The Pope was "very much" misrepresented when he gave a speech before Christmas widely interpreted as an attack on homosexuality, the leader of Catholics in England and Wales said today.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor acknowledged that the Pope's remarks made in an end-of-year address to the Curia, the Vatican's central administration, had been "quite difficult to interpret".
But he said the Pope's remarks had not been intended to condemn anyone.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today programme, the Cardinal said the Pope had talked about young people, the importance of ecology and creation and responsibility for creation.
He said the Pope's remarks about "human ecology" were aimed at emphasising the primacy of the family at the heart of society.
"He wasn't condemning anyone or any person," he said.