February 27, 2019
By Philip Pullella
The Vatican is opening its own investigation into accusations against Cardinal George Pell, who was found guilty of sexual abuse of minors in his native Australia, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
The move means that Pell, who maintains his innocence and plans to appeal the verdict, could be dismissed from the priesthood if the Vatican’s doctrinal department also finds him guilty.
The Pell conviction has been particularly embarrassing for the Vatican and Pope Francis, coming just two days after the end of a major meeting of Church leaders on how to better tackle the abuse of children by clergy.
The 77-year-old Pell, a former top Vatican official, will spend his first night behind bars on Wednesday after he was remanded in custody pending sentencing for sexually abusing two choir boys in Australia two decades ago.
“After the guilty verdict in the first instance concerning Cardinal Pell, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) will now handle the case following the procedure and within the time established by canonical norm,” Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.