Cardinal George Pell, who was investigated in 2002 for sexually assaulting a 12 year-old-boy in 1961, gave evidence yesterday (24/3/14) at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It is a bit rich to call what came out of George’s mouth “evidence” given almost every second word would have to classified as perjury.
There are two key points to this post. One is the perjured evidence of George Pell at the Royal Commission and two is why has the Royal Commission has not raised the child sex abuse allegations made against George Pell which were only ever investigated by the church. Yep, the church found there was insufficient evidence against Pell. Pell said he had been exonerated which he had clearly not. Another Pell lie and another reason why the Royal Commission should be asking Pell about the allegations that look more likely to be true every time Pell tells a lie as his evidence cannot be believed on any matter and is highly unreliable to say the least.
George’s perjured evidence at the Royal Commission
George has a long history of lying and was caught out on camera in the 2002 interview on 60 Minutes with reporter Richard Carlton. In that interview George Pell said aggressively that he did not offer a victim $50,000 to settle with the church. Then Richard Carlton produced a letter of offer from the church’s law firm saying words to the effect that “we represent George Pell and are offering you $50,000 to settle the matter.” (The video is below and I have edited it down to 2 1/2 minutes.)
(To watch the full interview on YouTube click here. It has more on George Pell and his support for the convicted paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale)
Pell says everyone else is lying at the Royal commission except himself
George Pell has been unloading on everyone including his own long-term private secretary Dr Michael Casey and other senior church officials. While Pell is careful to not say they have lied or perjured themselves, he is clearly implying that when he continually says on key points that their evidence is “not correct” or “that did not happen” etc. Some examples are:
“Giving evidence the Cardinal said he could not remember “ever being asked my opinion on how much money might be paid for reparation compensation to a Towards Healing victim”.
“The evidence of his then-Archdiocesan Chancellor Brian Rayner that the Cardinal always made the final decision on offers to victims was not correct, the Cardinal said. He said the suggestion that he had offered Mr Ellis an extra $5000, taking it to $30,000, after Mr Ellis lost his job as a partner of Baker & McKenzie was “grotesque”.”
And: “He also said his private secretary Dr Michael Casey was wrong to assume that the chancellor discussed with him all offers to be made to victims. “That didn’t happen,’’” (Click here to read more)
Pell also attacked the credibility of other church staff. If you believe Pell, he was working with a bunch of compulsive liars.
“In the photo, Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale (left, in sunglasses and hat) walks to court, accompanied by his support person (Bishop George Pell, then an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne), when Father Ridsdale was pleading guilty to his first batch of criminal charges in May 1993 for sexually abusing children. But no bishop accompanied the victims, who felt deserted by the church leaders.” (From the Broken Rites website. Click here to read more)
Cardinal George Pell allegedly sexually assaulted a 12 year-old-boy
I raised the assault allegations last year in another post on a similar topic (Click here to read) but it is worth reviewing in a bit more depth in light of the massive perjury of George Pell at the Royal Commission because the person who investigated said both Pell and the complainant seemed credible. Well we have known for a long time that George Pell has no credibility and that has been reinforced tenfold given his perjury at the Royal Commission.
“In October 2002, the Catholic Church in Australia posted on its official website a document entitled Report of an inquiry into an allegation of sexual abuse against Archbishop George Pell. The report was compiled by a retired Victorian Supreme Court judge, Mr A.J. Southwell Q.C., who had been engaged by the Catholic Church to conduct an inquiry into the allegation. The inquiry was held in Melbourne in September-October 2002. Mr M. Tovey Q.C. appeared for the complainant and Mr J. Sher Q.C. appeared for George Pell.”
“The details of the complaint are as follows: at the camp, during some form of activity in a tent (such as pillow fighting or wrestling), the respondent, while facing the complainant, put his hand down the inside of the complainant’s pants and got “a good handful” of his penis and testicles. There were other altar boys in the tent at the time, who were participating in the other playful activities. The complainant was shocked, since before that incident he had regarded the respondent as “a fun person, a gentle person, a kind person, he was a terrific bloke”. On each of the few occasions this occurred, the complainant pulled the respondent’s hand away. On two occasions, in a tent, the respondent took the complainant’s hand, and guided it down the front of and inside the respondent’s pants; the complainant pulled his hand away without having touched the respondent’s genitals. In another incident, which “is not as clear as the other episodes”, they were in the water, jumping the waves, when from one side the respondent put his hand down and inside the complainant’s bathers and touched his genitals.”
“On another occasion, during a walk away from the camp at night, they were walking in Indian file when the respondent grabbed the complainant from behind and put his hand down and inside of the complainant’s pants.” (Click here to read more)
It was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper at the time:
“Even if George Pell is completely exonerated, should he – and the Catholic Church – bear some responsibility for his present circumstance? Deborah Snow reports.”
“Black-clad, resolute, Australia’s foremost warrior-churchman, Archbishop George Pell, stood outside St Mary’s Cathedral this week and vowed to challenge the “lies” which have forced him to step aside. It was a typically defiant response from the Vatican’s hard man in Australia, who’s forged a career out of carrying the fight to opponents both inside and outside the Catholic Church.”
“The charges are grave – that more than 40 years ago, as a trainee priest, Pell sexually molested a 12-year-old boy. If you take the archbishop at his word, his outrage is natural.”
“But as one senior priest observed, “He could have framed his statement of innocence in a way that was less confrontational with his accuser. He could have left the door open for the complainant to decide he’d got it wrong. But now the complainant’s been branded a liar, that’s an unlikely outcome.”” (Click here to read more)
“After a church-appointed inquiry, Pell said he was grateful to God to have been exonerated.”
“In fact, retired Victorian Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell had said that both Pell and his accuser gave the impression they were speaking the truth. Taking into account questions about the accuser’s credibility (he had a criminal record) and the fact that the alleged incidents occurred so long ago, Southwell found he was “not satisfied that the complaint had been established”.” (Click here to read more)
The retired Victorian Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell was on the Church’s payroll as it was an internal Church inquiry so he was hardly impartial. The full report was put on the Churches website in 2002 but has since been taken down. Part of it can be read on the Broken Rites Australia website. (Click here to read)
One of the things that people wonder is if Royal Commissions achieve anything. Well this RC has already achieved plenty as far as I am concerned because George Pell will be held to account. Maybe he will not go to jail but his reputation is destroyed and so it should be. George Pell is due to leave for his new job in Rome next Monday. He had become a joke and embarrassment to the church in Australia and had to go and the church knew it. I think the Royal Commission has helped drive that change in the church. Cardinal Pell is now nothing more than a criminal on the run.
George Pell is due back in the witness stand tomorrow (Wednesday 26/3/14) and if anything worth mentioning develops I will update this post.
Update (28/3/14): A supporter (as per the comment section below) has kindly found a full copy of the Southwell QC report regarding the investigation into George Pell. (Click here to read)
Click here to read a full copy of the George Pell witness statement to the Royal Commission.
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Categories: Royal Commission