Cardinal George Pell, 78, rejects a report of the controversial 2017 Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
An unredacted version of the report was released on May 7. A spokesman for the Cardinal confirmed that the report’s claims are “not supported by evidence.”
According to him Pell “is especially surprised” by claims he had participated in in diocesan meetings which helped shifting the homosexual abuser Gerald Ridsdale into other parishes.
In reality, none of the diocesan consulters who gave evidence about these meetings, said they were aware of Ridsdale’s offending at the time.
The commission further claims that Pell “should have done more” to remove the allegedly abusive Doveton parish priest Peter Searson from ministry in 1989.
In reality, Pell met with a delegation from Doveton Parish in 1989 when he was a Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop. However, sexual assaults were not mentioned and nobody asked for Searson’s removal.
When Pell was appointed Melbourne Archbishop in 1996, he removed Searson within seven months after taking office. Serason died in 2009. He was never convicted.
After Cardinal Pell spent more than 400 days innocently in prison, this is another example that Australian institutions are incapable or unwilling to seriously inquire about abuse allegations.