Cardinal, Treasurer… a pedophile? The Vatican again at the center of a sex scandal

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich in photosangelina mass About the elected PopeCardinal, Treasurer… a pedophile? The Vatican again at the center of a sex scandal© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich the image Bank

Australian police formally charged the head of the Secretariat of the Vatican on economic matters, the Australian cardinal George Pell. allegations of sexual harassment. The cardinal denies guilt, but surprisingly, the investigation against 76-year-old cleric first came to court only now.

Cardinal first came under suspicion in 2002 when he was accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy at a Catholic youth camp. A grown man said that Pell was still a seminarian, was trying to sexually abuse him in 1961. The cardinal denied the allegations, however, the Vatican hired to investigate judge Southwell. And although the judge acknowledged that the applicant had impressed him «the man who honestly describes his memories», the matter was hushed up because of the lack of supporting evidence.

This case is not prevented Pella to participate in the Conclave of 2013, it is even considered as one of the favorites «the race for the papacy». However, the Conclave chose the new Pope cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now known under the name of Francis.

The newly elected Pope appointed cardinal in 2014 for Treasurer. But a year later Pell was in the midst of a new sexual scandal.

Australian Royal Commission of inquiry into allegations of paedophilia accused the Treasurer in trying to bribe rape victims from Ballarat so that he didn’t publish the fact of violence. Pell allegedly tried to hide the guilt of his friend the priest Gerald Risdale.

In 1970, the cardinal served as an assistant priest in the parish school of Saint Alypios in Ballarat, and lived with Risdale in the same house. Subsequently, the fault of Risdale was proved, he was defrocked and from 1993 to 2013, he served his sentence in prison. It turned out that the victims of the priest began, 54, the youngest of whom was only four years old. In the bribery of one of the victims and accused Pella.

The cardinal denied the allegations, however, the Royal Commission called him to testify in Australia. Hired by Pell’s lawyers issued a document, according to which the flights of the elderly Treasurer from Rome to Australia may harm his health. In 2016, the cardinal agreed to speak with the investigation on video.

Victims of violence in response has launched a campaign called Send Ballarat to Rome («to Send away to Rome»), so they could be present when giving Pell’s testimony. Needed flights for the amount of 55 thousand dollars managed to collect in just one day. However, the cardinal managed to convince the Royal Commission that he knew nothing about the crimes of Risdale.

«I can’t wait»

Yet, when was accused of pedophilia the Pella, he decided that he could no longer hide behind the walls of the Vatican and must appear in court in Australia. The Pope kindly provided the Treasurer to leave at this time. Perhaps this time your health will allow Pella to complete the project.

«I’m innocent regarding these accusations that are false. We are talking about bringing me to trial, and I can’t wait for the moment to go to court. I’m disgusted by the very suggestion of sexual harassment,» said the cardinal at the hastily convened press conference.

According to the police, the Pell must be brought before the court in Melbourne on 18 July.

Secret confession

Royal Commission to investigate allegations of pedophilia was established in Australia in 2012. Then Pell approve of her education, it is curious that she is now leading an investigation against him.

The Commission conducted a study which showed that from 1950 to 2010 was accused of pedophilia 7% of all Catholic priests in Australia. Four religious organizations, the relevant charges leveled against more than 20% of the representatives. According to published data, the average age of female victims is 10.5, men’s — 11.5.

After the publication of the results of the investigation of the Australian victims of abuse by priests urged the Holy see to reconsider the rule on the prohibition to reveal the secrets of the confessional to law enforcement, as many cases of sexual harassment to children by priests for decades been unknown.

Cardinal Pell has strongly opposed this appeal, arguing that if the confession is made outside of the confessional, the police are valid. «But the secret of confession is inviolable. If the priest knows beforehand about such a situation, the priest should refuse to hear the confession … That would be my advice, and I would never have agreed to hear the confession of a priest who is suspected of such things,» said the cardinal.

Two percent of pedophiles

The newspaper the New York Times a few years ago conducted its own investigation of sexual crimes of the Catholic clergy and found that the official Vatican for many years not only hushed up the incident with the minor was not notified about the crimes of the secular power, but also conducted internal investigations in relation to suspected abuse.

The Catholic Church made a rebuttal of such charges. However, in 2014 Pope Francis in an interview with the Italian newspaper Repubblica acknowledged the existence of pedophile priests and compared their crimes with leprosy afflicting the Church.

The Pontiff also said that his advisers had determined that to date, about two percent of clergy are pedophiles. This means that crimes against children committed 8 thousand out of 414 thousands of priests of the Roman Catholic Church.

«Among the two percent of pedophiles are priests, bishops, cardinals. But much more Ministers of the Church who know about it, but are silent,» said Francis.

He promised to do everything to eradicate this problem and «like Jesus to use against the priests-pedophiles stick». Perhaps it is because of this position of the Pontiff, the trial of cardinal Pell became possible.

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