"Cardinal George Pell in 2012" by Kerry Myers is licensed under CC BY 2.0

George Pell knew about child sex abuse allegations for decades, Royal Commission documents reveal

May 7, 2020

By Hilary Whiteman

Nearly three years after the release of a damning national report into child sexual abuse, the Australian government has published dozens of previously redacted pages of text relating to Cardinal George Pell.

Three unredacted reports published Thursday reveal for the first time the commission’s findings into what Pell knew about allegations of child sex abuse committed by priests decades ago in the Australian state of Victoria.

The commission found that, as early as 1973, the former Vatican Treasurer “was not only conscious of child sex abuse by clergy but that he also had considered measures of avoiding situations which might provoke gossip about it.”

The commission’s findings had been redacted to avoid prejudicing a trial involving Pell on five charges of child sexual assault allegedly committed in the mid-1990s. Pell was convicted in December 2018, but the decision was overturned by Australia’s High Court in a unanimous ruling by the full bench of seven judges in April.

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2 comments on “George Pell knew about child sex abuse allegations for decades, Royal Commission documents reveal

  • 1
    Cairsley says:

    The Australian government may want to keep the cardinal archbishop in the country while it is being determined whether enough evidence exists to bring a case against him on the basis of the grounds revealed by the national report, grounds that are much more promising than individuals’ accusations have been against him. There is no doubt about the suffering he has caused. He may yet be brought to justice, at least in token form.


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  • It is a national disgrace that this information was kept from the court when it was examining evidence supporting the case against him.

    Clearly the suggestions that only the testimony of one witness was involved is spurious.

    Perhaps with Pell’s age, someone is hoping that he will just die of old age and the embarrassment to the church will go away!

    We should also be asking why he was sheltered in the Vatican, and why his case was being funded all this time, when it must have been known that he was gravely responsible for covering up abuses.

    This is especially so, when Catholic  churches elsewhere are filing for bankruptcy protection because of the compensation claims awarded against them!


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