The Vatican has condemned all attempts to connect Pope Benedict XVI with a sexual abuse scandal that has erupted in Germany, his country of birth.
A Vatican representative referred to "aggressive" attempts to accuse the pontiff of turning a blind eye to the abuse, which emerged on Friday. In the 1980s, when Pope Benedict was the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, he is said to have approved housing for a priest who had molested a young boy in another archdiocese.
Although the priest reputedly underwent therapy in Munich, he quickly returned to work and abused more children. Six years later, he was given a suspended prison sentence for child sex offences.
A Vatican representative disputed the suggestion that the Pope knew all about the case and that he wanted to suppress it.