George Pell charges: The view from the Vatican

ABC News

RN By Noel Debien for The Religion and Ethics Report

The wheels of the Australian justice system have begun to turn in potentially world-changing ways.

Victoria Police has summonsed a sitting cardinal from the Vatican. In the free world, a cardinal has never been charged with criminal offences before.

Cardinal Pell strenuously denies the charges, and we need many more details yet to understand what they may involve. But the astonishing fact remains that a man who could yet be Pope has been told he must stand trial in Australia, and he has agreed to do so.

‘We must avoid a media verdict’

When asked directly by journalists about the Cardinal Pell matter last year, Pope Francis answered: “We must avoid a media verdict, a verdict based on gossip.”

“It’s in the hands of the justice system and one cannot judge before the justice system. After the justice system speaks, I will speak.”

It is unclear whether Pope Francis will speak now that charges have been laid, or whether he will wait until the completion of the trial.

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