“Papal abuse commission steers clear of Pell-Saunders dispute” & related articles

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Catholic World News – June 04, 2015

After a member of the special papal commission on sexual abuse unleashed a public attack on Cardinal George Pell, the full commission released a statement that endorsed neither the attack nor the embattled cardinal.

“The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as mandated by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has no jurisdiction to comment on individual cases or inquiries,” the commission said in a statement released June 2. The statement went on to observe that questions about the response of Church officials in Australia to sex-abuse complaints are being investigated by a royal commission there.

Cardinal Pell, who was Archbishop of Melbourne before taking his current post as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, has been asked to appear before the royal commission again (having already testified twice) to answer questions about his handling of abuse cases. Peter Saunders, a member of the papal commission, lashed out at the cardinal in an Australian television interview, saying the Cardinal Pell has an “almost sociopathic” attitude toward abuse victims.

While other Australian prelates have come to the defense of Cardinal Pell, the abuse commission—headed by Cardinal Sean O’Malley—maintained a studied neutrality. Rather than rebuking Saunders for his harsh attack on the cardinal’s integrity, the commission’s statement backed the call for Cardinal Pell to answer the latest charges. Without naming the cardinal, the commission’s statement said that it is “essential that those in positions of authority in the Church respond promptly, transparently and with the clear intent of enabling justice to be achieved.”


Vatican’s No. 3 fights allegations in Australian abuse probe

Washington Post

June 4 at 9:16 AM

SYDNEY — Cardinal George Pell has been dogged for years by allegations that he mishandled the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis in his native Australia, and now the scrutiny is more intense than ever. Australia’s latest inquiry is as high-level as it gets, and since Pell is now the Vatican’s third-most-powerful official, the same can nearly be said for him.Pell, whom Pope Francis placed in charge of the Vatican’s finances last year, is accused of creating a victims’ compensation program mainly to protect the church’s assets and of using aggressive tactics to discourage victims’ lawsuits, all while he was a bishop in Australia.

Pell is also facing accusations from earlier in his career when he was a priest and auxiliary bishop and not in the ultimate position of authority: that he ignored warnings about an abusive teacher, bribed the victim of a pedophile priest to stay silent and was part of a committee that moved that priest from parish to parish.

Pell has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and defended his record on confronting the abuse scandal as archbishop of Melbourne, and later of Sydney. But the investigation by Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is raising eyebrows in the Vatican, where the pope promised to hold bishops accountable for failing to protect children and care for victims.

The Vatican’s position was further complicated this week when Peter Saunders, a member of Pope Francis’ sexual abuse advisory commission, spoke out against Pell. The issue has now become so fraught that three Vatican offices have issued statements trying to limit the damage by distancing themselves from Saunders’ comments and, to some degree, what is happening Down Under.

Pell testified twice last year before the long-running Royal Commission — the highest form of investigation in Australia — and with pressure mounting, he offered to appear again. On Monday, the commission took him up on that, asking him to testify at a later date.

The commission is looking at how the Catholic Church and other institutions dealt with decades of abuse across Australia. Given the scale of abuse in Catholic institutions, much of the attention has focused on how the church — and Pell — responded.


 Vatican official and sex abuse survivor ‘will not be silenced’ by George Pell legal threat

Peter Saunders stands by his call for Cardinal George Pell to be removed as head of the Vatican’s finances over allegations he protected paedophile priests

The Guardian

02 June 2015


george pell

Cardinal George Pell has indicated he is prepared to give evidence at an Australian inquiry into how institutions handled allegations of child sex abuse. Photograph: Gregorio Borgia/AP

Child sexual abuse survivor Peter Saunders says he will not be silenced by the church despite the threat of legal action by Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most powerful Catholic.

During a TV interview on Sunday night, Saunders – who was appointed by Pope Francis to lead the Vatican’s commission for the protection of children – accused Pell of lacking compassion for those abused within the church.

During the interview, Saunders called on the pope to remove Pell from his position as head of the Vatican’s finances, saying his alleged involvement in covering up abuse and protecting paedophile priests made his position “untenable”.

The comments prompted a swift reaction from Pell, whose spokesperson issued a statement on Sunday night saying; “In the circumstances, the cardinal is left no alternative but to consult with his legal advisers.”

The pope’s spokesman Federico Lombardi said Saunders was expressing his “personal views” and not those of the commission. Pell’s response to allegations against him “must be considered reliable and worthy of attention and respect”.

But on Tuesday Saunders told Guardian Australia: “Our church has a history of spending millions on defending paedophiles.

“George Pell, obviously a wealthy man, will think nothing of using his wealth to silence me but I have said nothing that others haven’t said and it is only my opinion.

“It is not slanderous.”

Saunders established the National Association for People Abused in Childhood in Britain 16 years ago and was hand-picked by the pontiff to work with the Vatican. As a child Saunders was abused by two Jesuit priests and the head of a Catholic primary school.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, defended Pell on Tuesday morning, telling ABC radio in Australia that Saunders’s descriptions of Pell “doesn’t fit the man”.

“I would describe George Pell as a man who courageously, when he became archbishop, introduced the first system for dealing with child sex abuse, trying to bring relief to victims, trying to bring care and also some financial compensation,” Hart said.

“And he was a world leader in this regard.

“He’s made some mistakes and he has admitted them and apologised for them. But very clearly he comes across as someone who is totally dedicated to putting right this awful, awful scourge.”

On Monday, the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, which since 2013 has been investigating how Australian institutions handled allegations of abuse, said Pell had been invited to personally appear before the commission when it returns to Ballarat in Victoria later this year.

During the first round of hearings in Ballarat in May, the commission heard damning evidence from a victim who alleged Pell bribed him to keep quiet about being abused by a senior Catholic priest.

“In the ordinary course, witnesses are summonsed to appear at a hearing,” the commission spokeswoman said.

“However a person resident overseas cannot be summonsed. The chair has received a letter from Cardinal Pell indicating that he is prepared to come to Australia to give evidence. The royal commission will ask him to give evidence in the second of the Ballarat hearings.”

Pell has previously appeared twice before the commission, however, via video-link from Rome.

9 Responses to “Papal abuse commission steers clear of Pell-Saunders dispute” & related articles

  1. jg says:

    Pell is a wealthy man and he will be seeking legal advice in response to Saunders’ attacks…??? How does a man of this Church become wealthy? Vows of poverty and chastity?…
    Sorry! I just answered my own question! The vows, the staging are just part of the public image, the business plan.
    In reality, it is nothing but fiction for the masses…
    The Church is just another banking system within a heavenly taxing scheme! That makes Pell the “Saint of Bling” at the Vatican. He was recalled to look after replenishing the coffers for “Mother”…
    He’ll probably get his own statue in a few years, above a wishing well filled with coins…
    Everything is for sale!

    • BC says:

      How does a man of this Church become wealthy? – you ask.

      Pell never made a vow of poverty because Pell is not a member of a religious order. So he became wealthy just as all other RC bishops do: by collecting 10% of donations collected by their own subordinate clergy who have vowed to obey them; and by remitting only 10% of what they’ve collected to their Holy See handlers. 10% might sound high to some, but consider that the standard in the public and private sector for kickbacks and bribes is 15%…
      Of course, business is not what it used to be 50 years ago; but in the Third World; the ability to produce a charitable receipt can still do wonders for drug cartels and arms dealers namely. In Germany the RCC was until it was exposed recently, the largest producer and distributer of porn thanks to it’s substantial stock position in Weltbild.

      But it’s really not Pell’s problem if ignorant Roman Catholics continue to believe that they need to donate to their money to him because they wrongly believe that he’s somehow he vowed to be poor. Pell also became wealthy because the legal meaning of charitable only implies that no individual shareholder may enrich himself. He also became wealthy because charitable entities are subjected to much less financial disclosure than for profit entities. Finally Pell also became wealthy because cash gifts are never audited.

  2. Mike Mc says:

    Very well said jg!!!!!! “He was recalled to look after replenishing the coffers for “Mother”…
    Yes indeed!

    Perhaps this cbc article here http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/could-a-female-god-catch-on-in-canada-1.3102638 might add necessary light to our Church’s disasterous Bishops and Cardinals. Sylvia and I may differ on this, but at least the Anglican church has it right! (in my opinion)
    Get rid of many of the male Bishops and Cardinals in our Church and replace them with ordained women. Or at least give women a chance!

    You can argue all you want about some abusive women like some of the nuns we’ve heard about, nothing compares to some of these priests.
    Cardinal Pell should be demoted and sent to a life of prayer and penance.


    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Mike, you are confused!
      You said *our Church*. As soon as you leave the authentic teaching of the Church, you place yourself outside of it. No one else has done that.
      There are a lot of things that have gone wrong in the Church, and the feminizing of many of the males in the Church is at the root of it !
      Maybe you recall ALL of the Apostles were male! It is , and will remain, the Church of Jesus Christ- whether or not dissenters agree !

  3. Mike Mc says:

    1 abandoned sheep……..It is no wonder our Catholic Church is as confused as it is. Here it is 2015 and we still have the notion that women cannot lead the Church. I call many of them (male priests) “the old boys club” who like Cardinal Pell try to still cover up the abusive situations of the past and even go so low as to bribe victims to not say anything.

    Saunders says it well when he says: “… told Guardian Australia: “Our church has a history of spending millions on defending paedophiles.”

    I’m quite sure the Prince of Peace would not object to seeing a woman lead this Church as priest, Bishop, Cardinal, Pope. To say the apostles were men – thus only men can serve in that capacity – is ludicrous. It would be as ridiculous to say only men can be Saints.

    My point is that although no man nor woman is perfect, it’s obvious I was raised in a Church that was certainly not perfect either. Look at this site and what it shows, reveals and condemns…….mostly men.

    Whether or not dissenters agree? lol…I never agreed with Limbo, women being churched, original sin, paying your way out of purgatory…..etc It boils down to men and women acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with their God. Really, all else is mush.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      You are so wrong ! It is a shame you have fabricated your own Religion. Your only reward could be spending Eternity with yourself.
      By stressing or implying that Jesus made a mistake having only male Apostles merely shows your Faith is in yourself, not in Jesus Christ !
      Which part of the World did you create- or save ?

    • Sylvia says:

      Oh my goodness Mike Mac! Yes, we do disagree.

      So now you’ve got it out of your system. Please leave it at.

  4. Mike Mc says:

    Yes, I agree Sylvia. We have gone down this road before. We’ll agree again to disagree.
    Every now and then, however, I can’t help but bring up the topic because whenever I read this amazing up to date site on blogging these horrid sex abuse scandals in “our” Church,, I am annoyed and angered that mainly “men” are the doers of this evil abuse to children. And now with seeing the recent Australian and Canadian situations in the news and mentioned here at great length (I have certainly seen the Nfld and Ireland problems), I can’t help but think those in charge…..yes the Cardinals and Bishops who have known of abuse and yet just pushed these abusing priests from one parish to another, are men who should have known better. What “mother” would have allowed someone who abused her child to just go to another parish and do it to another child??????????
    No, 1 abandoned sheep, Jesus did not make any mistake. He chose those men at the time, even despite their weaknesses.
    But God is God of the present and future as well as the past.

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      And Mike, He also knew what the future held. and he did create even those who have gone off the rails in many different ways. There are a lot of evil people in this World, and Jesus did say that Satan had control of the Earth for a time. He has been very successful in sewing confusion, distrust, meanness, the lure of money, fame and recognition, – so much so that a large part of the World believes those are the only important thing.
      The day of correction is not far off, let anyone with an ear listen !!!

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