Pope Francis prayed at Mass on Tuesday for all those who have been persecuted by an unjust sentence, offering the prayer hours after Australia’s High Court overturned a child sex abuse conviction against Cardinal George Pell, releasing him from prison.

The pope did not mention Pell by name at the April 7 Mass in the chapel of his Vatican residence, the Casa Santa Marta, noting at the beginning the persecution Jesus suffered at the hands of the doctors of the law, who acted against him with aggressive persistence despite his innocence.

“I would like to pray today for all the people who suffer an unjust sentence because of aggressive persistence [against them],” Pope Francis said.

Praise the Lord

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