Cardinal Pell Answers Aussie Police Inquiry

Australian Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, is pictured in a 2014 photo in Sydney. Australian police questioned Cardinal Pell in Rome regarding accusations of alleged sexual abuse. (CNS photo/Jane Dempster, EPA)Australian Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, is pictured in a 2014 photo in Sydney. (CNS photo/Jane Dempster, EPA)

Australian police questioned Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, in Rome regarding accusations of sexual abuse. Cardinal Pell was “voluntarily interviewed” by Victoria police in late October, said a statement on Oct. 26 from the cardinal’s office. “The cardinal repeats his previous rejection of all and every allegation of sexual abuse and will continue to cooperate with Victoria police until the investigation is finalized,” the statement said. Allegations surfaced in July in a report by Australia’s ABC News featuring several people who accused Cardinal Pell of sexual assault; at least one of the accusations had been found to be unsubstantiated by an Australian court in 2002. Cardinal Pell dismissed the accusations as “nothing more than a scandalous smear campaign,” and a statement issued by his office said that “claims that he has sexually abused anyone, in any place, at any time in his life are totally untrue and completely wrong.”

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Andrew Collins
1 year 11 months ago
You are incorrect when you say that at least one of the accusations was found to be unsubstantiated by an Australian court in 2002. The Church set up its own enquiry, led by a former judge. It is known as the Southwell Report. It concluded that both Pell and the victim were both credible, and that the complaint was not able to be substantiated at that time. Pell was not exonerated. Police indicated that they had opened a file only last year, along with the other accusations raised on the Abc report and more that were not aired. I know some of the accusers and their stories have never changed and they are honest men. Coming forward to complain about such a powerful man is not easy, and they have no expectation that Pell will ever see the inside of a court. He has stated that he is too ill to return to Australia, and currently is believed to have diplomatic immunity. The Vatican has no extradition treaties with Australian states and sadly, there is not a good history of cardinals facing justice, rather seeing out their days in the Vatican. I do believe that justice should be allowed to run its course, but that would require the Pope and Pell to stand up and allow the alleged victims their day in court.

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