Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
29 Jun 2017
Victoria Police this morning confirmed that they have charged Cardinal George Pell with historical sexual assault offences. At a press conference, Victoria Police told media that Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons, and is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 18 July 2017 for a filing hearing.
At the press conference, Victoria police’s deputy commissioner Shane Patton said:
“It is important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have obviously tested in any court yet. Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process and so therefore, it’s important that the process is allowed to run its natural course.
“Preserving the integrity of that process is essential to all of us, and so for Victoria Police, it’s important that it’s allowed to go through unhindered and allowed to see natural justice is afforded to all the parties involved including Cardinal Pell and the complainants in this matter.”
Victoria Police will not be commenting further on the matter.
Following the announcement, Cardinal Pell issued an initial statement relating to the charges.
The statement reads:
INITIAL STATEMENT FROM CARDINAL GEORGE PELL FOLLOWING ANNOUNCEMENT OF CHARGES
Although it is still in the early hours of the morning in Rome, Cardinal George Pell has been informed of the decision and action of Victoria Police.
He has again strenuously denied all allegations.
Cardinal Pell will return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name following advice and approval by his doctors who will
also advise on his travel arrangements.
He said he is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously.
Cardinal Pell will make a further statement in Rome at the Holy See Press Office at 8.30am, Rome time, or 4.30pm AEST.
The statement is here.
Counseling is available from CatholicCare on 131819.
For information on safeguarding and protection of children protocols and complaint handling please contact the director of The Safeguarding and Ministerial Integrity Office on 9390 5810.
For a summary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney Policy on the care, well-being and protection of children and young people and for the Code of Conduct – Working with children and young people, please visit www.sydneycatholic.org/safeguarding.
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