Further accusations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Pell
VATICAN CITY- Cardinal George Pell, who oversees all economic activities for the Holy See and the Vatican City State, faces allegations of paedophilia back home in his native Australia, following testimonies from alleged victims of his crimes on Australian television, Il Messagero has reported.
A journalist from the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), interviewed two alleged victims of sexual abuse, Lyndon Monument and Damien Dignan, both now in their forties, who responded to all of the questions, referencing the sexual approaches of Cardinal Pellthat took place in the changing rooms of a swimming pool in Ballarat, Australia, some thirty years ago.
They described Pell’s behaviour as “unsuitable” and as a traumatic and negative passage in their adolescence.
Previously, Australian police representatives travelled to Rome in order to interview Cardinal Pell, who has always vehemently denied all previous accusations of sexual abuse.
However, an Australian priest who worked in close proximity with Pell at the time, has lept to the defence of the cardinal, citing that the latest claims are unlikely considering that Pell was often followed by associates, assistants and parish priests, thus making it hard to be alone with the boys in the changing rooms.
Following these latest accusations, it is likely Cardinal Pell will have to return to Australia in order to formally respond to the allegations he is facing.
Pope Francis had previously defended Cardinal Pell’s alleged involvement in past sexual abuse controversies, stating in August of last year that they were “doubts” as to the allegations Pell has been facing for a number of years.
“We must avoid a media verdict, a verdict based on gossip,” the Pope told journalists upon returning from his trip from Poland, August 2016.
Cardinal Pell has long faced allegations of sexual abuse and paedophilia, but has always denied all accusations and instead has blamed ABC for mounting a smear campaign against him, stating back in Aug. 2016 that the broadcaster “had no licence to destroy the reputation of innocent people.”
How Pope Francis will react to these latest accusations and whether Cardinal Pell will hold onto his position as the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy remains to be seen, Il Messaggero said in its report.