Belfast Telegraph

Vatican slams probe abuse reactions

The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza
The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza
A general view of the Papal Nuncio's residence on Navan Road in Dublin

The Vatican has branded as "excessive" some reactions to a damning clerical child abuse inquiry after recalling the Pope's ambassador to Ireland.

Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, Papal Nuncio in Dublin, has already returned to Rome in a rare move ordered by the Holy See.

The recall comes just days after an unprecedented attack by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the Catholic Church hierarchy.

Vice-director of the Vatican press office Father Ciro Benedettini said it should be seen as a measure of the gravity of the fall-out over Ireland's response to the Cloyne report into the mishandling of paedophile priest allegations.

"The recall of the Nuncio, being a measure verily adopted by the Holy See, denotes the seriousness of the situation and the Holy See's desire to face it objectively and determinately," he said. "Nor does it exclude some degree of surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions."

Fr Benedettini added: "The recall of the Nuncio should be interpreted as an expression of the desire of the Holy See for serious and effective collaboration with the (Irish) Government."

Two weeks ago, Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore ordered Archbishop Leanza to get answers from the Vatican on claims it allowed priests to ignore mandatory reporting guidelines on suspected child abusers within the Church.

The Pope's envoy was told to take a message to the Holy See that the Irish Government believes its conduct has been disgraceful and unacceptable.

In a statement, Mr Gilmore said the decision to recall Archbishop Leanza was a matter for the Holy See. "The Government is awaiting the response of the Holy See to the recent report into the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne and it is to be expected that the Vatican would wish to consult in depth with the Nuncio on its response," he added.

Mr Kenny told the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal, he had received thousands of messages of support from around the world after his outspoken remarks in the Dail.

PA

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