Papal Nuncio to Ireland recalled to Rome for consultation about Cloyne report

From RTÉ News comes this:

Papal Nuncio recalled to Rome for Cloyne talks

Updated: 14:27, Monday, 25 July 2011

The Vatican Press Office has confirmed the Holy See has recalled its ambassador to Ireland.

The Vatican has confirmed that Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza has been recalled to Rome for consultations on the Cloyne report.

A statement highlights the reactions that have followed the publication of the report – a veiled reference to the Taoiseach’s unprecedented attack on the Holy See for allegedly undermining the Irish bishops’ mandatory reporting policy regarding clerical child sexual abuse.

This morning’s announcement marks the plummeting to their lowest ebb of Irish-Holy See relations.

A recall is diplomatic-speak for ‘showing displeasure’ with some act of the receiving State – in this case Ireland – and indicates a sharp cooling in relations.

The unusual step of recalling Archbishop Leanza follows the Government’s angry reaction to the publication of Judge Yvonne Murphy’s findings that the Vatican undermined the Irish bishop’s policy of informing gardaí and health authorities of all allegations of clerical child sexual abuse.

The judge said that when the Vatican described the Irish bishops’ 1996 guidelines as ‘merely a study document‘, it ‘comforted and supported’ senior clerics in the Co Cork diocese who dissented from their bishops’ collective policy.

Following the publication of the report, Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore summoned Archbishop Leanze to the Department of Foreign Affairs for an explanation.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week strongly criticised the Vatican for what he said was an attempt to frustrate the Cloyne inquiry, accusing it of downplaying the rape of children to protect its power and reputation.

He said the Church’s inability to deal with the abuse cases showed a culture of ‘dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and narcissism’ at the Vatican.

Never before had a Taoiseach used such language in criticising the Catholic Church.

It is not known for how long Archbishop Leanza will remain in Rome.

Minister Gilmore said the ‘decision to recall the Papal Nuncio to the Vatican for consultations is 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.

Today, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said it was appropriate that the Papal Nuncio was available to his diplomatic bosses for in-depth discussions to reflect on the appropriate role for a Vatican ambassador in Ireland.

Ms Burton said it was very welcome that there was to be a deep reflection in the Vatican into the Cloyne and other reports.

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  1. jaykay says:

    Rev. Dr. Vincent Twomey has provided an article in today’s Irish Times about this speech:

    The comments box below is illustrative of the level of objective debate that the readership of that paper is capable of. ( Sarcasm button off).

    As the usually reliably objective commentator in Saturday’s paper, Brenda O’Brien, remarked: our Dear Leader being commended for his “courage” in making that speech is comparable to someone climbing into the ring with Mohammed Ali in his current physical state and then blowing-off about his “victory”. All of which is not to deny the justifiable anger of people over the disgusting incompetence of the Cloyne authorities and the hellish incidents of abuse themselves, but the sight of the “liberated” Irish middle class in full (self-congratulatory) righteous anger mode tends to get me reaching for the sickbag.

  2. irishgirl says:

    Mr. Kenny (the Prime Minister, or ‘Dear Leader’ as jaykay calls him-good name for him there) deserves a whack on the head from the heavenly bishop’s crook of St. Patrick for his nasty remarks against the Holy See!

  3. jaykay says:

    Sorry for typo above: her name is Breda, not Brenda. This is her article from last Saturday’s paper:

    The comments box below her piece is of the usual high standard…

  4. Augustin57 says:

    Isn’t it interesting that the anti-Catholic Irish statesman, Mr. Kerry, cherry-picked the Cloyne report, leaving out the parts of the report that pointed fingers at the Irish government?

    For one example, let me quote the Cloyne report: “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 [6.36].”

    Maybe Jesus can knock Mr. Kenny off his high horse like He did St. Paul. Just a thought… :)

  5. irishgirl says:

    I like the last line in your comment, Augustin57-my thoughts exactly! Another good one!

  6. shane says:

    Far better PR-wise for the Vatican to ‘recall’ him than wait for the Irish state to expel him.

  7. Prof. Basto says:

    The recall for consultations is a formal act that, in the language of diplomacy, has always one set meaning: the recall for consultations is a gesture that conveys the strong disapproval of a State (or of an equivalent juridical person of public international law), in this case the Holy See regarding the conduct of another Sovereign (in this case, the Republic of Ireland). The recall, stoping short of a breakup of diplomatic relations, signifies the existance of a grave crisis between the two Sovereigns.

    During the recall, bilateral diplomatic representation is maintained, but the duties of the recalled Head of Mission are performed by the Mission’s second in command, while the Head of Mission goes to his home country to hold talks with his superiors on the crisis.

  8. Supertradmum says:

    Father Benedict Groeschel and an other priest I know have claimed that the only anti-clericalism they have ever met, including being spat upon, was in the Republic of Ireland. Sad days, and the politicians are cashing in on the anti-Catholic feeling, siding with the popular issues, such as pro-abortion laws, etc. How a great Catholic nation has fallen into paganism, and see the Hermenuetic blogspot for the latest travesty regarding Maynooth.

  9. benedetta says:

    I just don’t understand how people can fall for the canard engineered that in places that have essentially thumbed noses at working collegially “with Rome” for years all of their misdeeds may still be blamed on Rome. You can’t have it both ways. If the Bishops have gone their own way and taught their own things for generations and certainly crafted their own responses, policies and neglect to the abuse of children and all this was supposedly the non-Rome, more enlightened way, it is preposterous to now say this is all the Vatican’s fault. Why has Maynooth been closed? From Voris’ video posted awhile back it is pretty clear that people have been taught a totally different way than “Rome” would have had them be taught, and policies have been pursued quite independently to begin with, with very little reference or acknowledgement to Rome other than surface recognition. If a generation has been taught that church attendance for a Christian is totally unnecessary, then, obviously that would represent just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is likely in place. To say that what happened is entirely the fault of “the Vatican” when you’ve done your own thing for a long time is insane. It’s the same old, same old. Did the government itself, and the people, play, no role whatsoever? Why will they themselves not accept rightful accountability?

  10. chcrix says:

    I think some of the problem has to do with mistaken impressions of exactly what the church is, what the Vatican is and what the Pope is.

    In our modern world we are used to the idea of an ‘iron’ heierarchy. People think of the Church as some kind of multi national corporation and the pope as a CEO.

    But the Pope isn’t the CEO and the Archbishop of, say Munich, is not a vice-president.

    I’m going to make a bad analogy here, but it strikes me that things are more like a ‘franchise’. The Pope gets to appoint the ‘franchisee’ (i.e. the Bishop). Even here he consults the other local ‘franchisees’ before making the appointment.

    The daily operation of the franchise is under the control of the local franchisee – not the franchise issuer. Not only that, but the local franchise is not even the same legal entity as the other local franchises in a country.

    Under certain (extreme) circumstances the Pope might also remove a franchisee – as we saw recently in Australia. But that happens only after a long period of gradual investigation and escalation which usually results in a retirement or resignation first. That is one advantage the Vatican has over McDonalds – the franchise is only for the life of the franchise holder or till his mandatory retirement age.

    People also don’t understand that even a theoretically absolute monarch or a dictator can’t always simply ‘issue an order’ that is immediately obeyed. Look at how circumspect the Pope has been about the 1962 missal – wait a couple of years – issue a moto proprio – wait another few years – issue a clarification. He doesn’t just order something done because acting arbitrarily leads to internal resistance and even schism. The SSPX who are not quite in schism were clearly at least partly driven that way by radical actions on the part of the Vatican resulting from VII.

    Another point very well taken is that for the local bishops it is often ‘the Vatican won’t allow it’ from one side of their mouths and ‘I don’t need Vatican approval’ from the other side.

  11. benedetta says:

    chcrix, Well said. The Cloyne report is an interesting read. A giant red flag which the Cloyne report raises repeatedly is the fact that the diocesan personnel outright rejected the established policies developed and intended to protect children, agreed upon by the Irish Bishops, because in his words (corroborated through written and other sources) the approach was not sufficiently “pastoral” (is the word he employs) to his liking or personal taste and further he considered the policy and procedures that he was supposed to have followed to have been “too rule-bound”. For the government to say, and the media to unquestioningly accept and applaud, that one could put this at the feet of “Rome” or “The Vatican” is really, from this parent’s perspective, an furtherance of a dysfunctional system and a deceit which places children at further risk. If you decide that the “rules” do not matter at all, choose not to implement the policy developed, and proceed to do things entirely your own way which you style “pastoral”, then, you cannot then turn around and blame the “rules” or the “rulemakers” or anyone else including “Rome”.

    And once again we see the unthinking, unquestioning, knee jerk reaction from the media which leaps to the blaming of “Rome” for everything, no matter the facts, the paper trail, the work of a little document entitled the Cloyne report, and expect to drag all along with them on their relentless anti-Catholic quest based on irrational fears and caricatured hatred. There were obviously real and horrific problems in that part of the world with respect to protecting children and the government and media ought to be accountable about placing the blame properly or more children will be at risk, not less. If they think that by attacking “Rome” that the problem of pedophilia or ephebophilia will just magically disappear and wish for us all to put our trust in that belief, well they are dreaming. It would be like someone here blaming the United Federation of Teachers for the abuse of a public school teacher of a student (and it is happening with alarming frequency). Sure, abolish whatever the franchisor, the union, whatever it is you misunderstand as the Church, and celebrate your victory for yourself, but just don’t forget, that ethics would require that you read the Cloyne report, ahead of time, and report on, the facts, not your death-wish.

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