Holy See ‘regrets’ charges against Cardinal George Pell

Holy See ‘regrets’ charges against Cardinal George Pell

The Holy See today issued a statement in response to news that one of the Vatican’s top officials – Cardinal George Pell, 76, above, left, with Pope Francis – had been charged with multiple “historical” sexual offences.

Its press office said:

The Holy See has learned with regret the news of charges filed in Australia against Cardinal George Pell for decades-old actions that have been attributed to him.

It noted that Pell has chosen to return to Australia:

In full respect for civil laws… recognizing the importance of his participation to ensure that the process is carried out fairly, and to foster the search for truth.

During his absence, the statement noted that the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy:

Will continue to carry out its institutional tasks.

The Press Office statement goes on to say:

The Holy Father, who has appreciated Cardinal Pell’s honesty during his three years of work in the Roman Curia, is grateful for his collaboration, and in particular, for his energetic dedication to the reforms in the economic and administrative sector, as well as his active participation in the Council of Cardinals.

After expressing the Holy See’s “respect for the Australian justice system that will have to decide the merits of the questions raised,” the statement also noted that Cardinal Pell:

Has openly and repeatedly condemned as immoral and intolerable the acts of abuse committed against minors; has cooperated in the past with Australian authorities (for example, in his depositions before the Royal Commission); has supported the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors; and finally, as a diocesan bishop in Australia, has introduced systems and procedures both for the protection of minors and to provide assistance to victims of abuse.

At a press conference at the Vatican this morning, Pell, who was whisked away from Australia to become the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, forcefully denied charges of “historical” sexual offences filed against him by Australian police.He said:

All along I have been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations.

In brief remarks ahead of the official statement by the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Pell said he has kept Pope Francis regularly informed of the situation. He expressed his gratitude to the Pope for granting him leave to return to Australia to clear his name.

Pell was critical of media leaks concerning the situation, and lamented “the relentless character assassination” directed against him.

I’m looking forward, finally, to my day in court. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.

Pell is  the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the Catholic Church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal, according to the Telegraph.

He was summonsed to appear in an Australian court to face multiple charges. At this stage it is unclear what the charges relate to, but two men, now in their 40s, have said that Pell touched them inappropriately at Eureka swimming pool in the late 1970s, when he was a senior priest in Melbourne.

Pell, who holds a doctorate from Oxford and is a staunch conservative on issues such as homosexuality and abortion, has long been an imposing figure in the Church in Australia and has been heavily criticised for his handling of child sex abuse by Catholic priests.

In reporting on the cardinal’s woes today, BBC Radio 4 played a clip from Tim Minchin’s video, Come Home Cardinal Pell:

20 responses to “Holy See ‘regrets’ charges against Cardinal George Pell”

  1. Old Nick says:

    I wouldn’t expect any other reaction from the world’s largest crime syndicate and paedophile ring!

  2. Jobrag says:

    What odds that he’ll decide that he’s too ill to travel?

  3. andym says:

    @ Jobrag. Very good, I’d say. I’ll believe it when his plane lands, not until. Either he’ll get “ill” as you say, or the Vatican will start expressing reservations about his chances of a fair trial.

  4. L.Long says:

    WHO cares about his dimwitted ‘regret’, hanging by his balls is too good !

  5. Paul says:

    Tim Minchin
    What a great man to do that for The Survivors.
    Lots of respect.

  6. Paul says:

    I think the quote of bellend Pell needs a clarification.

    “All along I have been completely consistent and clear in my ejaculations inside the children.”

  7. barriejohn says:

    You can just imagine how much they regret the charges!

  8. Johan says:

    Cardinal Pell, long accused of child rape, currently resident in the vatican doing a job for which he has no qualifications or experience,is being brought to justice. I am dancing and skipping through my village hollering this ditty….

    Ding, dong, Bell.
    Peado Cardinal Pell,
    Shouldna put it in,
    To little Johnny’s quim.
    When he pulled it out,
    Told Johnny not to shout.
    Don’t be an naughty boy you brat.
    I’ll condemn your soul if you try to rat,
    On me who will lie and smarm,
    To clear my name with holy charm.

  9. Bubblecar says:

    Future generations will be astonished that people were willing to let these fucking weirdos anywhere near their kids.

    These are grown men who have supposedly vowed never to touch their penises because there’s a ghost in the sky who tells them that’s wicked. And they’ve dedicated their lives to this ghost and built vast temples to it and waste trillions of dollars glorifying it and forcing helpless children to kneel before it, and sing to it and do its bidding through their commands.

    And for some incomprehensible reason, many parents have decided that this means these men are trustworthy and particularly suitable to be educators and child-minders.

  10. RussellW says:


    You’re such a cynic, his Eminence is already ill, it’s just a coincidence of course. He has been unable to travel long distances for some time. Also, the chatterati here are already banging on about Pell’s chances of receiving a fair trial.

    Anyone wanna bet that Pell will ever appear in a magistrate’s court here in Victoria?

  11. Robster says:

    That smarmy Frank the pope said in the post: “The Holy Father, who has appreciated Cardinal Pell’s honesty during his three years of work in the Roman Curia”. Frank almost sounds surprised that the cardinal has been (perceived as) honest! That would be a change. The proof will be if he tells those dining in that it’s not really Jesus flesh on the menu.

  12. Club Secretary says:

    @RussellW says:
    “Anyone wanna bet that Pell will ever appear in a magistrate’s court here in Victoria?”

    Not a chance, I suspect that initially they will use the too ill to travel excuse but this will be swiftly followed with the sad announcement that Cardinal Pell has succumbed to his illness, his end hastened by the stress of the false malicious allegations. I am sure they will throw in for good measure some platitude of him now being judged by a higher power .

  13. andym says:

    CS. You’re surely not suggesting that the Mafia in Skirts would actually bump him off to preserve their reputation?

  14. RussellW says:

    They certainly rival the other Mafia, you know, the one that wears pants, at Omertà.

  15. Seff says:

    Whoever is without sin among YOU let him be the first to cast a stone at Pell.

  16. Spyke says:

    Holy See ‘regrets’ charges against Cardinal George Pell.

    But not as much as Pell himself does.

    The Holy See’s regret is wholly because the RCC image is now all but destroyed. I doubt there is much concern for Pell himself because he is not well liked by most of the Curia.

    Pell’s regret is because his ass is on the line and due for a right old and well deserved kicking. When found guilty its hard to see what the Holy See will do with him. Surely not give him sanctuary in the vatican after his prison stretch. If Pell has been smart he will have squirrelled away some of the vatican’s money in a Swiss Account. He had the power to do so being in charge of the Vatibank.

  17. Cali Ron says:

    Seff: Fuck off. I’m not a christian or believer in any god or god’s and the ramblings of the bible hold no sway or power over me. I readily admit I’ve done wrong before and would readily toss the first stone and many more to follow. My failings have nothing to do with punishing Pell for his crimes. Save your scripture quoting for the deluded fools that believe it to be the ‘word of god’.

  18. RussellW says:


    Yes, to my surprise. Amazing.