Victoria Police Want To Fly To The Vatican To Interview Cardinal George Pell Over Numerous Child Abuse Allegations

February 20th, 2016

Police want to fly to Vatican City to interview Cardinal George Pell who allegedly sexually abused up to 10 minors between 1978 and 2001, it has been reported.

According to the Herald Sun the detectives involved in the Sano investigation want to fly to the Catholic state to interview the Cardinal, but need to wait for senior figures ‘give them the go-ahead’.

Ballarat Survivors Group and Care Leavers Australasis Network are also calling for police to take their allegations to Pell.

Cardinal George Pell is being investigated over claims that he sexually abused and groomed minors, it has been reported
Cardinal George Pell is being investigated over claims that he sexually abused and groomed minors, it has been reported

Pell has said he will ‘co-operate’ with police if they decide to question him.

The Herald Sun have reported the alleged abuse spanned over 23 years, and occurred both in Ballarat where he was a priest, and in Melbourne where he worked as the archbishop.

Detectives have been working with the alleged victims for over a year – it has been reported they are aged between their late 20s and early 50s.

An earlier explosive Herald Sun report claimed Victoria Police is probing allegations about ‘multiple offences’ committed by the now 74-year-old.

But Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied the allegations, saying they are ‘without foundation and utterly false’, according to a spokesman.

The report said a taskforce is investigating claims that Cardinal Pell sexually abused minors by ‘both grooming and opportunity’.

Detectives have reportedly been working on the investigation, which has involved interviewing ‘numerous’ alleged victims, over the past year.

Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia they are aware of the report but ‘cannot comment on any cases in which an individual has been named’.

Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in just over one week.

He is currently in Rome and claims he is too ill to fly to front the commission, but will testify via video-link from Rome. 

A spokesman for the Cardinal said that he ‘strongly denies’ any wrongdoing.

His office said police have not raised the allegations with Cardinal Pell and that he has never been interviewed over child sexual abuse claims.

But Cardinal Pell said that if police wish to question him he will co-operate with any inquiry.

‘The allegations are without foundation and utterly false,’ his office said.

A taskforce is investigating claims that Cardinal Pell (pictured at the Vatican) sexually abused minors by 'both grooming and opportunity'
A taskforce is investigating claims that Cardinal Pell (pictured at the Vatican) sexually abused minors by ‘both grooming and opportunity’
Cardinal Pelli s due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in just over one week

Cardinal Pelli s due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in just over one week

‘He strongly denies any wrongdoing. If the police wish to question him he will co-operate, as he has with each and every public inquiry.

‘The Cardinal is certain that the police will quickly reach the conclusion that the allegations are false.’

His office said that previous ‘false’ allegations from a church camp at Victoria’s Phillip Island, investigated by Justice Southwell, have been ignored by the police for over 15 years.

‘The Phillip Island allegations have been on the public record for nearly 15 years. The Southwell Report which exonerated Cardinal Pell has been in the public domain since 2002.’

The spokesman said the leak was timed to cause ‘maximum damage’ to the Cardinal and the Catholic Church and undermine the work of the Royal Commission.

The Cardinal has called for a public inquiry into the leaking of the ‘spurious claims’, his spokesman said.

‘Given the serious nature of this conduct, the Cardinal has called for a public inquiry to be conducted in relation to the actions of those elements of the Victorian Police who are undermining the Royal Commission’s work,’ a spokesman said.

‘The Cardinal calls on the Premier and the Police Minister to immediately investigate the leaking of these baseless allegations.’

Cardinal Pell is currently in Rome and claims he is too ill to fly to front the commission, but will testify via video-link from Rome

Cardinal Pell is currently in Rome and claims he is too ill to fly to front the commission, but will testify via video-link from Rome

STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission in just over one week.

The timing of these leaks is clearly designed to do maximum damage to the Cardinal and the Catholic Church and undermines the work of the Royal Commission.

The allegations are without foundation and utterly false.

It is outrageous that these allegations have been brought to the Cardinal’s attention through a media leak. These undetailed allegations have not been raised with the Cardinal by the police and the false claims investigated by Justice Southwell have been ignored by the police for over 15 years, despite the very transparent way they were dealt with by the Cardinal and the Catholic Church.

The Cardinal has called for a public inquiry into the leaking of these spurious claims by elements in the Victorian Police in a manner clearly designed to embarrass the Cardinal, in a case study where the historical failures of the Victorian Police have been the subject of substantial evidence. These types of unfair attacks diminish the work of those good officers of the police who are diligently working to bring justice to victims.

Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied the allegations, saying they are 'without foundation and utterly false', according to a spokesman

Cardinal Pell has vehemently denied the allegations, saying they are ‘without foundation and utterly false’, according to a spokesman

The Phillip Island allegations have been on the public record for nearly 15 years. The Southwell Report which exonerated Cardinal Pell has been in the public domain since 2002.

The Victorian police have taken no steps in all of that time to pursue the false allegations made, however the Cardinal certainly has no objection to them reviewing the materials that led Justice Southwell to exonerate him. The Cardinal is certain that the police will quickly reach the conclusion that the allegations are false.

The Victorian Police have never sought to interview him in relation to any allegations of child sexual abuse and apart from the false allegations investigated by Justice Southwell, the Cardinal knows of no claims or incidents which relate to him.

He strongly denies any wrongdoing. If the police wish to question him he will co-operate, as he has with each and every public inquiry.

In the meantime, the Cardinal understands that several media outlets have received confidential information leaked by someone within the Victorian Police. For elements of the police to publicly attack a witness in the same case study that has exposed serious police inaction and wrongdoing is outrageous and should be seen for what it is.

Given the serious nature of this conduct, the Cardinal has called for a public inquiry to be conducted in relation to the actions of those elements of the Victorian Police who are undermining the Royal Commission’s work. .

The Cardinal calls on the Premier and the Police Minister to immediately investigate the leaking of these baseless allegations.

– Belinda Cleary & Jennifer Awford

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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