The Pope has decided not to accept the resignation of two auxilliary Bishops who stepped down in the wake of the Murphy report.
Bishops Raymond Field and Eamonn Walsh resigned on Christmas Eve 2009 after coming under intense pressure because they served as bishops in the Dublin archdiocese during the period investigated by the Murphy Commission.
However in a letter to priests of the Dublin Archdiocese , Archbishop Diarmuid Martin confirmed their resignations had not been accepted by Benedict XVI.
He also said the two men will be assigned revised responsibilities.
The Irish Catholic's Gary O'Sullivan said the Pope's decision has come as a surprise.
"It's quite a turnaround," Mr O'Sullivan said. "This was not expected - it was expected that the resignations would be accepted in time and I think for Diarmuid Martin, this is really the Vatican saying 'look, you got this wrong'."