Cardinal George Pell convicted of child sexual abuse by Australian court – Hilary Whiteman

George Pell

Hilary WhitemanCardinal Pell’s conviction follows a damning report by a royal commission into institutional child abuse in Australia, which alleged more than 1,800 Catholic priests, brothers, lay people, and religious sisters across the country had assaulted thousands of children over the past 65 years. –  Hilary Whiteman

Cardinal George Pell has joined the ranks of other shamed Catholic priests who betrayed the trust of children who believed they were men of God.

The Vatican treasurer, now a convicted pedophile, was a close adviser to the Pope, personally appointed by Francis as the Vatican’s minister of Economy and, until October, was a member of the Pope’s Council of nine advisers.

As a victim of sex abuse, his accuser can’t be named under Australian law, but his testimony will be felt at the very heart of the Vatican, which for decades has been accused of ignoring, covering up and denying sex abuse was committed within its ranks.

In December, a jury found Pell abused two choirboys in the priest’s sacristy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne one Sunday in the 1990s, when Pell was the city’s archbishop.

Only one victim is alive to tell his story, having kept his abuse secret for decades. The second boy died of a drug overdose, apparently having never divulged what had happened to him.

The existence of the trial couldn’t be revealed until now due to an Australian suppression order. Pell’s sentencing hearing is due to begin on Wednesday.

The conviction is the result of years of police work, including a special task force set up to solely investigate claims against the cardinal.

It also follows a damning report by a royal commission into institutional child abuse in Australia, which alleged more than 1,800 Catholic priests, brothers, lay people, and religious sisters across the country had assaulted thousands of children over the past 65 years.

The Vatican has yet to respond to the verdict. On Tuesday Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane and President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said in a statement in Rome the conviction had “shocked” many around the world.

“We respect the Australian legal system. The same legal system that delivered the verdict will now consider the appeal that the cardinal’s legal team has lodged. Our hope at all times is that through this process justice will be served,” he said.

Pell’s conviction comes amid attempts by the Vatican to begin making amends for decades of abuse by priests across the world.

Over the past week, the Vatican held a historic summit on sexual abuse by clergy. Speaking at the last day on Sunday, Pope Francis described pedophile priests as “tools of Satan.” – CNN, 26 February 2019

» Hilary Whiteman is a senior editor at CNN Digital.

Protest against George Pell


 

2 Responses

  1. Rodrigo Duterte

    ‘Catholic Church Will Be Gone In 25 Years Due To Clerical Sex Abuse’: Phillipines President Duterte – Swarajya Staff – Swarajya Magazine –  Feb 27 2019

    In a typically blistering speech bordering on gross political incorrectness and riddled with profanities, the outspoken Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at the Roman Catholic Church, saying it will not survive long given the clerical sex abuse scandal involving predatory priests that has engulfed the institution, the Cebu Daily News has reported.

    Duterte was addressing the 1st National Assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on Monday (25 February).

    Duterte warned that the church will meet its demise as a result of the string of sexual abuse cases and corruption within its ranks. “People won’t forget the ways of Catholic clergy,” he added.

    In no holds barred attack on the Catholic Church, Duterte said:

    People won’t forget the ways of the Catholic clergy. When they get horny, the sons of b*****s, they go after nuns. If they’re gay, they go after young boys. Who needs a religion like that? And then you keep giving to the collection and then the priest will just give it to his mistress”

    Duterte was also quick to qualified his remark by urging the public not to take seriously his remarks to kill and steal from bishops and priests.

    “What I can say about that is this: My quarrel with the Catholic Church is personal. You, who are drug addicts, don’t harm bishops and cardinals because they are not involved in the political ruckus,” he said in Filipino.

    Moving to quickly contain any potential damage caused by Duterte’s remarks, his spokesperson, Salvador Panelo clarified that the president was referring to “certain men in the cloth that have violated their own vows,”and was not attacking the institution as a whole.”

    The Catholic Church is a power institution in Philippines and wields considerable clout given than 80 per cent of Filipinos identify themselves as Roman Catholic.

    Duterte and Catholic Church have been at loggerheads with each other for a while now. The Church has incurred the wrath of Duterte for criticising his war on drugs and his crackdown on criminals. The Catholic Church also extended support to a different candidate during the 2016 elections.angering Duterte.

    Duterte has previously attacked the Catholic Church saying that their priests are corrupt and hypocritical. He even once labelled the Catholic belief in the concept of original sin as an “idiotic proposition”.

    In June last year, Duterte faced widespread criticism for questioning the Genesis creation story and saying that God was “stupid” for allowing temptation to corrupt his creation.

    Like

  2. The 'paedo' and the paedophile priest.

    Here is Pope Frankie’s first test. Is he going to walk the talk and defrock his virtual second-in-command Cardinal George Pell of the Vatican Treasury?

    He has already offered one excuse for delaying the needful—wait for the appeal process in the Australian courts to finish.

    Pell is more than a “tool of Satan”. He is—or was—a tool of the devilish Vatican Curia (Bureaucracy) and may be the man who got the Vatican files on paedophile priests destroyed. Certainly he was in a position to do so.

    Like

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