The head of the Redemptorist fathers said he regrets that Fr. Tony Flannery broke his silence to reveal that the Vatican threatened him with removal from his congregation.
The president of the Irish bishops' conference urged Catholics to make their views on abortion clear to politicians as the government considers legalizing abortion in limited circumstances.
In his Christmas message, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, reiterated the church's opposition to such legislation.
The Irish government has announced plans to legalize abortion in limited circumstances, contradicting the prime minister's promise to not introduce abortion in the predominantly Catholic country.
The newly appointed bishop of Cloyne vowed he would make healing the lives of victims of abuse in the diocese a priority.
The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Fr. William Crean, 60, to lead the diocese.