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Vatican recalls nuncio from Ireland

Catholic World News - July 25, 2011

The apostolic nuncio in Ireland has been recalled to Rome for consultations, after a week in which Irish political leaders denounced the Vatican and the Catholic hierarchy.

The Vatican announced on July 25 that Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza had been recalled, in reaction to the July 13 release of the Cloyne report "and in particular in the wake of the subsequent reactions"--a clear reference to angry public statements by Irish leaders including Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny.

Father Ciro Benedettini, the deputy director of the Vatican press office, told reporters in Rome that the unusual move should be understood as a sign of "the seriousness of the situation, and the desire of the Holy See to deal with it objectively and with determination, as well as a certain note of surprise and regret regarding some excessive reactions."

In Rome, Archbishop Leanza will join other Vatican officials in crafting the Vatican's response to the Cloyne report and to the hostile public statements from Irish government officials.

Irish foreign minister Eamon Gilmore said that the government would await the Vatican response, declining to comment on the recalling of the papal representative. Immediately after the release of the Cloyne report, Gilmore had summoned Archbishop Leanza to deliver an official expression of the government's displeasure with the Church's handling of sex-abuse complaints.

In a related development, a report in Dublin's Sunday Business Post revealed that in the 1990s the Irish government had considered, but rejected, a proposal to require mandatory reporting of sex-abuse complaints. The government is now vilifying Church leaders who did not report such complaints to law-enforcement officials. But the Cloyne report itself notes that such reports were not required by law. In fact, the Cloyne report stated:

The commission recognises that the church guidelines were far more stringent that those adopted by the State in that they required that all allegations against priests operating in a diocese be reported to the health authorities as well as to the gardaí.

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