Top Vatican Aide Arrested for  Child Sexual Abuse

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A top aide to Pope Francis was arrested last week for child sexual assault. Cardinal George Pell, 76, has returned to Australia where he will be tried for committing “multiple historical sex crimes.” It is alleged that during the 1970s, Pell groomed the children during pool parties, then committed the acts at the cathedral in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

Pell oversees finances for the Vatican and is the highest-ranking Church official to face such accusations. He has repeatedly stated that he is innocent, and the Pope is standing behind him.

The first sexual abuse charges came in 2002, but a judge ruled there was not enough evidence to corroborate the allegations. Pell has long been criticized by victims because of his handling of child sex abuse cases in the Catholic church. Dozens of children were sexually abused by priests in his home diocese, and other priests testified under oath that Pell knew about the abuse while it was occurring, but did nothing to stop it.

On Saturday, Pope Francis ousted the head of the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases. This was just days after Pell’s arrest. German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller served as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Vatican announced that his contract will not be renewed. Francis named Mueller’s deputy, Monsignor Luis Ladaria Ferrer, a Spanish Jesuit, to run the powerful office instead.

Under Mueller, a backlog accumulated of 2,000 sexual abuse cases.

Why this Matters: the Pope made a “zero tolerance” pledge for abuse. Apparently, he is not living up to his promise. 

Pray for the victims, that they will be able to forgive. Pray also for God to expose everyone, at every level, who participates in child sexual abuse and human trafficking in any form.

Jer. 23:1 – Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.

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