassy, there would quickly be a queue of others handing in their seals.

  4. Wouldn’t it be great if Ireland, of all countries, finally pulled the plug on the diplomatic bullshit that is Mussolini’s Vatican State?

  5. That would fall under Ironical Law.

    I think Enda’s going for the Strangelove.

    Ireland try to do over Popetown and the Italians do a bit of half-hearted finger wagging and shrugging.

    Or they call in NATO and mallet us. Just think of the Marshall Plan variant funds.

  6. Scotlyn — The Vatican is not an EU member.

    HQ — The smallest-ever European war. With reconstruction funds. What could go wrong?

  7. The Irish embassy building in the Vatican is worth a fortune. The Irish government has spent a fortune on it; on our behalf.
    If we went to war with the Vatican we’d lose the lot.
    Of course that’d be OK.
    We’re giving the Germans and the French every cent earned in the country as it is so I suppose it would be OK to prop up the Vatican as well.
    Ya, a dose of war would be just what all them Monsignors need.

  8. It would be a lovely little private war.

    No problem rounding up the enemy fifth column and collaborators. On Sundays we could even round up twice as many usual suspects

    I’m working on a screenplay right this minute. FCA squad from West Clare trapped behind enemy lines in the catacombs. Their only chance is to decipher ancient riddles using a well thumbed paperback as an unlikely guide.

    I call it ” The Lahinchi Code”

    “The Maeve Binchy Code” was a distant runner-up.

  9. ‘Holy Water Cannons’ being filled and prepped……’moving statues’ on the march…squadrons of shriekin nun’s with rulers…….etc etc..the poor ould FCA have’nt a prayer !… ( if the roadsigns are removed, they’ll never find the barracks in Lahinch again !…the Pub, maybe !.. not the barracks, though )…..apols for flippancy, but shur ya gotta laff !

  10. I’m reminded of the question posed by a certain questionable political leader of a large, powerful state to the east which no longer exists in that form regarding the number of divisions the pope had …

  11. The Irish embassy for the Vatican is on Italian soil – there is no space for foreign embassies in the Vatican; nothing would be lost.

  12. @ Francis 13 .
    …or the amount of Bishop’s hung ?
    ( hearsay, not an admirer, but ya’d wonder sometimes )

  13. I doubt if it would be the first time that there would have been an ‘Invasion’ inside the Vatican..if you get my meaning..nudge nudge, wank wank..

  14. Jesus Bock you have me all excited. Just imagine all that looten and a shooten.
    Cant you just see it now!
    Christy and Mickey – Two well know Limerick FCA men – roaring with laughter as they run away carrying chests full of gold bullion and jewels to the awaiting Brennan’s bread van parked in Saint Peters square. As two Swiss guards try desperately to stab them in the hole with their pitch fork tingys

    A brennan’s bread van, I hear you ask. What’s all that about?
    You see we had run out of army trucks 2 days into the war. What with saving the banks and all that malarkey.

  15. Heresay, as stated, and as such, inconclusive, but……’fado fado’….30’s…Help please, arm’s etc….how many have ya hung ???……back to the ‘Free-State ‘ and the imminent ‘Emergency ‘…..empty handed….as I said…make ya wonder !
    The End.

  16. @B (16) You might be thinking of the phrase attributed to Diderot: “Quand le dernier des rois sera pendu avec les boyaux du dernier prêtre célibataire, le genre humain pourra espérer être heureux.” (“Humankind will celebrate when the last king is hung with the entrails of the last priest.”)

  17. Either read or heard it ( unable to find again ) but attributed to’ Big Joe’…his answer, apparently, to an Irish delegation despatched to Moscow in the 30’s looking for aid / arm’s….one liner…” How many bishops have ye hung ” ? I’d assume there was no reply.
    Ta for 20, though.

  18. Re : above :
    Tim Pat Coogan, page 127 : Not Stalin, but a rep, reply ‘None’…’Ah you people are’nt serious at all’

  19. “Christy and Mickey – Two well know Limerick FCA men – roaring with laughter as they run away carrying chests full of gold bullion and jewels”. Roaring with laughter Long John! That scenario would have been believable only for that. The FCA is a serious operation I’ll have you know. They even have real fake ambushes in the middle of the night up at the Curragh when on camp! :)

  20. That is all bull shit there are more than one way to skin a cat I could easily wear unofficial clothing and kick the fuck out of him a diplomat or not then take his chain saw and chop him up as America did to a diplomat from India who screamed all the you can’t touch me bullshit she was stripped searched and imprisoned for trying to hide fake documents down her pants she is still in prison as a criminal

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