Three cardinals were removed from the inner circle of Pope Francis, the Vatican said Wednesday that the Cardinals were removed due to advanced age reasons, two of them have been implicated in the Catholic Church’s sex abuse and cover-up scandal.
the three cardinals identified as George Pell, 77, of Australia; Francisco Javier Errazuriz, 85, of Chile; and Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, 79, of the Democratic Republic of Congo were removed from the council that Francis established in 2013, shortly after ascending to the papacy, the Vatican said in a statement.
77-years-old Pell, the most senior member of the Catholic Church in Australia was charged in his home country with multiple historical sexual assault offenses, he was placed on leave from the Vatican.
Pell kept insisting that he is innocent and maintains that the charges of sexual abuse are false.
Errazuriz has been accused by Chilean abuse survivors of having covered up for predator priests while he was archbishop of Santiago, a charge he has denied.
Errazuriz announced in November that he was leaving the council. At the time, he said simply that his term on the council had ended.
the three cardinals would not be replaced immediately, leaving the council temporarily with six members.