Australian Police May Interview Cardinal Pell Over Child Sex Abuse Claims

Cardinal George Pell could be interviewed in Rome by Australian police over historic child sexual abuse allegations, please read here for previous post on allegations.

Cardinal Pell has called for an investigation into Australia's Victoria police and claimed he is the victim of a "scandalous smear campaign".

Victoria Police and assistant commissioner Steve Fontana are assessing the claims. In a statement, Victoria Police confirmed it has received advice from the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in relation to both sets of allegations.

The cardinal has said he bore no ill feelings towards his accusers. "I bear no ill will and have no desire to cause them harm but what they say about me is not true," he said.

Pell added that he had not been approached by Sano for an interview.
But Victoria police's chief commissioner, Graham Ashton, has not ruled out sending officers to Rome to interview Pell, saying that the issue was before the office of public prosecutions. "Anything is possible at this stage," he said last month.

In February, Cardinal Pell gave evidence via video-link from Rome to Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney, admitting that the Catholic Church had made "enormous mistakes" and let abuse victims down.

Pope Francis has said that people should not judge Pell or gossip about him before justice has taken its course. He told journalists when flying back from World Youth Day in Poland at the end of last month: "The first information that arrived was confusing. It was news from 40 years back that not even the police made a case about at first. It was a confusing thing. Then, all the rest of the accusations were sent to justice. Right now, they are in the hands of justice. And one mustn't judge before justice judges, eh?

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