Cardinal George Pell accusations do not signify guilt

The Age

December 29, 2015

Graham Downie

Unless and until there is proof of collusion or involvement by Cardinal George Pell, or he admits any guilt, he must be presumed innocent.

With a couple of friends on December 19, I declared I wanted to write in defence of Cardinal George Pell, only to be trumped two days later by Amanda Vanstone writing in Fairfax Media under the same heading.

I do not hold her allegiance to the Catholic Church nor do I find Pell a particularly likeable person. He represents an almost extreme version of his church’s teaching, particularly with the subjugation of women, the treatment of people who have been divorced, and to homosexuals.

Nevertheless, Pell has been effectively accused of colluding with known paedophiles though he has for at least 13 years denied so doing. Allegations made this year to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse were given wide media coverage in 1993 when former priest Gerald Ridsdale was first charged with the sexual abuse of numerous children.

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