Published: Sat, December 15, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Pope removes two cardinals from inner circle over paedophile scandals

Pope removes two cardinals from inner circle over paedophile scandals

Three members of Pope Francis' Council of Cardinals have officially ended their service as papal advisers on the reform of the Roman Curia.

It should be noted that Francis also dismissed 79-year-old cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya and excluded from the Council's 85-year-old Francis Errazuris, which in Chile was accused of covering cases of pedophilia.

A former Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, Cardinal Pell retains his role as Treasurer to the Vatican, its third-highest position, although he has been on a leave of absence for 18 months.

A Vatican spokesman said Francis had written to the prelates "thanking them for the work they have done over these past five years". Both have been the subject of allegations related to sexual abuse - accusations they deny. In June, Pell was charged with historical sexual assault offences by Australian police in the state of Victoria.

The Vatican was said to have identified the Cardinals as: Australia's George Pell and Chile's Francisco Javier Errazuriz, were removed from the Pope's inner circle and will no longer sit on the Council of Cardinals, set up by the pope as an global advisory body. He has health problems which prevent him undertaking long-haul flying and he has not been attending C9 meetings.

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The Vatican released a statement addressing the decision to omit these three figures from the C9.

Pell past year took an indefinite leave of absence from his job as the Vatican's economy minister to defend himself from prosecution for historical child sexual offences.

"The Holy See has the greatest respect for the Australian judicial authorities", said Burke. Both men deny the allegations.

No new members of the Council of Cardinals were set to be appointed at this time, Burke told reporters.

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