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Australian cardinal convicted of abuse

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 2/26/19, 11:03 am

An Australian court in December convicted Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ top financial adviser and the Vatican’s economy minister, of molesting two choirboys, the Vatican said Tuesday. Pell is the most senior Roman Catholic cleric charged with child sexual abuse. The County Court of Victoria state delivered a unanimous verdict but demanded it be kept secret while prosecutors pursued another abuse case against the cardinal. That case was recently dropped. A sentencing hearing begins Wednesday for Pell, who faces potentially 50 years in prison. He lodged an appeal last week and maintains his innocence.

Amid a global sexual abuse crisis engulfing the Roman Catholic Church—the Vatican wrapped up a four-day summit on the issue Sunday—officials at an Iowa Diocese on Monday published a list of 28 priests who had been credibly accused of abusing more than 100 boys and girls. The list included about 5 percent of the priests who worked for the diocese since it was founded in 1902. The diocese withheld the name of one accused priest pending an appeal to the Vatican. It’s not clear if he still works in a local parish.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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  • JerryM
    Posted: Tue, 02/26/2019 04:14 pm

    This is, of course, a grievous crime.  However, when you hear the evidence and understand the defence you are left to wonder whether the crime really occurred.  I don't at all wish to convey that these acts are not being perpetrated by some leaders in the Catholic Church.  In this case, I am not sure.  Confounding factors: This is the second trial (the first could not reach a unanimous or majority vote) and there appears to be a real thirst in Australia for a conviction against Pell.

  • Dan B
    Posted: Wed, 02/27/2019 01:44 pm

    From reports I’ve read, the original trial resulted in a hung jury voting 10-to-2 to acquit. To go from that to a 12-to-0 guilty vote sounds like a hand-picked jury out for blood.