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Dublin: 16 °C Thursday 30 October, 2014

Ireland’s Papal Nuncio to be transferred to Czech Republic

Giuseppe Leanza is to be deployed to the vacant position in Prague, following his withdrawal from Ireland.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

THE PAPAL NUNCIO to Ireland, Dr Giuseppe Leanza, is to be transferred to the vacant nunciature in the Czech Republic, it has been confirmed.

The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs this afternoon confirmed an Irish Times report which said Prague had approved Leanza’s diplomatic credentials ahead of his eventual transfer.

Leanza was summoned back to the Vatican last week for ‘consultations’ in the aftermath of the publication of the Cloyne Report, which drew a bitter reaction from the public and from political leaders.

A spokesperson for the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not confirm exactly when the Holy See had applied for diplomatic credentials for Leanza, but told TheJournal.ie that the application would likely have been received in early June.

The Irish Times’ Mary Fitzgerald said Leanza’s tenure in Ireland was due to end this summer, notwithstanding recent events.

Neither the Apostolic Nunciature in Dublin, nor the Holy See press office, had returned contact to confirm when Leanza’s diplomatic credentials had been sought, or when he was likely to begin his term in Prague.

If the estimate of early June is correct, it would indicate that the Vatican had already intended to transfer Leanza out of Ireland before the publication of the damning Cloyne report.

The Apostolic Nunciature of the Czech Republic has been vacant since the end of may, when Archbishop Diego Causero was transferred to the similar position in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The vacancy in the Irish Nunciature coincides with the prospect of a more wide-ranging diplomatic reshuffle following the death of the United States Nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, yesterday evening.

The American Nunciature is considered one of the Vatican’s most senior diplomatic posts abroad.

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