The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland following accusations that the Vatican sabotaged efforts by Catholic bishops to report clerical sex abuse cases to police.
Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore summoned papal ambassador Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza two weeks ago and demanded an official response from the Vatican. The Vatican has said it will issue one at the “opportune time” but has not done so yet.
Vatican Radio said Monday that Leanza has now been recalled to Rome.
Repercussions from the long-running scandal have grown increasingly bitter, with Ireland’s lawmakers making an unprecedented denunciation of the Holy See‘s influence in the predominantly Catholic country.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny denounced to lawmakers last week what he called “the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism — and the narcissism — that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.”
It was the first time in the past 17 years of pedophile-priest scandals in Ireland that parliamentarians have taken on the Vatican rather than local church leaders. Revelations of widespread abuse have eroded Catholic authority in a nation where the church still owns most schools and several hospitals, and state broadcasters still toll a twice-daily call to Catholic prayer.