Vatican finance minister denies Australian bribe allegation

AP News
Posted: May 20, 2015 8:28 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Pope Francis' finance minister has denied an allegation that he offered a bribe to a victim of clergy abuse to protect a pedophile priest.

The allegation against Cardinal George Pell was made under oath on Wednesday at a government-commissioned inquiry into child sex abuse in Australia.

The allegation has dogged the Australian cardinal for years. Inquiry chairman Peter McClellan said he expected his inquiry will make findings about cover-up allegations surrounding Pell. Pell has denied any wrongdoing.

David Ridsdale testified that he told Pell in 1993 about the abuse he had suffered as a child at the hands of his pedophile priest uncle. Ridsdale told the inquiry Pell offered a bribe to keep him quiet.

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Pell later denied the allegation in a statement from the Vatican.