The Cardinal has been charged

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He’s been charged:

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Cardinal George Pell charged with multiple sexual offences

Third-ranking official in the Vatican charged by Victoria police in move that will send shockwaves around the Catholic church

The Guardian

28 June 2017

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the third-ranking official in the Vatican, has been charged with multiple sexual offences by police.

The charges were served on Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne on Thursday and they have been lodged also at Melbourne magistrates court. He will appear at the court on 18 July.

“Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges … and there are multiple complainants,” Victoria police’s deputy commissioner Shane Patton said. The charges were “historical sexual assault offences”.

Pell is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged in the Catholic church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal.

Pell has consistently denied all allegations against him. After the possibility of his being charged was raised publicly, Pell told reporters: “I’d just like to restate my innocence.”

“I stand by everything I’ve said at the royal commission [on child sexual abuse] and in other places. We have to respect due process, wait until it’s concluded and obviously I’ll continue to cooperate fully.”

Asked if he would be prepared to go to Australia, he said: “I will continue to cooperate fully.”

It is so far unclear just which allegations Cardinal Pell has been charged with.

Detectives from Victoria police’s Sano taskforce, established to investigate allegations that emerged during a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria and the later royal commission, interviewed Pell in Rome in October last year about allegations against him.

Last year, citing ill health, Pell declined to return to Australia to give evidence to the royal commission on child sexual abuse in person last year and instead gave evidence by videolink from Rome.

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, formed in 2013, is due to deliver its final report by 15 December.

In February this year the Australian Senate called on the cardinal to return home “to assist the Victorian police and office of public prosecutions with their investigation into these matters”.

Pell dismissed the parliamentary resolution as “an interference on the part of the Senate in the due process of the Victoria police investigation.”

Pell is a former archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne. Since 2014 Pell has been prefect of the secretariat for the economy, the Vatican’s treasurer.

When Pope Francis was asked about allegations against Pell last year, he told reporters: “It’s true, there is a doubt. We have to wait for justice and not first make a mediatic judgment a judgment of gossip because that won’t help. Once justice has spoken, I will speak.”

Shane Patton, Victoria state police deputy commissioner, announcing charges against George Pell in Melbourne.
Shane Patton, Victoria state police deputy commissioner, announcing charges against George Pell in Melbourne. Photograph: STAFF/Reuters

Patton told the press conference: “During the course of the investigation in relation to Cardinal Pell, there has been a lot of reporting in the media and speculation about the process that has been involved in the investigation and also the charging.

“For clarity, I want to be perfectly clear, the process and procedures that are being followed in the charging of Cardinal Pell have been the same that have been applied in a whole range of historical sex offences whenever we investigate them.

“The fact that he has been charged on summons, we have used advice from the office of public prosecutions and also we have engaged with his legal representatives is common and standard practice. There has been no change in any procedures whatsoever. Advice was received and sought from the office of public prosecutions, however ultimately, the choice to charge Cardinal Pell was one that was made by Victoria Police.

“Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process and so therefore, it is important that the process is allowed to run its natural course.”

Patton said as the matter was now due before the court, police would be making no further comment.

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Cardinal Pell, Clerical sexual predators and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Cardinal has been charged

  1. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    It’s about time! Now George will be able to claim his innocence before the courts – that is if he is “well enough” to make the difficult journey home (in business class). Mike.

  2. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    “It’s in the hands of the justice system, and one cannot judge before the justice system”.
    This is a recent quote from the Holy Father, Pope Francis, approximately one month ago.
    I find this statement remarkable, given that previous Popes have circumvented the Legal System of certain countries, namely the USA.
    Upon his resignation, Cardinal Bernard Law was spirited away to the Vatican from Boston, there to live out his retirement in luxury, enjoying diplomatic immunity and not having to worry about any criminal charges in the USA for his role in the Boston abomination.
    Archbishop Marcinkus, after being implicated in the receipt of approximately $14.5 million dollars in counterfeit bonds (on behalf of the Vatican Bank) in 1971, was also hidden away in the Vatican State to enjoy the exact same protection from criminal prosecution.
    Is Cardinal George Pell’s situation a turning point for the Church? Being granted “leave”, and stating he will return immediately to face the courts is remarkable in itself, given the Cardinal’s recent “difficulty” in travelling. Mike.

  3. Larry Green says:

    This represents clearly, the Catholic Church pathetic definition of “Zero Tolerance!” The self proclaimed exemplar of moral superiority is loosing it’s battle in the struggle for super image.

  4. Rachael O'Reilly says:

    Pell is a notorious bully. For the last 60 years he has used his physical size and intellectual prowess to face down anyone that opposed him. This was borne out by his responses to the sexual abuse of children by priests and religious in Australia.
    Seeing will be believing if he arrives on Australia soil to front court in Melbourne in July. Already I feel that he and his very expensive legal team have scored the first victory- by resetting the date for Pell’s court appearance. As always such people must have things on their own terms
    Cardinal George Pell did himself no favors when he summed up his response to notorious child sex offender priest Gerald Ridsdale, that “It’s a sad story but it wasn’t of much interest to me”.
    Pell is just one member of a Catholic Church responsible for a global tragedy, decades in the making and under successive Popes, propped up by governments and the powerful who were prepared to ignore the truth for too long, and despite the courageous efforts of survivors to speak that truth.

    The charging of one of the church’s most senior members with sexual abuse is a momentous day, but also a solemn one.

  5. Baspuits says:

    We’ve seen this in the diocese of Bathurst, that it’s not how many kids you save, but how many you hide, to move up the church’s ladder!
    I’ve met victims of priest, who later became bishop of the diocese of Bathurst!
    It explain why father Levi Noel and father Charle Picot among others, had free range in abusing young boys, some of them at the tender age of 8 years old!
    Another victim has told me that in Moncton diocese it got so hot for father Camille Leger of Cap Pele, that the bishop of the day, upon hearing this victime’s complaint, committed suicide, by diverting his car into a oncoming transport!
    My guess is father Camille Leger, who was retired in a wheel chair at the diocese, must of said to the bishop “if I sink, your coming with me”!
    All of this will surely come out in the upcoming civil suit in Bathurst and in Moncton………to be continued!
    The truth will be heard!

    Baspuits

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