PAPAL NUNCIO'S ROLE: THE PAPAL nuncio told the Murphy commission he could not assist its work. The nunciature “does not determine the handling of cases of sexual abuse in Ireland and therefore is unable to assist you in this matter,” Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza said.
“In fact, such cases are managed according to the responsibility of local ecclesiastical authorities, in this instance the diocese of Cloyne. Like all ecclesiastical entities in Ireland, the diocese of Cloyne is bound to act in accordance with canon law and with all civil laws and regulations of Ireland as may be applicable.”
As the report pointed out: “Bishop Magee, prior to his replacement by an administrator, referred a number of cases to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [in Rome]. A case which expressed concerns about Bishop Magee himself was referred to the Congregation for Bishops by Archbishop Clifford in a timely manner.
The report also noted that Archbishop Leanza was “actively involved in the appointment of Archbishop Clifford as an apostolic administrator to the Cloyne diocese” in February 2009.
In March 2009, Archbishop Clifford received a letter from “Joseph”, dated March 10th, repeating allegations he made against Bishop John Magee.
“As Archbishop Clifford told the commission, he passed on details to Archbishop Leanza who, he was told, reported it to the Congregation of Bishops in Rome, the vicars forane in Cloyne, Cardinal Seán Brady, the Health Service Executive and the Garda.
Archbishop Clifford said he notified the papal nuncio “to ensure that the substance of the complaint would be on file should any further complaints or concerns arise in relation to Bishop Magee”.
In 1997, the then papal nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Luciano Storero, sent a “strictly confidential” letter to all Irish bishops advising them that their framework document on child protection, implemented the previous year, appeared “contrary to canonical discipline”.