The papal knighthood given to Jimmy Savile “should not have been bestowed”, a Vatican spokesman has told the BBC.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales confirmed it has written to the Holy See to ask if the honour can be posthumously removed.
The Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, called for an investigation, recognising the “deep distress” of Savile’s alleged victims.
Savile, who may have abused some 300 people, was granted the award in 1990.
Meanwhile, a statement released by Savile’s nephew, Roger Foster, described the family’s “despair and sadness” over the revelations, adding “our feelings are in turmoil as we await the next turn of events”.
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