At the end of last year, things were looking hopeful. Ireland's Catholic leadership had signalled it would not object to his return, and the move was backed in a series of opinion polls. However, Vatican authorities are now understood to be blocking his return for fear of the amount of publicity the move might generate.
Dr Casey quit his Galway diocese after confirmation of an affair with Annie Murphy, an American divorcee, in the 1970s. For the past five years he has since been involved in a mission in Ecuador.Reuse content