Two priests were acquitted on Wednesday of charges linked with sex abuse at a school for altar boys, after the Vatican’s first criminal trial for such allegations.
Gabriele Martinelli, a former pupil of the St Pius X pre-seminary and now a priest, was accused of assaulting a younger fellow altar boy.
Martinelli, now in his late 20s, was tried alongside Father Enrico Radice, the former rector of the seminary, who was accused of shielding the alleged abuser from punishment.
The case was the first criminal trial held in the Vatican over allegations of sex abuse or cover-ups within its territory.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the pre-seminary, which educates boys interested in the priesthood, would be relocated from Vatican grounds.
The school occupied a building near the back of St Peter’s Basilica, close to the Santa Marta guesthouse where the pope lives.