The Vatican has denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of paedophile priests in his German homeland. It also insisted that church confidentiality doesn't prevent bishops from reporting abuse to police.

The Vatican's campaign to defend the Pope's reputation and resolve in combating clergy abuse of minors followed acknowledgment by the Munich archdiocese that it had transferred a suspected paedophile priest to community work while Benedict was archbishop there. Benedict is also under fire for a 2001 church directive he wrote while a Vatican cardinal, instructing bishops to keep abuse cases confidential.