December 29, 2011. (Romereports.com) Last September the Vatican issued a letter to Ireland's government, responding to a series of sex abuse allegations involving the Catholic Church.
It all started in July when the Cloyne report showed that the bishops had not applied its own rules and had not reported some 40 different cases between 1996 and 2009.
The prime minister delivered a hard speech on the topic to the Irish parliament. He quoted a 1997 letter sent to the bishops of Ireland by the then nuncio, expressing his doubts of the Congregation for the Clergy on the proposal to force bishops to report cases sexual abuse.
In a lengthy response, the Vatican said the nuncio was cautiously seeking to avoid that good intentions lead to the challenge of canon processes. They also noted that at the time, the Irish Parliament had decided that it was not mandatory to report cases of abuse.The Irish government did not withdraw its suspicions, but said it hoped to reopen dialogue with the Vatican.
Later that month the pope made a visit to his home country of Germany. He gave 17 speeches, including one to the nation's parliament, where he called on lawmakers to do what's right and not what's popular.
September 22, 2011
“For most of the matters that need to be regulated by law, the support of the majority can be sufficient criterion. Yet it's evident that for the fundamental issues of law, in which the dignity of man and of humanity is at stake, the majority principle is not enough.”
During the trip, he also visited the former Augustinian Monastery where Martin Luther studied before leading the Protestant Reformation. As a sign of Christian unity, he also met with Lutherans, urging them to fight against secularization.
That month, the Vatican also made an offer to welcome Lefebvrians back into the Catholic Church. The invitation stated that if the traditionalist group accepts fundamental points of doctrine, it will be welcomed back. In December, their superior Bishop Bernard Felay, publicly rejected the Vatican offer.