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Cardinal Pell: I won’t resign unless the Pope asks me to

Cardinal George Pell leaves the Quirinale hotel in Rome after meeting members of the Australian group of clerical abuse victims (PA)

Cardinal George Pell has said he won’t resign from his role in charge of reforming Vatican finances.

“No, I wouldn’t resign,” he said, when asked by journalist Andrew Bolt in a live interview with Sky News Australia. “That would be taken as an admission of guilt.”

“I mean, if the Holy Father asked me too, I’d point this out, but I’d do whatever he wanted,” he added.

Cardinal Pell, the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, was speaking after a week of appearances before Australia’s royal commission on child abuse.

The cardinal admitted to the commission that he “should have done more” about rumours of clerical abuse.

But he repeatedly denied that he had failed to act on definite knowledge of abuse. He said he had been kept in the dark by others.

Cardinal Pell also said that his Vatican team had closed around 3,000 accounts at the Vatican Bank, some of them possibly being used by the mafia.