Spotlight: Top Vatican Cardinal to Testify About Sex Abuse

Spotlight: Top Vatican Cardinal to Testify About Sex Abuse

By NICOLE WINFIELD, ASSOCIATED PRESS, VATICAN CITY — Feb 27, 2016,

One of the highest-ranking Vatican officials is being compelled to testify in public starting Sunday about clerical sex abuse, an unusual demonstration of holding even the most senior Catholic bishops accountable.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' top financial adviser, will testify in a Rome hotel conference room for three nights running, answering questions via video link from Australia's Royal Commission with his accusers on hand to confront him.

The arrangements, including the 10 p.m.-2 a.m. testimony window to suit Australian time zones, were made after the 74-year-old Pell asked to be excused from traveling home to testify because of previously undisclosed heart conditions that made flying too risky.

The arrangement has had the unintended consequence of magnifying the event, which might otherwise have remained confined to  . . . 

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