The Vatican has made a first move towards restoring relationships with Ireland and transferred Papal Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza to the Czech Republic.
Leanza is seen as damaged after the Cloyne report crisis over sex abuse was allowed to occur on his watch and ineptly handled.
The Holy See had recalled Archbishop Leanza to Rome on Monday to discuss the Cloyne Report into clerical sexual abuse in the Cork diocese.
Leanza was summonsed back to the Vatican in the wake of severe criticism from Irish PM Enda Kenny of the Church’s failure to report child sex abuse claims in Cloyne to the state authorities.
Speaking to the Irish parliament, Kenny had accused the Catholic Church hierarchy of downplaying ‘the rape and torture of children’ to protect its power, standing and reputation.
The Cloyne Report heavily criticized the Church’s handling of clerical sex abuse claims in the diocese.
Deputy PM Eamon Gilmore attended a crisis meeting with Archbishop Leanza when he made it clear that the Irish government expected answers and explanations from the Vatican.
No official response has been forthcoming from the Holy See in the wake of Gilmore’s demands but the decision to move Archbishop Leanza to Prague is seen as a conciliatory gesture by many observers.
The Archbishop is expected to return to his official residence in Dublin to tidy up his affairs before he moves to Prague.
Officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs were made aware of plans to re-assign Archbishop Leanza before the details of the Cloyne Report were made public.
Vatican leader slams Irish government’s confessional law as absurd