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Pope’s No. 2 says Francis ‘serene’ despite cover-up claims

August 30, 2018
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Pope Francis leaves after his weekly general audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. Pope Francis lamented Wednesday how Irish church authorities failed to respond to the crimes of sexual abuse, speaking during his first public appearance at the Vatican after bombshell accusations that he himself covered up for an American cardinal's misdeeds. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican’s secretary of state says Pope Francis is “serene” despite the “bitterness and concern” in the Vatican over accusations that he covered up for an American ex-cardinal accused of sexual misconduct.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin says accusations from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano created “great pain” within the Vatican.

But he said: “Pope Francis is a grace, including with these things that obviously create such bitterness and concern, but he has the ability to maintain a serene approach.”

In an interview Thursday with Vatican Insider, a website close to Francis, Parolin declined to comment on the contents of Vigano’s claims, repeating Francis’ invitation to read it and judge.

Given that Vigano worked for him as a diplomat, Parolin said: “I hope that we all work in search of truth and justice.”

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