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Vatican recalls nuncio to Ireland

By on Monday, 25 July 2011

Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza leaves the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin (Julien Behal/PA Wire)

Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza leaves the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin (Julien Behal/PA Wire)

In an exceptional move, the Vatican has recalled its nuncio to Ireland so that he could participate in meetings aimed at drafting a formal response to an Irish government report on clerical sex abuse.

The Vatican said that following the publication of the Cloyne Report “and, particularly, after the reactions that followed, the secretary of state has recalled the apostolic nuncio in Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, for consultations”.

Passionist Fr Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Vatican press office, said recalling the nuncio “denotes the seriousness of the situation, the desire of the Holy See to face it with objectivity and determination, as well as a certain note of surprise and disappointment over some excessive reactions” to the report and its accusations against the Vatican.

The Cloyne Report, which examined how the Diocese of Cloyne handled accusations of clerical sexual abuse, said the bishop paid “little or no attention” to child safeguarding as recently as 2008 and that he falsely told the government his diocese was reporting all allegations of abuse to the civil authorities.

The report also accused the Vatican of being “entirely unhelpful” to Irish bishops who wanted to implement stronger norms for dealing with accusations and protecting children.

Addressing parliament last week, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the Cloyne Report “exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago”.

“And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism and the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day,” the prime minister said.

After the prime minister spoke, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, issued a statement calling for greater objectivity in discussing “topics so dramatic” because the first concern of all should be “the safeguarding of children and of young people and the renewal of a climate of trust and collaboration” between Church and state.

In announcing the recall of the nuncio, Fr Benedettini said the Vatican Secretariat of State wanted to ensure its response to the Cloyne Report was serious and complete, and to do that it was necessary that “the person on the scene”, Archbishop Leanza, took part in drafting discussions along with officials from the congregations for the doctrine of the faith, religious, clergy and bishops.

He said the Vatican expected to forward its formal response to the Irish government before the end of August.

In a statement Irish foreign minister Eamon 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.”

A day earlier, Mr Kenny told a crowd during a visit to County Donegal he had received “thousands of messages from around the world” supporting his comments.

“The numbers of members of the clergy who have been in touch in the last few days, to say it is about time somebody spoke out about these matters in a situation like you are, has astounded me,” Mr Kenny added.

“I haven’t made any other comments except to say that we await the response from the Vatican,” he said.

Contributing to this story was Michael Kelly in Dublin.

  • Harper

    Haha! Another comedian, or perhaps an existing one under a different name! I don’t think you’ll find Drs Paisley, McFall and Bob Jones in such a Romish place as the Grande Chartreuse, otherwise the monks would be hitting the Green Chartreuse for comfort!

  • Concerned Catholic

    This is utter nonsense.  Your claim of a racist conspiracy to prevent a black pope is ridiculous.  Please explain how manage to link the doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus with racist conspiracies and the alleged decline of the Church in Africa. 

    Your claims and allegations are false.  You are entitled to an opinion, but do not hold up your opinions as facts without providing verifiable evidence.

    Furthermore, you say Islam offers a more peaceful message.  The throngs of Islamic suicide bombers proves otherwise. 

  • Concerned Catholic

    This is utter nonsense.  Your claim of a racist conspiracy to prevent a black pope is ridiculous.  Please explain how manage to link the doctrine of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus with racist conspiracies and the alleged decline of the Church in Africa. 

    Your claims and allegations are false.  You are entitled to an opinion, but do not hold up your opinions as facts without providing verifiable evidence.

    Furthermore, you say Islam offers a more peaceful message.  The throngs of Islamic suicide bombers proves otherwise. 

  • Harper

    Indeed so, as well as the Islamic slave trade which flourished across the Sahara from Ghana to Constantinople and along the east coast of Africa from Oman to Zanzibar from the medieval period until the nineteenth century, for which there has been no “apology”.

  • Anonymous

    The replies you make in your posts show a proper understanding of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and some of the replies you draw down on yourself illustrate a woeful, nay, pitiful, lack of formation on the part of those who make them – immediately preceding brickbats excluded.

    “May your glass ever be full.
    May the roof over your head be always strong.
    And may you be in Heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead”.

    And may God bless you.

  • Guy Picardie

    Monsieur HarperYou give deep offence. It is not my fault that your sadness, sufferings, suspicions and tormentation’s are prevalent. I am not to blame for your malady of your ignorant abysmalism.Comedian means funny, I do not think anything it is funny for you to be insulting when I was trying to be of Christian assistance to a troubled soul. Your history of offensiveness to others is most unchristian and uncharitable. Maybe some of the comments made about you are true. You seem to be are what is sometimes called a “whitewashed catholic” who is completely devoid of morality.

  • Anonymous

    Tiggy!!  Behave yourself!

  • Mark Castilano

    Just like the slave labour camps in the Irish industrial schools and Magdalene laundries. They served as labour camps, bordellos and whorehouses for Bishops, Catholic Priests, Christian Brothers and The Sisters of Mercy not to mention visiting dignitaries. There is documented proof that serving bishops in Ireland indulged in diabolical sex acts. Little by little these documents are being released by Alan Shatter who does not fear the Pope.

  • Harper

    Thanks, Leprechaun_Yourself! and blessings heartily reciprocated. I don’t think I’ll be responding to either of these two gentlemen. P J McFall in particular is a case for St Jude, Patron of Hopeless Cases. I’ve never read such half-baked, ill-informed and bigoted drivel, but remembering the environment in which this was formed, I suppose I should be more charitable.

  • Harper

    Have a wee dram of Green Chartreuse and you may feel better.

  • Anonymous

    You say in a slightly earlier response to Tiggy: “I think that your confidence about the “gates of hell not prevailing ” is mistaken..  Do you realise that your are casting aspersions on the words of Our Lord Himself by making such a statement?

    Tiggy has every right to be confident in the promises made by Our Lord.  Who do you think you are to cast doubt in this manner?

    You then argue from the particular to the general by claiming that the Catholic Church (which includes me) was deeply involved in corrupt practices on the unsubstantiated grounds that there may be a few banking executives whose morals may leave something to be desired.

    Small wonder that Tiggy responded with such a succinct (albeit whiffy) appraisal of your intellectual reasoning.

    You then go on in your next post to accuse Tiggy of choosing to “devalue the ethos of the Roman Catholic Church” having just done that very thing yourself with your claim about it being corrupt!  To cap it all, you next claim that the main characteristic of Roman Catholicism is “very superficial and banal reasoning”.

    Any Roman Catholic with a good formation ought to be able to tell you that the main characteristic of the Catholic Church is its constant desire down the ages to preach the Gospels in accordance with Our Lord’s command to “Go ye and teach all nations” exactly as He wanted them preaching, under the guidance of His Vicar on earth and overseen by the Holy Ghost, with the intention of saving as many souls as possible for His Kingdom in Heaven.  Many good men and women were martyred or made to suffer great hardships in their efforts to carry out this instruction.  Pray explain to us ordinary mortals what is “superficial and banal” about their reasons for the sacrifices thay made?

    You are quite right however about there being a tendency on these blogs for “for the poorly educated and the immoderate to retort with facile and intemperate rhetoric”.  I struggle to think of a better example than your good self.

    May St. Jude (Patron Saint of helpless cases) take an interest in your case in particular.

    In Caritas.

  • Brian McDonough

    The Cloyne Report may remind some
    readers of the remark in Robert Grave’s I Claudius: “Let all the poisons that
    lurk in the mud hatch out.” Is the Catholic Church’s hierarchic structure
    specifically designed perpetually to permit its priests to poison and victimize
    Catholic children with their known pathological sexual dysfunction? Is the
    Church’s undeniable culture of clerical pederasty in its core? Is the Church a
    private club for pedophiles, their protectors, and their enablers? Is the
    Church an utterly immoral institution and a truly unGodly organization? How
    would a reasonable reader answer these questions after pondering [1] the
    McCullough Report, [2] the Murphy Report, [3] the Ferns Report, [4] the Ryan
    Report, [5] the McCoy Report, and now [6] the Cloyne Report? How many more
    Reports will there be? How many Reports must there be before the Church ceases
    protecting itself and solely protects its children? Are there no diamonds in
    the rough of Cloyne, Ferns, Raphoe, Limerick, Galway, Dublin,
    and all Ireland?
    Is there no one “at the top” to stop the Church’s child abuse, once and for
    all, finally? Yes. Consider who, among the Church hierarchy itself, has been
    condemned by the hierarchy precisely for siding with the victims and not the
    Old Boys Club? The Cloyne Report may remind some readers to review the
    criticisms made by Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Dublin Dermot O’Mahony of
    Father Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland: “The
    archbishop did nothing to counteract the statement of the Murphy report, widely
    circulated in the media, that the majority of clergy knew and did nothing”. . .
    “To suggest our approach failed to take cognisance of the safety of children is
    inaccurate and unjust. The acceptance by media and current diocese policy that
    a cover-up took place must be challenged.” [See Irish Times articles of
    January 27, 28, Febuary 5, 2010.]  Given the Cloyne Report, Father
    O’Mahony’s statements are contemptible rubbish, as were similar criticisms of
    Archbishop Martin by some lackey priests. The Cloyne Report is a scathing
    denunciation of those who criticized Archbishop Martin and a complete
    vindication of the approach that he has taken. The Cloyne Report reveals that
    Archbishop Martin is a diamond in the cesspool that is a Church hierarchy of
    pedophile protectors and enablers. Were there more priests and Bishops like
    Diarmuid Martin, there would be no need for [1] the McCullough Report, [2] the
    Murphy Report, [3] the Ferns Report, [4] the Ryan Report, [5] the McCoy Report,
    [6] the Cloyne Report, and the other Reports that must necessarily follow,
    because the Church’s poisons will continue to hatch out perpetually until it
    finally ceases protecting itself and solely protects its children. Only
    when the Church starts protecting itself by protecting its children will it
    finally eradicate its poisons and have no need for Opus Dei apologists who try
    to defect responsibility onto anyone but the ”Cabal” of the Vatican
    hierarchy, which is the term that Archbishop Martin used to described them in a
    recent interview. There is no “gray area” or a “conscience of
    clay” when it comes to pedophiles because they are immoral
    “black” holes as are those who fail to report allegations of sexual
    abuse to authorities for they protect pedophiles from being investigated and
    thereby enable them to abuse again. 


  • Harper

    You live in a bigoted fantasy land. I think you must be thinking of the Kincora Boys’ Home scandal in which working class Northern Ireland boys were regularly abused by upright member of the Free Presbyterian Church William Mcgrath and his colleagues from Tara, a notorious paramilitary organisation. The crimes were covered up by the Royal Ulster Constabulary and MI5, due to McGrath’s role as a double agent. Rev. Dr Paisley, after initial denials, later admitted that he knew about McGrath’s (a married man with children – no celibate note) inclination and that he had been told by a member of his congregation, Miss Valerie Shaw, that McGrath was a paedophile and that he worked in a boys’ home. The Police were not, informed, however, although, as pointed out, Special Branch were fully aware of this. Details of the scandal can easily be googled, along with the findings of the official enquiry.

  • HJ McCracken

    Come, Come Mr Harper
    Presbyterians would never behave like Catholics and Mr Paisley would never cover up any crime. Once again you impugn his integrity and the honour of the  RUC (PSNI). No! you are mistaken if there was the slightst infraction of law breaking in Northern Ireland, Mr Paisley (Lord Paisley) would condemn it.

  • Mark Castilano

    THERE IS NO NEED TO STRUGGLEThere is no proof whatsoever of life hereafter and all mystical claims and sacred visions can be explained in neurological and neurochemical and psychological terms (suggestion and hypnosis). Any single mystical claim can be replicated including Lourdes and Fatima. The research has already been done. Even the purported clinical cures at Lourdes can now be exposed. There is no proof whatsoever of transubstantiation, but there is proof several times replicated thatConsecrated communion bread contains nothing other than basic carbohydrate. These tests have been carried out randomly with Latin Mass Communion, SSPX Communion, Novus Ordo Communion and Anglican Communion, and on each occasion, the results are identical, with no margins of error. The most up to date astrophysical and cosmological data, actual and hypothetical, computer generated permutations, even from inside the Vatican, that can measure the outer reaches of the cosmos, have found nothing whatsoever in terms of living creatures. Now if Jesus and Mary ascended into heaven body and soul, as catholic dogma dictates, it would be impossible for the sophisticated and highly sensitive equipment to miss the energy that their bodies would radiate. Presently I am reading “The Singer not the Song” by Audrey Erskine Lindop ( that I have read many times, and it sums up your premise. I have no doubt that some Catholics are very sincere like father Keogh in the book but the song is tuneless and worthless. Catholics will live and die without experiencing the fullness of life, and then die only to find nothing whatsoever. For the Catholic Church to teach a dogma that robs human beings of a full life (self actualization) is morally reprehensible.

  • Harper

    You are so naive, Henry Joy. There are none so blind as those that will not see.”Perfect” Lord Paisley – now that really is idolatry. Google Kincora and believe!

  • CM

    Are the Islamic suicide bombers, who are presumably among the minority of those of their faith, any worse than the Catholic members of the IRA who caused outrageous atrocities in Northern Ireland and elsewhere for over 30 years? I think not.

  • JJD

    “Gaudium et Spes is one of those ambiguous statements that Vatican II has become so infamous for”

    So statements made by the hierarchy at VCII and by the Church thereafter are ambiguous but everything the Church said before that time is ok? Can’t have it both ways!

  • Anonymous

    To want it both ways is a Modernist trait which I am pleased to say is not one of my weaknesses. It is they, not I, who want to continue to call themselves Catholic whilst changing the Faith of the centuries!

    Not all statements made by Vatican II and the Church thereafter are ambiguous, that is not what I said. I said that Gaudium et Spes was one of those ambiguous documents of Vatican II, which is perfectly obvious to anyone who studies it and compares it with past Magisterial teaching.

    It is quite interesting to compare the statements of the Church pre and post Council. The former are absolutely clear in their meaning, authoritative and in line with previous teaching. The latter are generally obscure, non-authoritative and, in some cases, completely at odds with previous Church teaching. 


  • Mark Castilano

    I remember that case, McGrath was a Catholic who had been discovered abusing children and the whole matter was covered up by the Catholic church. He then became a protestant, but he was not an agent for MI5, because in those days MI5 did not officially exist. They would never employ anyone who would break the official secrets act, and put other peoples lives at risk. Sorry old dear, you have it all wrong. This is Catholic Machiavellian propaganda at it’s best. If McGrath had committed those crimes in Northern Ireland the RUC would have prosecuted him, regardless of who he was. Justice cannot be bought like in NI like it can in the R.O.I.

  • JonnyB

    “To know God, to love Him, and to serve Him to
    the best of my ability in this world, and so to be happy with Him in the
    next in accordance with the teachings of *Him*” (fixed for you).
    “It is led by Christ’s vicar on earth in the manner of a flock being
    led by its shepherd.  No matter how much bleating takes place, the
    shepherd takes his cue in matters of faith and morals from his own
    Master who, being divine, cannot err.” How many of these infallible ‘shepherds’ have erred?….

    ” Let the faithful blindly follow their priests”

  • JonnyB

    ” “I think that your confidence about the “gates of hell not prevailing ” is mistaken..  Do you realise that your are casting aspersions on the words of Our Lord Himself by making such a statement?”
    Do you ever consider (not withstanding the ambiguity of the interpretation of the whole Peter/rock issue anyway) that maybe, just maybe, the ‘gates of hell prevailing’ could, also, include the possibility of mankind being suckered into believing in a church which claims to be THE true church but, in fact, turns out to be the antithesis of what it claims to be?!
    Beware of false prophets…

  • Fascinated Yid

    I enjoyed the comment about Jesus not having a university education. I am sure He had better than that. He was brought up JEWISH! It is said that he had as tutor the famous Rabbi Gamaliel. As such, he would have been taught the dogma “The righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come”.  Think about that will you?

  • jitters

    At the end of a war, such as the second world war, the children only have the parents who are alive.  The children have to be nursed away from the communications of the warring nations, but also maintain a memory of where their mummies and daddies came from. Let me explain… the houses they lived in the friends mummies and daddy had and all the joy, street games they learnt both in playtime and together, that is, together, all the children as groups try to understand the pains that allowed the suffering to kill everyone.  The Priest’s job is to religiously ethically from the pulpit nurture hope of eccumenical community for today and Hope for tomorrows where modern day communications provender the tool i.e. :::  The CP, The Radio Frequency where children’s mummies and Daddies had fought to protect their Ethical values of Family and State in World War 1.

    From Bletchley Park



  • Joseph P Haughey

    May the living God give you all the strength and vocabulary to ponder and ask mayhaps posit the next question, 

    in the interim the Young Man who played at Trinity College Dublin Exam Study week some yearns ago,  please allow poetic licence  (The Irish Times reported PHd guidance acquired 60% increase in 1sts hhhey  hooo)

    The Maid of the Valley needs to be got to Hymnal  I’m on Youtube , if you want to discuss

    1. send email to me

    the writhing hand of Christ Writes On !!

    swinging sixties


  • Harper

    Spare your sorrow for your own bigoted stupidity. You are so incredibly ignorant and you have a fairy story view of the world of intelligence as well as the corruption to be found in Protestant Ulster. You’ll next be claiming that Mrs Paisley jnr was a Romish plant, since the claim that she was feeling unwell when she seduced that young man doesn’t really wash, although it is hard to explain when those of the elect are exposed as fallen human beings. McGrath was not a former Catholic but a prominent member both the Orange Order and the Free Presbyterian Church. It is no use trying to invent explanations for events that don’t suit you.

    You must have been living inside your silly bowler hat, with your silly sash over your eyes, when the Kincora scandal broke. MI5 dates from 1909, not 1989, as anyone who cares to google it can ascertain. Christopher Andrew, Professor of History at Cambridge is the leading authority on it. His 2009 book, The Defence
    of the Realm: The Authorised History of MI5. Allen Lane. ISBN 1846142849. Anyone wishing to find out more about the Kincora Scandal can google the official report or see: Moore, Chris (1996). The Kincora Scandal:
    Political Cover-up and Intrigue in Northern Ireland. Marino
    Books. ISBN 978-1860230295. I don’t expect you to check these out, as you either don’t believe they exist, or that they are maliciously written by Romanist authors (neither are Catholic), but then again you probably believe that the moon landings were enacted in Hollywood studio as part of some Romish conspiracy. People like you are really sick and not open to reasoned discussion and are not worth responding to on here or on any other blog. It’s a shame your former friends in apartheid South Africa are not in power any more. Many of these were also outwardly upright Calvinists but were secretly corrupt both financially and morally. Former Prime Minister JB Vorster had to resign for having his fingers in the till, and I see that upright General Magnus Malan has just died. As has been revealed, he kept company with highly place paedophiles, but perhaps these were all really secret Catholics, like William McGrath!!! Conspiracy theorists like you can find an explanation for everything, so that you can go on living in a fool’s paradise.

    By the way, you should learn to use the possessive suffix correctly: “it’s”=”it is”, and does not mean “belonging to it”, in which case their is no apostrophe= “its”, but this is probably too advanced for what must be only a single brain cell, which would probably catch a chill without that bowler.

  • Cotswold59

    and their should be spelt “there” – just checking you noticed!