Giuseppe Leanza

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Styles of
Giuseppe Leanza
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleMonsignor
Posthumous stylenot applicable

Giuseppe Leanza (born 2 January 1943) was born in Cesarò, Italy. and ordained on 17 July 1966.

Early life[edit]

After being awarded a Doctorate in Canon Law, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1972 and served at the pontifical representations in Paraguay, Uganda, the United States and in the section for relations with states in the Roman Curia.


Pope John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti and Titular Archbishop of Lilybaeum on 3 July 1990. He was consecrated bishop on 22 September 1990 by Secretary of State to His Holiness, Agostino Cardinal Casaroli, serving as principal consecrator, with Cardinal Pio Laghi and Bishop Ignazio Zambito as Principal Co–Consecrators. A year later, was appointed apostolic pro-nuncio to Zambia and Malawi. From there, he was appointed to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1999 and subsequently to Slovenia and Macedonia in 2002. From 2003 to 2008 he served as Apostolic Nuncio to Bulgaria.

Nuncio to Ireland[edit]

On 22 February 2008 he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland on 22 April and presented his credentials to President Mary McAleese on 28 April 2008. Besides his native Italian, he speaks English, French, Serbo-Croat and Spanish.[1]

Murphy Report[edit]

In the Murphy Report on abuse of children in the Dublin diocese on 26 November 2009 mention was made of Archbishop Leanza and his predecessor, Archbishop Lazzarotto. In September 2006, the commission wrote to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith seeking information on reports of clerical child sex abuse sent to it by the Dublin archdiocese over the relevant 30-year period. It also sought information on the document Crimen sollicitationis, which dealt with crimes that include sexual abuse of minors. In reply it contacted the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, stating that the commission had not gone through appropriate diplomatic channels. As a body independent of Government, the commission said it did not consider it appropriate to use diplomatic channels. [1]

Archbishop Leanza declined an invitation to address the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee, a decision described as "scandalous" by Fine Gael's spokesperson on children Alan Shatter. Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza was invited to appear before the committee following calls for his expulsion after the Murphy commission revealed that the papal nuncio had refused to co-operate with its inquiry into clerical abuse in the Dublin diocese. In a letter to committee chairman Michael Woods, Archbishop Leanza said "it is not the practice of the Holy See that apostolic nuncios appear before parliamentary commissions". The letter, dated 12 February, said: “As the papal representative I am always available to examine questions of mutual interest in the relations between the Holy See and Ireland through contacts with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as has been the norm hitherto.[2]

Ryan report[edit]

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D., met with Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, on Tuesday 8 December 2009 to discuss the findings of the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation and the issue of the co-operation of the Nuncio and the Holy See with the Commission. The Minister conveyed to the Papal Nuncio the deep anger and outrage of the Irish public at the appalling abuse of children detailed in the report. The Minister explained to the Papal Nuncio the need for the Holy See to provide the fullest possible co-operation with any further State investigations in relation to clerical child abuse, in particular in the context of the upcoming inquiry by the Commission into the Diocese of Cloyne.

In the Irish Parliament, The Dáil, Minister Martin said: " Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, called to Iveagh House at my request on Tuesday of last week to discuss the report of the Dublin archdiocese commission of investigation, and the issue of the co-operation received by the commission from the Holy See and successive Papal Nuncios as it carried out its investigations. At this meeting, I conveyed to the Papal Nuncio the deep anger and outrage of the Irish public at the appalling abuse of children detailed in the commission's report. I emphasised to Archbishop Leanza the importance of the Vatican providing a substantive response to inquiries from the commission. I explained to the Nuncio the need for the Holy See to provide the fullest possible co-operation with any ongoing or further State investigations into clerical child abuse, including in the context of the upcoming inquiry by the commission into the diocese of Cloyne. The Nuncio undertook to convey my strong view that the Vatican should co-operate with any request from the Dublin and Cloyne commission or any future commission to co-operate with any request for information."

Archbishop Leanza attended all meetings at the Vatican during the 15–16 February 2010 summit involving Pope Benedict, senior Curial cardinals and the Irish bishops. However, he did not contribute to proceedings nor did he or the Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Bertone make any reference at the various sessions to the decision of Archbishop Leanza not to appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Dermot Clifford.[3]

Cloyne report[edit]

The day after the Cloyne report was published on 13 July 2011, Archbishop Leanza met Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore. On 25 July 2011, he was recalled to the Secretariat of State for consultations as a sign, among other things, of "surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions".[4]

The Vatican has announced that he is to be moved to a new appointment in Prague.

Nuncio to the Czech Republic[edit]

On 15 September 2011 Archbishop Leanza was appointed[5] as Nuncio to the Czech Republic.


Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Paolo Romeo
Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti
3 July 1990 – 4 June 1991
Succeeded by
Lorenzo Baldisseri
Preceded by
Eugenio Sbarbaro
Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Malawi
4 June 1991 – 29 April 1999
Succeeded by
Orlando Antonini
as Apostolic Nuncio
Preceded by
Eugenio Sbarbaro
Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia
4 June 1991 – 29 April 1999
Succeeded by
Orlando Antonini
Preceded by
Francesco Monterisi
Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina
29 April 1999 – 22 February 2003
Succeeded by
Santos Abril y Castelló
Preceded by
Giuseppe Lazzarotto
Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland
22 February 2008 – 15 September 2011
Succeeded by
Charles John Brown
Preceded by
Diego Causero
Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic
15 September 2011 – present