ROME (AP) — Cardinal George Pell, who was convicted and then acquitted of sex abuse charges in his native Australia, is spending his newfound freedom in Rome. He’s receiving visitors in his Vatican flat and keeping up religiously with news on the financial scandal convulsing the Holy See that he suspected years ago. Pell spoke to The Associated Press ahead of the U.S. release of the second volume of his jailhouse memoir, “Prison Journal, Volume 2,” chronicling the middle four months of his 404 days in solitary confinement. Pell strongly denied the charges and his supporters believe he was scapegoated for the Australian Catholic Church’s botched response to clergy sexual abuse. Yet victims and critics say Pell epitomizes everything wrong with how the church has dealt with the problem.
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