Australian Cardinal Pell returns to Rome after firing of rival Becciu

Australian Cardinal Pell returns to Rome after firing of rival Becciu”

The Vatican didn't immediately respond when asked why Francis wasn't wearing one to receive Pell.

"It is a pleasure to see you again", Francis told Pell, 79.

Cardinal Pell returned to Rome at the end of September after a almost three-year absence during which he faced allegations of historic child sex offences in Australia.

However, the meeting lasted the allotted 30 minutes, including the photo session.

Pope Francis was elected with a mandate to clean up the Vatican's murky finances, and he's made strides in doing so. However, Pope Francis has shown a reluctance in allowing visitors to kiss his ring; after one incident he expressed a concern for the spread of germs.

A video clip of the meeting reveals the pope saying "more than a year" to the cardinal, a reference to the length of time he spent incarcerated.

The Vatican's secretariat of state has sunk more than 350 million euros (nearly $570 million) into the London venture, much of the money donations from the faithful.

More news: World Bank releases $ 12 billion to deliver vaccines to poor countries

But while a reunion between the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the man he once appointed as his trusted anti-corruption tsar had been expected, it was not clear that Cardinal Pell is to be entrusted with a new Vatican role. Becciu and Pell had repeatedly clashed over financial reforms while the Australian oversaw Vatican finances.

At a press briefing with journalists September 25, the day after his forced resignation, Cardinal Becciu said he and Cardinal Pell had "professional differences because I saw things one way, and he saw them another way". Since the court's ruling, Cardinal Pell has been living quietly in Sydney. Cardinal Pell said he hoped the "cleaning of the stables" would continue. The day after he was sacked, Becciu called an extraordinary news conference to defend himself.

Becciu has denied claims in the Italian media that he transferred money to Australia in an attempt to influence Pell's trial. Becciu categorically denies this.

"I don't have any evidence of that", he said.

Pope Francis has met with Cardinal George Pell, warmly welcoming him for a private audience in the Apostolic Palace after the cardinal's sex abuse conviction and acquittal in Australia.

This report has been updated to include the pope's remarks during the audience and the comment to the National Catholic Register.

"The great success of this papacy was bringing the outsider voice, the outsider eye, these great exhortations for the church to get beyond itself, to go out onto the be the church of the field hospital tending to people's wounds", McElwee says.

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