Sunday 17 December 2017

Diplomatic niceties don't fix the problem

WITH relations between Ireland and the Holy See at their lowest point, the Vatican yesterday performed a neat diplomatic manoeuvre. It implied -- and more than implied -- a rebuke and a complaint, but left every option open.

Normally the recall to base of an ambassador is regarded as marking a serious deterioration in relations between his masters and the host country. The same applies with even greater force to a papal nuncio, the representative of the Pope. Yesterday the Vatican took pains not to suggest that the recall of Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza signalled an outright breach.

It did so by stating that he had been called back for consultations on the Cloyne Report. Fair enough: the consultations are important, and no doubt the Papal Nuncio has much to contribute to them.

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