In a shock move the Vatican has recalled its Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Leanza, from Ireland, after blistering criticism of its role in the Cloyne diocese cover up of sex abuse made by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
The unprecedented move, announced by Vatican radio, ups the stakes in an unheard of stand-off between Irish civil authorities and the Vatican over the charge that the Vatican was complicit in the cover up of child rape in the Cloyne diocese.
The Vatican stated that Leanza was returning for discussions over the Cloyne report and gave no date as to when he would return. The Vatican diplomat in Ireland has always been the dean of the diplomatic corps, there, an acknowledgement of his importance.
Deputy Vatican spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini said Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza had been recalled from Dublin for ‘consultations’.
Meanwhile, Kenny has been bombarded with messages of support from all around the globe after his attack on the Vatican in the wake of the Cloyne Report on clerical sex abuse.
The Irish leader has received 2,500 letters and messages of support from all over the world, including from hundreds of priests.
Kenny has revealed he received ‘thousands’ of message from across the world in response to his criticism of the Holy See’s role in the issue of child abuse in the Cork diocese.
Even members of the clergy have written to the leader of the Fine Gael-Labor Party coalition to support his stance in one of the most significant speeches in the history of the Irish State.
“I was astounded by the number of clergy who have been in touch to say it was about time someone in my position spoke out,” said Prime Minister Kenny.
Speaking at the McGill summer school in Donegal, as he delivered a lecture in honor of Nobel prize winner John Hume, Kenny received a standing ovation after commenting on his speech in the Irish parliament last week.
He said: “I made a few remarks this week about children, which means a lot to me, I have to say.
“I just wanted people to understand that, when I say we live in a republic with laws and responsibilities and rights, I mean it.
“The fact that I have had thousands of messages from around the world speaks for itself about the impact and the way people feel.
“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.
“I haven’t made any other comment except to say that we await the response from the Vatican.”
The Fine Gael chief re-iterated his government’s determination to do the right thing as far as the children of Ireland are concerned.
Prime Minister Kenny added: “I like to think that part of what we do in Government is to create the environment where the innocence of children can develop naturally through their formative years.
“This is in the hope that when they grow up and grow old they will look back with a sense of pride and a sense of respect for where they came from.”
Kenny’s speech was also the topic of the Maureen Dowd column in The New York Times on Sunday.