5 Apr 2010

Catholic cardinal rejects sex abuse 'gossip'

6:34 am on 5 April 2010

A leading cardinal has delivered an unusual message of support to Pope Benedict during Easter Mass.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, said the Roman Catholic faithful will not be swayed by "petty gossip" about about sexual abuse of children by priests.

However, in his own Easter address, the Pope did not did not mention the scandal, the BBC reports. He said humanity was suffering from a "profound crisis" and needed "spiritual and moral conversion".

Allegations of abuse, many dating back decades, have emerged in Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, and the United States, along with accusations the Church mishandled or covered up the abuse.