Australian cardinal says he has 'full backing' of pope

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — One of Pope Francis' top advisers has told reporters he has the pope's backing as he prepared to testify for a second day at an Australian inquiry into child abuse.

Australian Cardinal George Pell met with the pope on Monday hours after he gave evidence via videolink from Rome to the Royal Commission in Sydney.

Pell told reporters late Monday as he arrived at a Rome hotel to resume his testimony: "I've got the full backing of the pope."

The Vatican said the private audience was a long-scheduled appointment related to Pell's duties as Holy See finance minister, and had nothing to do with the abuse hearings.

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