LONDON — The Vatican said Saturday it never would have given Jimmy Savile his papal knighthood had it known of allegations the British TV star was a child sex predator, but that it can’t rescind the honour now that he has died.
The Catholic Church of England wrote to the Holy See last week, asking it to consider whether it could posthumously remove the honour awarded to Savile because of the many recent child sex abuse allegations against him. Savile, a much-loved BBC children’s television host, died last year at age 84.
The church said its leader, Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, made the request because the “deep distress” of his alleged victims and in light of public concerns about his name remaining on the papal honours lists.
But the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s spokesman, told The Associated Press it couldn’t rescind the knighthood awarded to Savile…
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