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 in 2005.
According to 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 each other.