Friends and foes of Cardinal Pell weigh in on charges of abuse



As news breaks around the world that Australian Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican’s Secretary for the Economy, has been charged criminally with historical sexual offenses, reactions have poured in from around the globe. Pell’s accusers say they’re elated, even as their attorney tries to dampen their expectations, while longtime Pell friends are emphasizing his decency and integrity.

ROME – News of criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell, the third-ranking official in the Vatican, for historical sexual offenses by police in the Australia state of Victoria has produced a wave of reactions across the globe, from the archdiocese of Melbourne to Rome.

Statements on the issue have varied from skepticism and condemnation, to support and calls for fairness. Crux has collected some of the most salient reactions to the criminal indictment of Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be charged in the Church’s long-running sexual abuse scandals.

Two accusers said to be “over the moon”

Two men who accused Pell of sexually abusing them decades ago are “over the moon” concerning the decision to lay charges against the cardinal, their lawyer Ingrid Irwin told the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun.

Despite the enthusiasm following two years of legal proceedings, Irwin is skeptical about the final outcome.

“Naturally, anybody with any knowledge of how the criminal process works, particularly of historical sexual abuse cases, knows there’s many in-built buffers to the accused to make it virtually impossible to get success,” she said.

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