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Pope to start seventh year as Catholic leader

IANS  |  Vatican City 

looks set to start his seventh year as of the Roman on Wednesday, the same day a high-ranking Australian will be sentenced for paedophilia.

was elected as leader on March 13, 2013. According to his calendar, he will spend Wednesday performing an annual spiritual retreat in Ariccia, near

The same day, will be sentenced in Melbourne, Australia, for sexually abusing two boys in 1996, news reported.

Pell, 77, was once the third-most powerful figure at the Vatican and now is the highest-ranking Catholic to be convicted of paedophilia. He was found guilty by a court in of five charges of sexual abuse of minors including penetration.

The offences were committed soon after he was installed as the of and around the same time he established the Response in 1996, which offered counselling and economic support service to victims of abuse.

He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each charge and has lodged an appeal against his conviction. It is one of a number of child sexual abuse and cover-up scandals the and is currently facing.

The Pope called an unprecedented four-day summit in the Vatican in February on the crisis.

French Philippe Barbarin, 68, the of Lyon, was given a six month suspended prison sentence last week for covering up sexual abuse committed by a under his supervision.

The Pope's to France, Luigi Ventura, 74, is being investigated for allegedly committing sexual assault against a

Argentine Gustavo Zanchetta, 54, is under investigation over allegations of sexual misconduct with trainee priests.

Chilean Cardinals and are also being investigated for allegedly covering up paedophile priests.

The coming year will also see a new constitution reforming the Curia, the Church's administrative unit, and system.

The Pope will continue his pontificate with a number of international visits, including upcoming trips to Morocco, and He is also scheduled to travel to Madagascar, and



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First Published: Tue, March 12 2019. 20:10 IST