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Vatican denies Dirty War allegations

15 March 2013 Last updated at 14:18 GMT

The Vatican has denied that Pope Francis failed to speak out against human rights abuses during military rule in his native Argentina.

"There has never been a credible, concrete accusation against him," said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi, adding he had never been charged.

Earlier, Pope Francis told an audience of cardinals that there was no place for pessimism in the Catholic Church.

The Pope, who was elected on Wednesday, urged the leaders of the Church to find new ways of spreading the faith.

From Rome, Alan Johnston reports.