Pope Francis demotes two cardinals over sexual abuse

Pope Francis has demoted two cardinals over sexual abuse allegations, the BBC reports.

The Vatican was said to have identified the Cardinals as: Australia’s George Pell and Chile’s Francisco Javier Errazuriz, were removed from the Pope’s inner circle and will no longer sit on the Council of Cardinals, set up by the pope as an international advisory body.

Both demoted cardinals were absent from the last meeting of the group in September.

A spokesperson said the Pope wrote to them both in October to thank them.

Cardinal George Pell, who remains the Vatican treasurer, faces trial on sexual abuse charges in Australia. He strenuously denies the accusations.

Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, from Chile, has also been accused of covering up alleged child abuse while serving as Archbishop of Santiago.

He, however, denied the accusations.