June 29, 2017
Cardinal George Pell is heading back to his home country of Australia to face multiple sexual assault charges, from multiple accusers. Officials are not releasing details of the charges, nor the accusers — including their ages — but Pell has denied the complaints, calling them part of a “relentless character assassination.”
“I can’t possibly be surprised,” said attorney Mitchell Garabedian when he joined Jim Braude on “Greater Boston,” along with investigative journalist Mike Rezendes, who was part of The Boston Globe Spotlight team that first broke the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal in the ’90s. Garabedian has represented thousands of victims of church abuse and both men were portrayed in the 2015 film “Spotlight.”
“I have cases around the world where children were abused by priests and some of them were high-ranking priests,” said Garabedian.
Pell is the third-ranking official in the Vatican and he’s the senior-most church official to ever be charged.
“Most important, the church has not dealt with this problem,” said Rezendes. “Until the church deals with the problem head-on, we’re going to see scandal after scandal after scandal.”
Cardinal Pell is one of nine church officials who were appointed by Pope Francis, shortly after his election in 2013, to study reforms within the Catholic Church. Boston’s own Cardinal Sean O’Malley — who chairs the Pope’s Commission for the Protection of Minors — was another.
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