Pope Francis. Photograph:( AFP )
Pope Francis said on Sunday he would not respond to explosive accusations by a former top Vatican official that the pontiff had covered up sexual abuse, saying dismissively that the document containing the allegations "speaks for itself".
"I read that statement this morning. I read it and I will say sincerely that I must say this, to you and all of you who are interested: read the document carefully and judge it for yourselves. I will not say one word on this,'' Pope said.
''I think the statement speaks for itself and you have sufficient journalistic capacity to reach your own conclusions. It is an act of trust when the time will pass and you'll draw the conclusions maybe I will speak but I'd like that you do this job in a professional way," he added.
A former top Vatican official accused Pope Francis of having known of allegations of sex abuse by a prominent US cardinal for five years before accepting his resignation last month and he called on the pontiff to resign.
In an 11-page letter given to conservative Roman Catholic media outlets during the Pope's visit to Ireland, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano said he had told Francis in 2013 that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had faced extensive accusations of sexually abusing lower-ranking seminarians and priests.
(With inputs from Reuters)