FILE PHOTO: Carabinieri military police patrol Saint Peter’s square, before Pope Francis leads Palm Sunday mass without public participation due to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Vatican, April 5, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican on Tuesday welcomed Cardinal George Pell’s acquittal by Australia’s highest court on charges of sexual abuse, praising him for having “waited for the truth to be ascertained”.
In its first official reaction, a statement said the Vatican had always had confidence in Australian judicial authorities and reaffirmed the Holy See’s “commitment to preventing and pursuing all cases of abuse against minors”.
The court quashed convictions that Pell sexually assaulted two choir boys in the 1990s and allowed the 78-year-old former Vatican economy minister to walk free from jail, ending the most high profile case of alleged historical sex abuse to rock the Roman Catholic Church.
Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Catherine Evans