Pope removes 2 scandal struck cardinals from advisory council

Clay Curtis
December 15, 2018

Francis also bid farewell to Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, who hasn't been implicated in the scandal but at age 79 recently retired as archbishop of Kinshasa.

Pope Francis has removed two prominent clerics from the Council of Cardinal advisers he established five years ago.

According to the Vatican, the Cardinals were removed from the Pope's inner circle and will no longer sit on the Council of Cardinals, set up by the pope as an worldwide advice body.

Errazuriz is being investigated by Chilean prosecutors on allegations that he did not act on reports of clergy abuse while he was archbishop of Santiago.

The pope announced the decision to them in a letter.

Cardinal Pell has been in Australia since July a year ago.

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A significant part of the latest meeting of the C6 - which was, in fact, reduced to five because of absence of Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin, who was representing the Holy See at Marrakesh for the signing of the World Pact on Migration - was also devoted to these issues.

The Vatican said December 12 that Francis in October had written to Chilean Cardinal Javier Errazuriz and Australian Cardinal George Pell thanking them for their five years of service on the so-called Group of Nine, or C-9.

The Pope is not considering replacing the men at this time, reducing the C9 to C6, according to a bulletin released on Wednesday during another meeting of the Council of Cardinals at Vatican City in Rome. He strenuously denies the accusations.

He is facing prosecution in Australia for historical sexual offences and has taken leave from the position.

"For the moment, the pope has not named new cardinals in their place", said Vatican spokesman Greg Burke. "Given the phase of the Council's work, the appointment of new members is not expected at present", Burke wrote on Wednesday in a statement on the convention.

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