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Papal Nuncio recalled to Vatican

Cloyne report and Taoiseach Enda Kenny had condemned Vatican response to Church mismanagement of sex abuse claims in diocese.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Updated 13.34pm

THE PAPAL NUNCIO, the representative of the Pope in Ireland, has been recalled to the Vatican.

Vatican Radio reports that Giuseppe Leanza has been recalled. This follows criticism of the Vatican by the authors of the report into the Catholic Church’s handling of clerical sex abuse in the Cloyne diocese. Vatican Radio says that Leanza is to attend “consultations” in the Vatican to discuss the findings of the Cloyne report.

Fr Ciro Benedettini, vice-director of the Vatican Press Office, released further information just before lunchtime to say that the recall was “intended primarily” to allow for consultation with those working on the ground in Ireland “in order to prepare the official answer of the Holy See to the Irish Government” on the Cloyne report. He continued:

The recalling of the Nuncio, a measure rarely used by the Holy See, denotes the seriousness of the situation, and the desire of the Holy See to deal with it (with) objectivity and with determination, as well as a certain note of surprise and regret regarding some excessive reactions.

The Apostolic Nunciature in Ireland has not yet responded to‘s request for comment on the recall. Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore has released a statement saying that the Vatican’s decision to recall the Papal Nuncio “is a matter for the Holy See”. He continued:

The Government is awaiting the response of the Holy See to the recent report into the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne and it is expected that the Vatican would wish to consult in depth with the Nuncio on its response.

The Vatican’s reference to “some excessive reactions” is thought to refer in part to Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s strong speech in the Dail last week. He condemned the response of the Vatican to the mismanagement and the implementation of child safety guidelines by Cloyne clerical authorities. He said that the revelations contained in the report “excavates the dysfunction, the disconnection, the elitism that dominates the Vatican today”. He continued:

The rape and torture of children were downplayed (in favour of upholding) the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and reputation.

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This, he said, was a calculated approach by the Vatican and “the polar opposite of the radicalism, the humility and the compassion upon which the Roman Church was founded”.

Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore summoned Leanza to demand an official reponse from the Vatican two weeks ago but none has been forthcoming.

The statement from the Vatican Press Office doesn’t reveal much – but it does highlight the main reason for the recall is “the reactions” that followed the publication of the report:

Following the publication on 13 July, of the Irish government’s Commission of Inquiry Report into allegations of abuse of minors by clergy of the diocese of Cloyne, otherwise known as the ‘Cloyne Report’ and, in particular, the reactions that have followed, the Secretary of State has recalled the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, HE Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza for consultations.

Read: Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s speech in the Dáil on Cloyne>

Kenny condemns the ‘dysfunction and disconnection of the Vatican>

Column: You, Me and the Holy See>

Column: No matter what, we still need the Church>

Cloyne report published: Shatter says findings “could not be starker or more disturbing”>

Poll: Should the Papal Nuncio be expelled from Ireland?

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