8:10pm UK, Monday July 25, 2011
The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland following criticism of the Catholic church by the Irish Prime Minister.
The Vatican described Enda Kenny's reaction as "excessive"
Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza has returned to Rome after Enda Kenny said the interests of the church were being put ahead of the victims of sexual abuse within the faith.
Ireland's foreign minister had demanded that Archbishop Leanza obtain answers from the Vatican after allegations it had allowed priests to ignore the mandatory reporting guidelines on suspected paedophiles.
The claims were made in the Cloyne report, an investigation into the handling of cases of abuse in an Irish diocese in County Cork.
Ireland's government had demanded a response to the report from the Vatican and while one was promised, it has yet to emerge.
Accusing Catholic leaders of taking part in a cover up, Mr Kenny said: "For the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago, not three decades ago."
The Vatican described his reaction as "excessive" but said the recall of the ambassador "denotes the seriousness of the situation."
However a spokesman said the Vatican was prepared to work closely with the Irish government to deal with the findings of the report.