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Apr 8, 2020

After almost five years of hearings and trials and appeals, Cardinal George Pell’s conviction of child sexual abuse was overturned April 6 with a unanimous decision from Australia’s highest court. Cardinal Pell has now left prison and will stay at a Carmelite monastery.

Now that a final judicial decision has been made in the Australian legal system, the Vatican will need to revisit the canonical investigation it had previously opened into historical complaints against Cardinal Pell, which had been paused until the appeals were complete. On this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” producer Colleen Dulle and Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell discuss whether that investigation should continue, after Gerry’s sources in Rome revealed that it may not.

Colleen and Gerry also look at a number of financial incentives that came out of the Vatican this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Pope Francis has earmarked $750,000 to support the work of church organizations in remote parts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and Amazonia where the church is a vital provider of social services. With approval from the pope, papal almoner Cardinal Konrad Krajewski has also made an unprecedented request of the Roman curia to donate money for coronavirus relief.

“The Pope is saying, you know, we all have to put our hands in our pockets and bring out the wallets and put them on the table,” Gerry said. “These people are dying. These people are suffering. These people have got no help.”

The hosts also talk briefly about Pope Francis’ similar Palm Sunday message, imploring young people to give their lives in service to others.

Links from the show:

Australia’s high court overturns guilty verdict against Cardinal George Pell on final appeal

Vatican responds with measure to Cardinal Pell’s acquittal and release from prison

Pope Francis establishes emergency fund to combat Covid-19 in mission countries

Papal almoner issues extraordinary appeal to Vatican churchmen for coronavirus offering

A Palm Sunday message from Pope Francis: Do not be afraid; you are not alone