Pell Could Restart Sex Assault Investigation

ABC News

July 10, 2008

[with video]

The Catholic Church is considering re-opening an investigation into a sexual abuse case involving a priest that has engulfed Sydney's Archbishop George Pell.

The change in position comes after transcripts obtained by ABC TV's Lateline program that have revealed the priest called and apologised to his victim.

Lateline obtained a transcript of a phone conversation between Father Terrance Goodall and his victim, school teacher Anthony Jones, which was recorded by police in 2003.

Taking legal advice: Cardinal George Pell
Photo by Paul Miller

In it Father Goodall claims he never told investigators that the sexual abuse was consensual.

In one part of the conversation he says his action was "very very wrong" and he concedes that he was taking advantage of another man.

During the recording, Father Goodall apologises to Mr Jones for forcing himself on him.

When told of the recordings yesterday, Cardinal Pell said he was not aware of the conversation, but will now reconsider the original investigation.

"Always said I'm happy to talk with Jones and if this new information is verified I'd certainly talk with him on a new basis of fact," he said.

The transcript was available to the Church's lawyers more than three years ago, but Cardinal Pell says he was unaware of the transcripts.

"Those statements of Goodall of course put my decision on this particular matter in quite a different light," he said.

He says he is taking legal advice on the matter.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.