The Vatican has recalled its representative in Dublin in response to the damning report on the Catholic Church's handling of cases of child abuse by priests, Vatican Radio has reported.
Papal Nuncio Giuseppe Leanza is being called back to Rome for consultations over the Cloyne Report, which was published earlier this month.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny last week strongly criticised the Vatican for what he said was an attempt to frustrate the Cloyne inquiry, accusing it of downplaying the rape of children to protect its power and reputation.
Never before has a Taoiseach used such language in criticising the Catholic Church.
And on Friday the Government kept up the pressure when Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore added his voice to that of the Taoiseach and lashed out at the Vatican's response so far.
Mr Gilmore vented his anger at the unsatisfactory way which the Pope's chief spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, has engaged in megaphone diplomacy by issuing personal statements on the breakdown in relations between the Government and the Holy See.
The Vatican has yet to formally respond to a demand from the Government for an explanation, but today's move will be seen as the first step.
The Tanaiste said he expected to get a comprehensive response in "a reasonable time", specifying that this should be formulated "not beyond the end of August".
"This is not something that is going to be put on the long finger," warned Mr Gilmore.
He is aware that Pope Benedict XVI leaves Rome for his country residence at Castelgandolfo in August.