New allegations of child abuse are being directed against Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s financial the main and the most important figure in the Australian Catholic church.
Fairfax Media have reported the claims in a new book, the Cardinal: the Rise and Fall of George Pell, that he sexually abused two choirboys at the cathedral of St. Patrick, after becoming archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
Cardinal George Pell accuses Senate of the “extraordinary and unjust’ attack
The author Louise Milligan was the first to express these claims on the ABC’s 7.30 Report in July of last year. But according to Fairfax Milligan’s book, which will be released Monday, contains the details of the accusations have not been made public before.
After the 7.30 Report Pell accused the ABC of the realization of an “outrageous smear campaign.”
The boys, students of St Kevin’s College, sang in the choir of the cathedral and were allegedly sexually abused by the archbishop in a room somewhere in the grounds of the cathedral. They left the choir and the school shortly after.
Milligan claims of one of the children of the choir died of a drug overdose in 2014. His mother was later told that the second child who had been abused by Pell, when they were teenagers in the cathedral.
Milligan writes that both spoke about the Healthy working group established to investigate the allegations that emerged during the parliamentary inquiry in Victoria and the subsequent royal commission into child abuse.
Pell has now been accused of abusing children in three stages of his career: as a seminarian, priest and archbishop of Melbourne.
He has denied all these accusations on a number of occasions. No charges have ever been laid against him in relation to them. The cardinal prefect of the secretariat for the economy in the Vatican, has stated that he voluntarily cooperate with the detectives of the Victoria police when they interviewed him in Rome in October last year.
“They had no place to hide’: the abuse survivors praise commission to strengthen the institutions
Healthy has also investigated allegations that, as a young priest Pell abused children in the swimming pool of his home town of Ballarat. Pell also denies these allegations.
Milligan writes that Pell and his supporters have been able to “bat off, or ignore” the swimming pool allegations to present them as “antics or a little abrupt … The story of [children’s choir] you do not have any kind of ambiguity. If these allegations are true, point of utter, sinful hypocrisy.”
Citing poor health, Pell refused to return to Australia to give evidence to the royal commission in the person of the last year and in his place gave evidence by videolink from Rome. In February of this year, the Australian senate called for the cardinal to return home “to help the victoria police and the office of the public prosecutor with his research on these matters.”
Pell rejected the parliamentary resolution as “an interference on the part of the Senate, in the due process of the Victory of the Police investigation.”
According to reports, the police have now twice sent summaries of the evidence related to the Pell grant to the Victorian office of the public prosecutor.
The Guardian is not claiming that Cardinal Pell is guilty of all the accusations of sexual abuse, only that they have been investigated by the police.
The Healthy functioning continues.
The Guardian contacted the Vatican, Pell of the office in Rome and his office in Australia for comment.