Vatican Recalls Ireland Envoy Over New Sex Abuse Row

Irish investigative committee says church instructed bishops to ignore abuse
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2011 4:41 PM CDT
The Vatican recalled its ambassador to Ireland after a report claims bishops were instructed to ignore child-protection guidelines.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – The Vatican recalled its Irish ambassador today amid a firestorm in Dublin over claims that the church refused to report child sex abuse to police as recently as 2009. A Vatican spokesman says Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza will return to Rome to meet with church officials, reports the New York Times. Some in Ireland speculated that the Vatican was simply trying to prevent Dublin from expelling Leanza.

The recall comes in the aftermath of an Irish government report that accuses clergy in the diocese of Cloyne of ignoring complaints against 19 priests from 1996 to 2009. Instead of going after the rural diocese, Prime Minister Enda Kenny called out the Vatican for encouraging bishops to ignore child-protection guidelines set up in 1996. The Vatican spokesman says the recall "denoted the seriousness of the situation,” but that it "does not exclude some degree of surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions."

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