VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI says the scandal over leaked documents now rocking the Vatican has "saddened me in my heart" and that he wants to publicly express his trust in his closest advisers.
The pope made his first direct comments on the scandal during his weekly general audience Wednesday, saying "rumours in some media have been exaggerated in a gratuitous way" offering a false image of the Holy See.
He said he wants to "renew my trust and my encouragement to my closest" aides working in a "spirit of sacrifice" on a daily basis.
The Vatileaks scandal has tormented the Vatican for months and represents one of the greatest breaches of trust and security for the Holy See in recent memory. The pope's butler has been arrested after documents were found in his Vatican City apartment. Few think the butler acted alone and the investigation is continuing.