Guide to the Pell Case: What processes has he faced and what are the accusations?
Cardinal George Pell gave a press conference in the Vatican before traveling to Australia, where he is due to testify on July 18 since he is accused of alleged sexual abuse. The cardinal explained that it is a crime that he abhors and has vigorously denied the accusations. CARD. GEORGE PELL Prefect, Secretariat for the Economy "These matters have been under investigation and now for two years. There have been leaks to the media. There has been relentless character assassination. I'm innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me." Cardinal George Pell has testified in various interrogations and commissions established by the Australian authorities in recent years. ; Now the cardinal will take a leave of absence to attend a new judicial process in which he now appears as the one accused of alleged abuse. In the press communication, the Vatican has expressed their respect for justice, but also their discontent. GREG BURKE Spokesman for the Holy See "The Holy See has learned with regret the news. The Holy Father, having been informed by Card. Pell, has granted the Cardinal a leave of absence so he can defend himself." The first time George Pell was accused of sexual abuse was in 2002, when he was archbishop of Sydney. The case was finally dismissed for lack of evidence. In 2012 ,the Australian government established a commission of inquiry to clarify the alleged sexual abuse committed from 1960 to 1980 in Australia in different religious institutions in the country. As part of that process, at the end of February 2016 Cardinal Pell testified for three days via video link from a hotel in Rome and met with the victims. He was accused of being negligent in the face of abuses committed by several priests while advising the bishop of Ballarat. Also, when he was Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne several crimes were committed in his diocese. However, he is now accused of committing the crimes himself. These are alleged abuses that occurred during his priesthood in Ballarat in the late 1970s and as archbishop of Melbourne in the late 1990s. The 76-year-old cardinal has become the highest-ranking Vatican official in the Church to undergo a court process for alleged sexual abuse. JRB-AC/MB CTV FL -PR Up: AC