May 20, 2010
SYDNEY Archbishop George Pell last year spoke at the same conference as a disgraced Melbourne deacon who Cardinal Pell had previously tried to defrock for suspected sexual misbehaviour.
Cardinal Pell was the keynote speaker, at a small liturgical conference in Ireland, attended by about 100 people in County Cork last July. Another speaker was Dr Scott ”Alcuin” Reid, who was the subject of claims of inappropriate and aggressive sexual advances when he was in the Melbourne Archdiocese from the mid-80s to 1991.
As Melbourne archbishop in the 1990s, George Pell had ”strenuously and repeatedly” asked Dr Reid to submit voluntarily to ”laicisation” over serious sexual misbehaviour. The Age knows of one man who said in the 1980s he had been ”physically forced” to comply with Dr Reid’s sexual demands and that this complaint was conveyed by the victim to Dr Pell at the time. This has not been confirmed, and his office did not respond to the claim. In a statement to The Age yesterday, Cardinal Pell appeared unconcerned about appearing with Dr Reid, saying it was ”not surprising Dr Reid was also … invited … given his considerable expertise”.