The Cover-Up Trial against Australian Cardinal Pell Will Take Place

Source: FSSPX News

Cardinal George Pell

Even if the date is not yet decided, the trial against Cardinal George Pell will take place.  It was in any case announced on May 1, 2018, by a tribunal in Melbourne, in the south of Australia. 

The former Archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne, who denies the allegations against him, will plead not guilty.

Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal Pell returned from Rome to his native country in July of 2016, to appear in court.  The “number three man” of the Vatican, also a member of the Council of Cardinal Advisers, is accused of “complicity in the cover-up of cases of sexual abuse” in the Diocese of Ballarat, in southeast Australia, in the 1970’s and 1980’s, as well as in the Diocese of Melbourne in the late 1980’s and 1990’s.  Allegations of abuse made directly against him have also appeared in the press, although it is not yet known whether or not the court will accept them.

Even if the world press seems to have already condemned the prelate, the details of the accusations made against Cardinal Pell are not known, as the hearings have taken place behind closed doors.  At the end of these, the defense attorney, Robert Richter, fiercely criticized the work of the police.  In particular he faulted the investigators for having failed to collect the testimony of nuns, of members of a choir, and of officials favorable to the cardinal.  The attorney also noted contradictory statements by prosecution witnesses, which the police did not take the trouble to compare.

“The Holy See has taken note of the decision of the judicial authorities in Australia”, declared a press release from the Vatican, after the announcement of the Australian courts.  In June of 2017, “the Holy Father had granted leave to Cardinal Pell to defend himself against the accusations.  This leave is still in force”, the Vatican said.  Since then, his post at the Roman Curia has been vacant.