Highest-Ranking Vatican Official Charged with Sex Abuse Heads to Trial

May 2, 2018

By David G. McAfee

Australian Cardinal George Pell, the most senior member of the Catholic Church to be charged in the organization’s ongoing sex abuse scandal, is finally heading to trial to face charges.

Pell, who served as a top financial advisor to Pope Francis, was previously chargedwith “historical sex offenses.” He has continually denied abuse allegations against him, and he filed a “not guilty” plea, but ultimately the jury will decide if there’s enough evidence to convict.

Pell is already on a losing streak in this case. His attorneys have been fighting tooth and nail to keep the prosecution from bringing any charges, hoping to keep their client away from a courtroom, but they just lost that fight.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

14 comments on “Highest-Ranking Vatican Official Charged with Sex Abuse Heads to Trial

  • The pervasiveness of church corrupt influences in state machinery, can be far reaching – with the woo-brained operating their “alternative morality” to cover-up theist establishment abuses!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-44026803

    Former Australian detective Denis Ryan was driven out of the police force in 1972 when he tried to bring a paedophile priest to justice.

    Now almost 50 years after he was ordered by superiors to drop the case – and deprived of a police pension – Mr Ryan will receive compensation.

    The 86-year-old man was recently awarded an undisclosed sum by the state government of Victoria.

    As a detective in the 1970s, Mr Ryan tried to charge Monsignor John Day with sexual offences in the regional city of Mildura.

    However, he was blocked by senior police officers and ordered to drop the case. Mr Ryan has blamed the decision on his superiors’ “allegiance” to the Church.

    In 2015, he testified at a royal commission inquiry into child sexual abuse in Australia.
    At that inquiry, a former Victoria Police chief commissioner, Mick Miller, gave evidence in his favour.

    Mr Miller said there had been “misconduct by senior Victoria Police officers, including dereliction of duty, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and inciting other members of the police force to join the conspiracy against Denis Ryan in order to conceal the crimes committed by Day”, according to a report by Fairfax Media.

    The inquiry later determined that Mr Ryan had been ordered to transfer from Mildura to another police station due to his investigations into the priest.

    Mr Ryan could not relocate due to family reasons, so he resigned – a decision that made him ineligible for the police pension.

    The former detective said it had set off “the destruction” of his life, leaving him traumatised and contributing to the breakdown of his marriage.

    “I was just shattered – I had always wanted to be a policeman,” he told the BBC. “But I was knocking my head against a brick wall.”

    Day did not face police charges before his death in 1978.

    Mr Ryan said he continued to suffer occasional nightmares.

    In January, he was made a Member of the Order of Australia following a nomination by support groups of victims of child abuse.



    Report abuse

  • @OP – Pell, who served as a top financial advisor to Pope Francis, was previously chargedwith “historical sex offenses.” He has continually denied abuse allegations against him, and he filed a “not guilty” plea, but ultimately the jury will decide if there’s enough evidence to convict.

    Unlike Pell, it seems that some Catholic bishops are [eventually?] prepared to accept some responsibilities for the neglect of their duties – but perhaps in the hope of “forgiveness and absolution” from the Vatican!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-44169484

    All of Chile’s 34 Roman Catholic bishops have offered Pope Francis their resignations in the wake of a child sex scandal and cover-up.

    They asked forgiveness from victims and the Church for their “grave errors and omissions”.

    It was not immediately clear whether the Pope had accepted the resignations.

    He had been criticised in Chile for his decision to ordain a bishop who is accused of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest.

    He said in January that he felt “pain and shame” over the scandal, which has rocked the Catholic Church in Chile.

    The bishops offered their resignation by letter after three days of crisis talks at the Vatican, during which the Pope handed them a 10-page document accusing Chile’s Church hierarchy of negligence in sex abuse cases.

    The bishops wrote that their individual futures were in the Pope’s hands, and if he did not accept their resignations, they would “continue doing our pastoral work”.

    “In communion with (the Pope) we want to re-establish justice and contribute to repairing the damage caused,” they wrote.

    Could that be, “the damage to the church from being caught”, rather than the damage to the victims?

    Bishop Juan Barros, who Pope Francis appointed three years ago, is accused of using his position in the Catholic Church to try to block an investigation into the actions of his mentor, Catholic priest Fernando Karadima.

    Fr Karadima was an influential priest who was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing young boys and was ordered to do penance.

    Bishop Barros has repeatedly offered his resignation to the Pope. It has been rejected several times as he was believed to be innocent of the accusations, but this time it is thought the resignation will be accepted.

    So much for Papal infallibility!!

    On Thursday three other bishops offered their resignations ahead of Friday’s statement from all the bishops.

    It will be interesting to see if the Chilean police follow up on these issues!



    Report abuse

  • @#2 – The pervasiveness of church corrupt influences in state machinery, can be far reaching – with the woo-brained operating their “alternative morality” to cover-up theist establishment abuses!

    These are however, belatedly coming to light!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-44205985

    Australian archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of concealing child sex abuses

    An Australian court has found a Catholic archbishop guilty of concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s.

    Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, becomes the most senior Catholic in the world to be charged and convicted of the offence.

    He was found to have covered up the abuse of altar boys by a paedophile priest colleague in New South Wales.

    During his trial he denied being told about the abuse by some of the victims.

    In a statement issued by the church on Wednesday, Wilson said he was “obviously disappointed” with the verdict and would consider his legal options.

    ‘Wanted to protect the church’

    Last month, Wilson told the Newcastle Local Court he had no knowledge of priest James Fletcher’s actions, which took place when he was an assistant priest in Maitland, 130km (80 miles) north of Sydney.

    Fletcher was later convicted of nine child sexual abuse charges in 2004, and died in jail in 2006.

    One of his victims, former altar boy Peter Creigh, told the court he had described the abuse to Wilson in detail in 1976, five years after it took place.

    Magistrate Robert Stone rejected Wilson’s claims that he had no memory of the conversation, and said he found Mr Creigh to be a reliable witness.

    The priest knew “what he was hearing was a credible allegation and the accused wanted to protect the Church and its reputation”, Magistrate Stone said.

    It is the standard attitude of: “The church’s image and promotion of its memes, come before the welfare of the people! – along with dismissal of evidence the theistic establishment does not want to hear or have made public!

    Another victim, who cannot be named, told the court he disclosed the abuse in the confessional box when he was 11 years old. He said Wilson told him he was telling lies and to recite 10 Hail Mary prayers as punishment.

    Child sexual abuse survivors praised the verdict in emotional scenes outside the court following the decision.

    “The decision will hopefully unravel the hypocrisy, the deceit, and the abuse of power and trust that the church has displayed,” Mr Creigh told reporters.

    Wilson’s lawyers had tried to get the case thrown out on four occasions, after the 67-year-old was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

    He will be sentenced in June and faces a maximum two-year jail term.

    Four attempts at further cover-up and dismissal of evidence – and only a maximum 2 year jail sentence?????

    After years of evasion and prevarication, – Not much sign of repentance here!!!



    Report abuse

  • @#2 – The pervasiveness of church corrupt influences in state machinery, can be far reaching – with the woo-brained operating their “alternative morality” to cover-up theist establishment abuses!

    Even today it is often claimed that Catholic “Canon Law” takes precedence over secular state laws which protect against theistic abuse!

    Meanwhile in Northern Ireland more abuses of single mothers and their babies are coming to light: –

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-44198203

    Claims of ‘illegal’ adoption at former Marianvale home

    A BBC investigation has uncovered allegations of ‘illegal’ cross-border adoptions at a home run by Catholic nuns in Northern Ireland.

    Evidence suggests some children may have been moved out of the UK without their mothers’ consent from Marianvale mother and baby home in Newry.

    One woman was issued with three birth certificates in three countries.

    The Catholic Good Shepherd Sisters said adoptions were “conducted strictly in accordance with the legislation”.

    One of the three birth certificates issued as part of Karen Trimnell’s adoption to the USA contained many false details. The Marianvale mother and baby home in County Down operated between 1955 and 1984.

    It was one of a network of institutions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which offered women the voluntary option for those who were unmarried to give birth in private and give their babies up for adoption.

    Ah! Those “Catholic hospital services for women”!

    However, BBC radio programme File on 4 has heard claims that some adoptions were not voluntary and uncovered evidence that laws may have been broken.

    These include falsified details on official documents. Campaigners claim this may have been to facilitate the illegal movement of babies across state borders.

    Karen, 49, an English teacher in New York, was born in 1968.

    Her mother travelled to Marianvale and gave birth at a nearby hospital. Karen believes she was moved illegally from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland – where she was cared for by another Catholic order – before being adopted by a couple from Texas in the USA.

    Karen’s concerns are based on a stash of documents charting her early life which she passed to File on 4.

    They revealed that she had been issued with a birth certificate in Northern Ireland which correctly recorded all the details of her birth.

    But two days earlier, another birth certificate had been generated for her in the Republic of Ireland containing false information, including changing her date and place of birth as well as listing her future adopted parents as her natural parents.

    It is not clear who was responsible for submitting this false information to the register.

    Karen’s birth was then registered for a third time when she arrived in the USA and she is concerned that laws were broken to facilitate an adoption for a couple who were becoming too old to adopt in America.

    “They died when I was a teenager and that was going to have an effect on anybody’s life,” she said.

    “And the fact that their health and age was overlooked because of the desire of the people who ran the orphanage, I don’t think is justifiable or acceptable.”

    The BBC has also seen the adoption consent form signed by Karen’s birth mother which agreed she could be taken into the care of a Catholic adoption organisation in the Republic of Ireland.

    This document appears to have been signed after the falsified birth certificate in the Republic of Ireland had been created.

    At the time a baby could only be moved from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland following a court order or with the express consent of the mother.

    Toni Maguire, an archaeologist and anthropologist, believes Karen may have been taken illegally to the Republic of Ireland before her mother had consented to it.

    “If you are taking a baby from one country basically to another country, I would call it trafficking,” she said.

    More classic “Liars for Jesus” promoting Catholicism! !



    Report abuse

  • quarecuss #6
    May 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Unlike reputable organisations, where those subject to criminal investigations in relation to their responsibilities, are suspended pending the outcomes, it seems the RCC leaves those responsible for covering up crimes in their posts preaching RCC. “morality” – and then leaves it up to them to decide whether to resign!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-44219987

    A Catholic archbishop in Australia convicted of concealing child sexual abuse will step down from his position.

    Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, South Australia, was found guilty of covering up the crimes of a paedophile priest by a court on Tuesday.

    He is the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of the offence.

    Wilson said he would step aside from his duties on Friday.

    “It is appropriate that, in the light of some of his Honour’s findings, I stand aside from my duties as Archbishop,” he said in a statement released on Wednesday.

    “If at any point in time it becomes necessary or appropriate for me to take more formal steps, including by resigning as Archbishop, then I will do so.”

    As we know, the RCC also on occasions, gives them diplomatic immunity or hides them from justice, in the Vatican!

    Does anyone really think that this archbishop has ANYTHING to contribute, in promoting honesty, integrity, or moral behaviour towards children and other people?



    Report abuse

  • So while the courts in Australia and Chile and pursuing Catholic bishops, it seems the C of E has been less than forthright in its “investigation” into its own child abuse scandal!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44576201

    The Church of England needs to review parts of its investigation into abuse cases, an inquiry has found.

    Sir Roger Singleton, who examined the Church’s “flawed” Past Case Review (PCR) held between 2007 and 2009, said it “failed to give a complete picture” of the abuse.

    His report said new inquiries should be held in seven of the 44 dioceses investigated by the Church.

    In his report, Sir Roger said there was “inconsistency” and “confusion” across the dioceses about which Church employees should be investigated by the PCR.

    Because of this, he said, there “remains the possibility that parish workers who had engaged in inappropriate conduct were not included because they were considered outside the scope of the PCR”.

    Another flaw was the Church’s decision to contact alleged victims “only in the most exceptional cases” to “minimise the distress” to them.



    Report abuse

  • quarecuss #6
    May 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    @ alan4 – hopefully finding archvillain wilson guilty
    is the key to getting pell jailed too

    Wilson has been found guilty, but the sentence seems pathetic in view of his lack of repentance!
    His continuation in the post of Archbishop, suggests that the RCC still does not take these matters seriously, and is only concerned with the “sin” of being caught when the continuing cover-up eventually failed!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-44692396

    A Catholic archbishop in Australia has been given a maximum sentence of 12 months in detention for concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s.

    Philip Wilson, now archbishop of Adelaide, is the most senior Catholic globally to be convicted of the crime.

    He was found guilty by a court last month of covering up abuse by a paedophile priest in New South Wales.

    On Tuesday, the court ordered Wilson to be assessed for “home detention” – meaning he will probably avoid jail.

    Magistrate Robert Stone said the senior clergyman had shown “no remorse or contrition”. He will be eligible for parole after six months.

    Wilson has not resigned as archbishop, despite relinquishing his duties in the wake of his conviction.

    In May, a court found he had failed to report his colleague James Patrick Fletcher’s abuse of altar boys to police.



    Report abuse

  • The church hierarchy really twists every-which-way to duck responsibility, after years of sitting in denial!
    I wonder if anyone will call on the pope to resign for refusing to promptly deal with this?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-44881570

    Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has called on Pope Francis to sack a Catholic archbishop found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse.

    Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson was convicted in May of covering up abuse by a paedophile priest, but has resisted calls to resign.

    The most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of the crime, Wilson has said he will appeal the verdict.

    Mr Turnbull said: “The time has come for the Pope himself to sack him.”

    Throughout his trial, Wilson denied having known about the abuse of altar boys by a priest colleague, James Patrick Fletcher, in New South Wales in the 1970s.

    But a court disagreed, with a judge saying that Wilson had remained silent in a bid to protect the Church’s reputation.



    Report abuse

  • @#11 – Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson was convicted in May of covering up abuse by a paedophile priest, but has resisted calls to resign.

    The most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of the crime, Wilson has said he will appeal the verdict.

    Mr Turnbull said: “The time has come for the Pope himself to sack him.”

    . . . and finally when the dodger was finally cornered, and “lying for Jesus and the church” denials, no longer have any public credibility:-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-45009807

    Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson has resigned after being convicted of concealing child sex abuse.

    During his trial, Wilson denied any knowledge of abuse committed by priest James Fletcher during his time as an assistant priest in Maitland, 130km (80 miles) north of Sydney.

    However, the magistrate found that Wilson had been told about the abuse by the young victims and that he had failed to report the crimes because he wanted to protect the Church’s reputation.



    Report abuse

  • https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44993221

    Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a prominent US cardinal accused of sexually assaulting a teenager nearly 50 years ago.

    Archbishop McCarrick has said he has “no recollection” of the alleged abuse.
    Further allegations have since emerged.

    Strange how convenient memory loss sets in, when their past finally catches up with them!

    The claims were made public in June by the current Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

    He said an independent forensic agency had investigated the allegations.
    A review board, including legal experts, psychologists, parents and a priest, then found the allegations “credible and substantiated”.
    The Pope appears to “understand the gravity of the situation and further harm to the Catholic Church’s status”, AP quoted Terence McKiernan from BishopsAccountability.org as saying.

    The Vatican’s quick action stands in contrast to previous instances where cardinals have faced allegations that they carried out or covered up abuse.

    MMmmmm….. 50 years after the event when the perpetrator is 88, has retired from his profession and the alleged abuses have taken place too long ago for criminal charges to be filed, because of the statute of limitations.

    I suppose that COULD be considered “QUICK” for the Catholic Church!



    Report abuse

  • Meanwhile – in the UK those “good Catholic” establishments have been working to their usual priorities:-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-45127284

    Child abuse inquiry: School ‘reputations put before abuse victims’

    “Appalling” abuse was inflicted on pupils at Ampleforth in North Yorkshire and Downside in Somerset over 40 years, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said.

    But, the report said both institutions attempted to cover up the allegations.

    Ten individuals, including monks, have been convicted or cautioned for abuse.

    The report, based on evidence heard by the IICSA’s investigation of the Roman Catholic Church and the English Benedictine Congregation, said, however, the true extent of the abuse is “likely to be considerably higher” than the number of convictions.

    It states many of the perpetrators did not hide their sexual interests from the children and pupils were often abused in front of each other.

    “The blatant openness of the activities demonstrates there was a culture of acceptance of abusive behaviour,” it said.

    The scale and nature of the abuse inflicted is contained in the full report published on Thursday. (WARNING: contains distressing detail).



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.