In Brief

Two Cardinals demoted by Pope amid sex abuse scandals

George Pell and Francisco Ossa removed from Pope Francis’s inner circle

Two senior Cardinals embroiled in sex abuse scandals have been demoted from their positions on the Catholic Church’s Council of Cardinals, Pope Francis’s inner circle of advisors.

Pope Francis has removed Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, 77, who is currently facing prosecution on historic sexual abuse charges in Australia.

Chile’s Francisco Errázuriz Ossa, 85, who “has been accused of concealing abuse while archbishop of Santiago”, has also been removed from the council, The Guardian reports.

Both Cardinals deny the claims.

A third Cardinal removed from the group, the newly retired archbishop, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, has “not been implicated in any scandals”, the BBC says.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Vatican said that Pope Francis had written to all three of the Cardinals removed from the council, “thanking them for the work they have done over these past five years”.

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