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Vatican to issue 'strong' Cloyne report response

THE papal nuncio is set to deliver a strong response to the Cloyne Report before the end of August, rebuffing the Taoiseach's accusation the Vatican undermined child protection guidelines.

Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza will present the Vatican's response to Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore.

The choice of Archbishop Leanza as the intermediary with the Government signals the Holy See's confidence in his diplomatic professionalism.

The Vatican has been exasperated by reports claiming Archbishop Leanza was being moved to Prague in the Czech Republic as a mark of his disfavour with his superiors in Rome.

But sources in the Vatican last night suggested that Archbishop Leanza will leave Ireland at the end of the year as part of routine changes.

In its response, the Vatican will point out the weakness of Irish state monitoring of child abuse. And it will insist that the Taoiseach's comments failed to recognise the efforts of Pope Benedict XVI to ensure bishops comply with national laws.

The Government will also be told that the seal of the confession is sacrosanct.

Last night Mr Gilmore's officials welcomed the Vatican's confirmation it would respond by the end of next month.

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