Let’s not rush to judge Cardinal Pell, Pope Francis says

Catholic News Agency

Aboard the papal plane, Jul 31, 2016 / 03:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In response to news that Australian authorities are investigating multiple allegations of child abuse leveled against Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis cautioned against gossip and making judgements before all the facts are known.

“We must wait for justice and not make a first judgement ourselves, a media trial … because this doesn’t help,” Pope Francis said July 31 during his in-flight press conference from Krakow to Rome. “The judgement of gossip and then, one can… We don’t know what the result will be; but be attentive to what justice decides. Once justice speaks, I will speak.”

The Pope was asked about Cardinal Pell, whom he appointed prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy in 2014, by the AP’s Frances D’Emilio. He began his response by noting that “the first information that arrived was confusing. It was news from 40 years back that not even the police made a case about at first. It was a confusing thing.”

Pope Francis then said that the accusation have been “sent to justice” and are now in the hands of justice. “And one mustn’t judge before justice judges, eh?”

“If I were to say a judgement in favor of or against Cardinal Pell, it wouldn’t be good because I (would) judge before. It’s true that there there is doubt, and there’s that clear principal of the law: in dubio pro reo.”

The Pope referred to the legal principle that a party who is accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty, which has been a foundation of law since at least the first Christian millenium.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.