Vatican Recalls Its Ambassador to Ireland

Posted July 25th, 2011 at 10:00 am (UTC-5)
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The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland, following the Irish parliament's severe criticism of the Roman Catholic Church's role in covering up child sex abuse.

A Vatican spokesman said Monday that Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza had been recalled from Dublin for consultations. The highly unusual step came after Ireland's parliament accused church officials of covering up the sexual abuse of children and allowing priests to ignore mandatory reporting guidelines.

Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore summoned Leanza two weeks ago to demand an official explanation from the Vatican. The Vatican has said it will issue a response at the “opportune time” but has not done so yet.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny denounced the church to lawmakers last week, accusing its hierarchy of dysfunction and elitism and putting the Church ahead of child rape victims.

The rebuke came in the wake of a government-sponsored report issued earlier this month condemning the church over its response to allegations of the sexual abuse of children.

Catholics in Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have demanded church accountability for the abuses, which began coming to light eight years ago in the United States and later became apparent in Europe.

Victims have accused the church hierarchy of failing for decades to punish errant priests.