Pope Francis has removed two prominent cardinals from his inner circle months after they were tainted by paedophile scandals and ahead of a church-wide meeting on the “protection of minors” in 2019. Australian cardinal George Pell and Chilean cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz were removed from the so-called C9 Council of Cardinals, an international advice body set up by Francis himself, the Vatican said on Wednesday. The last time the C9 met, in September, Errazuriz, who is accused of ignoring reports of abuse in Chile, and Pell, who faces charges in Australia related to historical child sexual offences, were both absent, and the council said it is considering restructuring. Despite being removed from the C9, Pell, 77, remains in charge of Vatican finances, the third most powerful position in the Roman Catholic Church. The church has been hit by a series of child-abuse scandals in recent years, with widespread allegations of cover-ups, including against the pope himself. The pope ...

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