May 27, 2020
Weeks after Cardinal George Pell was released from jail, a newly release report suggests that he knew of child sex abuse by Australian priests as early as the 1970s but failed to take action to stop it.
Pell, an ex-Vatican treasurer, is the highest-ranking Roman Catholic leader ever found guilty in the church’s clergy pedophilia crisis. In March 2019, he was sentenced to six years in prison for molesting two 13-year-old boys after Sunday Mass in 1996. Then, in a devastating April 2020 ruling, Australia’s High Court overturned the 78-year-old cardinal’s conviction. The Court claimed the jury, who had unanimously found the victim’s testimony credible, ought to have entertained a doubt about Pell’s guilt since only one of his victims was alive to testify.
The new findings on Cardinal Pell come from Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which began in 2012 and ended in 2017. A court had previously redacted the report because Pell was facing child abuse charges at the time, but according to the BBC, it was allowed to be made public once the charges were dropped.
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