The papal nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, has announced how "very distressed" he is by the Cloynes report, detailing the child sexual abuse in the Cork diocese. The diplomatic representative said he would bring a copy of the report to the attention of the Holy See.

Leanza was speaking with Ireland's Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore on Thursday. He said "I am very distressed myself again by the failures in assuring the protection of children within the church despite all the good work that has been done. I wish to say, however, the total commitment of the Holy See for its part to taking all the necessary measures to assure protection.”

Within the report the Vatican is accused of giving comfort to the dissenters within the church who did not want to implement Irish bishops' procedures for handling child sexual abuse.

In a 1996 letter to the Irish bishops the Vatican describes the procedures, established in 1996, as "merely a study document", not official.



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Speaking to the Irish Times, Gilmore said the Vatican's intervention in Irish affairs was "absolutely unacceptable" and "inappropriate".

He also told Leanza that an explanation from the Vatican was required clarifying why the Vatican told Irish priests and bishops that they were free to undermine Irish rules.

Gilmore said "I want to know why this state, with which we have diplomatic relations, issued a communication, the effect of which was that very serious matter of the abuse of children in this country was not reported to the authorities.”

He continued "What happened here should not have happened. What happened here was a totally inappropriate, unjustified and unacceptable by the Vatican in the reporting arrangements even within the context of the arrangements of the church itself.”

The Minister said he believed that Leanza had taken on his concerns. He added that no deadline had been set for a response.