The pope is refusing to comment publicly on individual sex abuse cases rocking the Catholic church because they were not his responsibility, his private secretary said today.
Monsignor Georg Gaenswein said it was not helpful for the pope to comment because it was individual bishops' responsibility to deal with them.
Msgr Gaenswein told German newspaper Bild: "It is overlooked too fast that various bishops and bishops conferences carry responsibility."
He said he doubted criticism of the pope's silence on abuse cases in his native Germany was really helpful.
He said it that "no one has condemned abuse as strongly as the Holy Father and the Catholic church."
Msgr Gaenswein also said he thought the pope was treated unfairly last year when he lifted the ex-communication of Richard Williamson, an ultra-conservative bishop who had denied the Holocaust.