George Pell reportedly facing fresh criminal investigation

Police have arrived at the NSW seminary where Cardinal George Pell is living amid reports he is facing fresh criminal investigations.

Four Officers from the Auburn Police Area Command arrived at the premises on Abbotsford Road in Homebush about 2.30pm for what was a prearranged meeting to "discuss security protocols", a NSW Police spokesperson said.

The meeting followed a story in the Herald Sun this morning claiming Cardinal Pell is being secretly investigated by police over new claims against him.

The accuser is believed to be a male who works in a professional role who made claims about alleged child sex abuse that date back to the 1970s.

Victoria Police told news.com.au they weren't able to comment on the claims made in the report.

Cardinal Pell earlier spoke out after his conviction for child sex abuse was overturned, saying he "wouldn't be entirely surprised" if Victoria Police tried to prosecute him again in future.

In an exclusive interview with Sky News Australiaafter his conviction for child sex abuse of two choirboys in Melbourne in the 1990s was quashed, Cardinal Pell said he believed he was the victim of a biased ABC agenda and he couldn't explain the 26 charges laid against him.

"I don't know how you explain it but it is certainly extraordinary," he told Andrew Bolt, adding that he "wouldn't be entirely surprised" if he were to face charges again.

Last week, the Australian High Court quashed Pell's five convictions for child sex abuse in a unanimous decision.

"There is a significant possibility that an innocent person has been convicted because the evidence did not establish guilt to the requisite standard of proof," the statement from seven leading judges said.

 

 

George Pell said he would not be surprised if he was investigated again. Picture:
George Pell said he would not be surprised if he was investigated again. Picture:

 

Cardinal Pell - who was once the third most senior Catholic in the Vatican - has always maintained he is innocent of carrying out child sex abuse.

He has spent 405 days behind bars and said it was "not a sign of a civilisation where you have guilt by association."

"The pendulum 30-40 years ago is massively against anybody who said that they had been attacked. Nowadays, we don't want it to swing back so that every accusation is regarded as gospel truth, that would be quite unjust and inappropriate."

He also took aim at the ABC, claiming that the national broadcaster had pursued an agenda against him.

"I believe in free speech and I acknowledge the right of those who differ from me to state their views," he said.

"In a national broadcaster to have an overwhelming presentation of one view and only one view, I think that's a betrayal of the national interest."

 

The Good Shepherd Seminary where Cardinal George Pell is residing in Sydney. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins
The Good Shepherd Seminary where Cardinal George Pell is residing in Sydney. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

 

The comments come after Cardinal Pell recently published an Easter message in The Australian, questioning the suffering in the world.

"Every person suffers. None escapes all the time. Everyone is confronted with a couple of questions. What should I do in this situation? Why is there so much evil and suffering? And why did this happen to me? Why the coronavirus pandemic?" he wrote.

Pell described the sexual abuse cases against the Catholic Church as a "moral cancer" that has been "cut out".

"I have just spent 13 months in jail for a crime I didn't commit, one disappointment after another. I knew God was with me, but I didn't know what He was up to, although I realised He has left all of us free. But with every blow it was a consolation to know I could offer it to God for some good purpose like turning the mass of suffering into spiritual energy."

 

 

Originally published as 'Extraordinary': Pell on court decision



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