Pope Francis will await judgment on Cardinal Pell over sex abuse claims

Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

ROME (RNS) Pope Francis says he will not address sexual abuse allegations against the Vatican’s finance minister, Cardinal George Pell, until Australian judicial authorities complete their investigation.

In a press conference on the papal flight returning from World Youth Day in Poland late Sunday, the pontiff said the allegations against Pell “are in the hands of the justice system” and the cardinal should not be judged “before the justice system judges.”

“If I were to make a judgment in favor or against Cardinal Pell that would not be good because I would be making a judgment first,” said the pope.

Pell, an Australian cardinal who as the Holy See’s finance chief is third in the Vatican hierarchy after Pope Francis and Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. He is the most senior figure in the Catholic Church to be accused of sexually abusing minors.

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