Top Australian Catholic official charged with sexual assault offenses

Epigraph:

Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their due reward, but many of them are rebellious. (Al Quran 57:27/28)

pell

Cardinal George Pell

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN

CNN: Cardinal George Pell, one of the most senior officials in the Catholic Church, has been charged with multiple historical sexual assault offenses in his home country of Australia, police said Thursday.

Pell has previously denied covering up abuse committed by priests when he served as the Archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 to 2001. But he acknowledged his predecessor, Archbishop Frank Little, now deceased, had destroyed documents to protect priests.
“I want to be perfectly clear — the process and the procedures that have been followed in the charging of Cardinal Pell have been the same that have been applied in a whole range of historical sex offenses whenever we investigate them,” Victoria Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Patton said at a news conference.

“Cardinal Pell has been treated the same as anyone else in this investigation.”
He currently serves as a top adviser to Pope Francis and the Vatican’s top financial adviser. In 2013, he was named one of eight cardinals tasked with investigating ways to reform the church.

He is the most senior member of the Catholic Church in Australia.

Pell is likely the highest-ranking Catholic official charged in connection with sex abuse in recent years.

“His role is to oversee the budgeting processes and financial procedures of the Vatican,” CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen said.

“If it’s analogous to the US government, he would basically be the secretary of the treasury.”

Pell has previously denied covering up abuse committed by priests when he served as the Archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 to 2001. But he acknowledged his predecessor, Archbishop Frank Little, now deceased, had destroyed documents to protect priests.

Read further and watch videos in CNN

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