George Pell returns to Rome after acquittal on child abuse charges

The Guardian

September 30, 2020

By Melissa Davey and Angela Giuffrida

Cardinal returned to Vatican on Wednesday despite Australia’s Covid travel ban on ‘official Vatican government business’

Cardinal George Pell returned to Rome from Australia on Wednesday for the first time since being jailed – and then acquitted – on child sexual abuse charges.

The 79-year-old, wearing a face mask, briefly lifted his hand towards a crowd of waiting journalists at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, but said nothing before climbing into a waiting car.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said there was “currently no meeting planned” between the cleric and Pope Francis, who is currently dealing with a financial scandal at the Vatican.

But experts on the workings of the Vatican said a reunion between the head of the Roman Catholic church and the man he once appointed as his trusted anti-corruption tsar was “a given”.

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