July 25, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Just days after Ireland's Prime Minister openly criticized the Vatican for its handling of sex abuse cases, the Vatican announced it's recalling Ireland's nuncio back to Rome for “consultations.”
It's extremely unusual for the Vatican to take this type of action. The announcement states the recall is a way for Church officials in Rome to consult with the ambassador before the Holy See sends out its official response to Ireland's government regarding the 'Cloyne Report.'
That document was made public on July 13th. It details the way in which several cases of sex abuse were handled from 1996 to 2009. Ireland's Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, directly blamed the Vatican for discouraging investigations in what he described as a 'cover up.' But the Vatican's spokesperson says the Church didn't prevent bishops from reporting the cases to authorities. Furthermore, he says the criticism is unbalanced and at times inaccurate.
The vice director of the Vatican's press office said recalling the nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza shows “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.” It went on to say “the recall also shows a desire for a serious and effective cooperation.”