He added: “I have been supported in a number of ways by many good Christian people and many people of no religion at all who realise I have said sorry to anyone I have offended.
“If Christianity is about anything at all, it’s about forgiveness. That’s what I have to do as a cardinal priest – just forgive the wrongdoer and help them go back on to the right path again.
“It has been quite a difficult time for me, quite a humbling experience for me. It’s very difficult for them.
“That is why I have apologised for being a teacher who has not been able to live up to the teaching of the Church.
“We know what’s against God’s law. Consequently, we should try to live by God’s law. I’ve apologised for my failures in that respect.”