Vatican to await George Pell appeal before taking any action

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Close associate of Pope Francis faces jail sentence for child sexual abuse crimes

The Catholic church’s already shaky credibility on sexual abuse was dealt another hammer blow on Tuesday, with its third most powerful figure and a close associate of Pope Francis facing a jail sentence for crimes committed against two choirboys in the 1990s.

The news that Cardinal George Pell – who until the weekend was in charge of the Holy See’s finances and of rooting out corruption at the heart of the church – had been found guilty on five charges of sexual abuse was painful and shocking, said the Vatican.

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