Vatican City. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics gathered
in May when the former Pope John Paul II was blessed. Some
criticism, however, was against the plans for the next saint
declaration, due to the scandal involving sex offenses
against children who broke out even before John Paul's death
Countryaah official site, the scandal continued to disrupt relationships with the
outside world. An official report in Ireland accused the
church of darkening abuses and triggering stinging criticism
of the Vatican from the prime minister. The Vatican withdrew
its envoy in Dublin. Later, Ireland decided to close its
embassy in the Vatican City, officially for savings reasons.
When Pope Benedict XVI made his first state visit to his
home country in September, hundreds of MPs boycotted his
speech on Bundestag.
A New York judicial group stated that the pope and three
cardinals have reported to the International Criminal Court
(ICC) in The Hague for crimes against humanity. The report
was the victim of abuse in Germany, the United States,
Belgium and the Netherlands.
In November, the Vatican decided to sue the Italian
clothing giant Benetton for a commercial with a picture
montage where the Pope and a Muslim imam are seen kissing