AFTER annoying the Vatican by lacerating it in a Dail speech, which was followed by the decision to close down the embassy to the Holy See, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has again provoked the ire of the Catholic Church.
Rather than thumbing his rosary beads during his audience with Pope Benedict on Saturday, Mr Kenny chose to thumb the digits on his mobile phone instead.
Video footage from the Italian 'Corriere Della Sera' newspaper website shows Mr Kenny was apparently more interested in his phone than in whatever the Pope was saying.
The footage lasts about one minute 20 seconds, and in each of the three wide-angle shots in which he is featured, Mr Kenny is fiddling with his phone. At one stage, he is seemingly taking a photo of Pope Benedict.
Mr Kenny was part of a delegation from the Christian Democrat International (CDI) political grouping which had an audience with the Pope at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, near Lazio.
The Taoiseach was also caught unawares when the Pope finished his speech and prayers, and the rest of the room stood up to applaud, while Mr Kenny played on his phone.
He then stood up with the phone in his hand, without applauding.
The Taoiseach never exchanged pleasantries with the Pontiff, despite Mr Kenny joking he was going to ask for "intervention" for Mayo in the All-Ireland final.
Michael Kelly, deputy editor of the 'Irish Catholic', asked: "Was Enda Kenny trying to be rude or does he just not know how to behave correctly?
"It's about basic manners and unfortunately Mr Kenny was again found wanting."
- Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent