Monday, July 25, 2011

Vatican recalls envoy to Ireland amid abuse uproar

Associated Press July 25,2011
VATICAN CITY—The Vatican made the rare move of recalling its ambassador to Ireland on Monday following accusations that the Holy See sabotaged efforts by Catholic bishops to report clerical sex abuse cases to police.

Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore had summoned papal ambassador Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza two weeks ago and demanded an official response from the Vatican. The Vatican has said it will issue one at the "opportune time" but has not done so yet.

The Vatican acknowledged that the recall of an ambsssador was a measure rarely adopted by the Holy See, underlining the "seriousness of the situation."

The principal aim was for direct consultations to prepare the Holy See's official response but the measure "does not exclude some degree of surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions," said deputy spokesman the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, answering questions from reporters.

The Irish government called the recall "a matter for the Holy See," saying in a statement that "it is to be expected that the Vatican would wish to consult in depth with the nuncio on its response."

Repercussions from the long-running scandal have grown increasingly bitter, with Ireland's lawmakers making an unprecedented denunciation of the Holy See's influence in the predominantly Catholic country.

Prime Minister Enda Kenny denounced to lawmakers last week what he called "the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism -- and the narcissism -- that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day."

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