Pell Should Consider Quitting - Greens

Herald Sun

July 10, 2008,21985,24002151-5005961,00.html

CARDINAL George Pell should consider stepping down in the light of a sex abuse scandal, the Greens say.

The Archbishop of Sydney has been accused of misleading a man abused by a priest, and giving weight to the Father Terrence Goodall's claim the sexual encounter was consensual.

Letters aired on ABC Television earlier this week showed Cardinal Pell told Anthony Jones that his complaint against Father Terrence could not be upheld because the church was not aware of any other complaints against the priest.

But another letter showed Cardinal Pell was aware of a second allegation of sexual abuse against Father Goodall.

Cardinal Pell earlier this week said he got his decision wrong and had expressed himself poorly in the letter to Mr Jones.

The archbishop has now referred the matter to an independent panel after revelations that in 2003 police phone transcripts, Father Goodall admits to Mr Jones, now 54, that the encounter was not consensual.

In 2005, Father Goodall was convicted of indecently assaulting Mr Jones in 1982 after pleading guilty to the charges, but served no time in prison.

The claims came to light just days before the arrival of the Pope in Sydney for World Youth Day.

Greens senator Christine Milne tonight pointed to the case of former Anglican bishop Peter Hollingworth, who stood down as governor-general over claims he mishandled a sex abuse claim.

"I think Cardinal Pell needs to really think about his leadership role in the church in Australia," Senator Milne told ABC Television's Q and A program.

"I think he needs to think about whether he's putting his own aspirations in terms of World Youth Day ahead of the church."

Senator Milne said the culture of abuse in churches had to stop, and denials should cease.

"I really think the culture of abuse has to be owned, recognised," she said.


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