VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican spokesman says Pope Francis has appreciated Cardinal George Pell’s honesty and commitment during his three years working to reform the Vatican’s finances.
In a statement read to reporters Thursday, spokesman Greg Burke recalled that Pell has “openly and repeatedly condemned as immoral and intolerable” acts of sexual abuse against minors.
He noted that Pell has cooperated with Australia’s Royal Commission investigation into sex abuse and that as a bishop in Australia, worked to protect children and compensate victims.
The statement said the Holy See had learned “with regret” of the charges and that Francis had granted Pell a leave of absence to defend himself.
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