Australian Cardinal George Pell lost his appeal against sexual abuse convictions on Tuesday. The Victorian Court of Appeal decided two to one to dismiss the former Vatican treasurer's appeal. He was sentenced in March to a six-year jail sentence after being found guilty of abusing two boys while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. Cardinal Pell is the most senior figure in the Catholic church who has been convicted of sexual offences. He was a close adviser to Pope Francis. The main argument for his appeal was that the charges were "unreasonable". The 78-year-old Cardinal will be eligible for parole in about three years under the terms of his sentencing. "I am relieved by the decision of the court of appeal. It is four years since I reported to the police. The criminal process has been stressful. The journey has taken me to places, that, in my darkest moments, I feared I would not return from," one of the two victims said in a statement read by his lawyer, Vivian Waller. The Vatican said in a statement that it "acknowledges" the court's decision to dismiss the appeal, but that Pell "has always maintained his innocence throughout the judicial process and that it is his right to appeal to the High Court." Want more news?
British Prime minister Boris Johnson says the UK cannot accept the current withdrawal agreement with the EU while speaking during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. The British PM visits Berlin to kick off a marathon of tense talks with key European and international leaders as the threat of a chaotic no-deal Brexit looms.
The European Union has restated its "single united position" over Brexit as Boris Johnson prepares for talks with the leaders of its most influential nations. The Prime Minister is set to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday in his first overseas trip since entering Number 10. European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said: "The EU27 have had from the outset - and continue to have now - one single united position on Brexit matters."
The Prime Minister has said he will enter talks with EU leaders "with a lot of oomph" as differences between the UK and EU's position over the Withdrawal Agreement remain. Boris Johnson is due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday before meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday.
Pope Francis has removed two cardinals from his inner circle of advisers over the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church - including his economy minister, one of the most powerful posts in the Vatican. George Pell faces trial over historical child sexual offenses in his native Australia. He appears to still be a minister, even as he's removed as adviser. The Vatican has now confirmed that Pell is taking indefinite leave to defend himself from prosecution. He denies the charges. The other cardinal to depart the pope's circle is linked to Chile's abuse scandal. Francisco Javier Errazuriz is accused by survivors of discrediting victims and not investigating their cases, which he also denies. Chile's sex abuse scandal was on such a scale that all 34 bishops in the country offered to resign. The pope has accepted seven of those resignations so far. He has no plans yet to appoint new advisors.
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