Sky News Interview: George Pell ‘wouldn’t Be Entirely Surprised If Police Keep Trawling for Victims’
By Tessa Akerman and Steve Jackson
April 14, 2020
Cardinal George Pell has said he “wouldn’t be entirely surprised” if Victoria Police continued to trawl for alleged victims of sexual abuse as reports emerge of an investigation into a fresh allegation dating back to the 1970s.
Cardinal Pell, in a Sky News interview on Tuesday night with Andrew Bolt, said Victoria Police had “advertised” for cases of abuse during their initial investigation and it was “a bit ironic” that he had been made a scapegoat for sexual abuse by clergy when he introduced Melbourne Response in 1996 to provide redress.
“I don’t think the Church has ever got enough credit for the fact that we broke the back of this problem,” he said.
Cardinal George Pell says throughout the case against him on child sexual abuse charges, it was evident "too may people (would) go from possible, to probable, to a fact" when ...
“The offending stopped, not completely but almost completely, from the middle 90s.”
The 78-year-old was released from jail last Tuesday after being acquitted in the high court on five charges of historical child sexual abuse.
He spent more than 400 days in prison after being found guilty in December 2018, before the high court overturned the verdict.
“I’m a believing Christian and I have stated my views quite clearly on many cases in many cases,” he said.
He said the ABC was partly funded by Catholic taxpayers and he believed people had the right to free speech on views that differed from his.
“But in a national broadcaster, to have an overwhelming presentation of one view, only one view, I think that’s a betrayal of national interest,” he said.
Despite the evidence of one man being responsible for Cardinal Pell’s imprisonment, Cardinal Pell said he never felt anger towards the complainant, instead “a bit sorry for him”.
Cardinal Pell said he didn’t know the man’s motivation but said it was possible the complainant had mixed up an actual incident of abuse.