VATICAN CITY, May 30 (UPI) -- Media coverage of the Vatican leaks scandal has been exaggerated and misleading, Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday during his general audience.
The pope told those gathered in St. Peter's Square the scandal has not shaken his faith in the church or his trust in most of his household, Catholic News Service reported. His butler was arrested last week and charged with passing documents to an Italian reporter.
"It has never weakened my firm certainty that, despite human weakness, difficulties and trials, the church is guided by the Holy Spirit and will never be without the Lord's help to support it in its journey," he said.
But Benedict scolded the news media. He said coverage has been "completely gratuitous, and has gone far beyond the facts, offering an image of the Holy See that does not correspond to reality."
The pope also prayed for victims of the two earthquakes that killed more than 20 people in the Bologna region of Italy May 20 and Tuesday.
"With my prayers and affection, I am close to the injured and those who are suffering difficulties, and I express my deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives," he said.
The pope speaks from a balcony above St. Peter's Square on Wednesdays when he is at the Vatican. He has been delivering a series of talks on prayer in the Epistles of St. Paul, which he continued this week.
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