Cardinal Pell Rings Alarm Bell

Same Same

July 9, 2008

People who plan to protest during the Pope’s visit because of the Catholic Church’s involvement in instances of child sexual assault have even more reason to do so now.

Australia’s highest ranking Catholic official, Cardinal George Pell, has been accused of covering up another case of child sexual assault within the church, only days before the Pontiff arrives.

The Pope apologised for paedophilia within the ‘sacred ministry’ in April of this year, with rumours that another apology was a possibility here.

Cardinal Pell Rings Alarm Bell

”[He] not only apologised publicly but also met with a number of victims,” said The Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Michael Malone, also indicating the pope had set a precedent by apologising to American victims.

“I’m not sure that his schedule in Sydney would allow that to happen, but I would certainly be supportive of it.”

The recent accusations surround Father Terrance Goodall, a Catholic priest who Pell received complaints about. The complaints came from two men, one nine at the time of the separate assaults, the other 29.

An independent commission reportedly found that both men’s complaints should be upheld, and yet Pell upheld the complaints of the younger victim, writing to the other, Mr. Anthony Jones, to say that his claims could not be substantiated.

Jones was 29 when the alleged assault occurred – twice in one day in 1982. He’s now a 54 year-old disability pensioner.

“The apology that the Pope may give [to church abuse victims] has no meaning if the Archbishop of Sydney is still covering up sexual assaults,” Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald. ”[Pell] assaulted me all over again through his lies. I had to live through these two sexual assaults through his lies.”

Pell is denying any form of cover-up, even though the report by the independent commission clearly validated the complaints of both men.

The commission found that “Fr Goodall readily admitted to the behaviour complained of by Tony… He agreed that he had fondled Tony’s penis without consent in the pool as a result of ‘a physical attraction’. He cannot recall whether he ejaculated, as alleged by Tony, but agreed it was likely.”

Despite what appears clear evidence of abuse, Jones was advised in writing by Pell that his claims could not be substantiated, because it was unclear whether Jones consented to the sexual acts or not.

Amid calls to stand-down while his actions are investigated, Pell released a statement saying that “there was no attempt to mislead [Mr Jones]”, apologising for any confusion he may have caused in his “badly worded letter”.

Strangely enough, an online game that saw players take the role of a cardinal preventing news of sexual abuse reaching parents, authorities and media, was recently banned in Italy. Molleindustria is a not-for-profit Italian team of artists, designers and programmers “that aims at starting a serious discussion about social and political implications of videogames.”

The gaming group have attacked such social evils as McDonalds, Homophobia, and religious intolerance. The ban was reported to have come about because of Catholic Italian MPs who often attempt to have dissent targeting the Vatican and church quelled.


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