(ZENIT News / Rome, 14.07.2022).- Made public on July 14 was the news that Australian Courts have received a civil lawsuit against Cardinal George Pell and the Archdiocese of Melbourne by the father of a deceased boy, who alleges that his son was the victim of an abuse when he was a member of the choir of Melbourne’s Cathedral.
The headlines related to this new case draw attention by putting in the first place a half truth or manipulated truth, stating that Cardinal Pell was declared guilty of abuse in 2018 but relegating to irrelevance the fact that the Cardinal was acquitted in 2020 for something that is absolutely not irrelevant: the person accusing him changed his version several times: the times, places and development of the alleged events did not correspond in the alleged commission of a crime. Initially the judges gave the same weight of value to the accuser, who was also seen as proof in himself (detached from the necessary proof of a third person that in any regime of justice is requirable).
However, it’s worthwhile to recall the previous case for several reasons: the first is that this new lawsuit states it is related to the previous case. Both the individual who defamed the Cardinal as well as this other one were companions in the same choir, but the deceased boy never accused Cardinal Pell. It is the boy’s father who is accusing him, alleging that he has suffered psychological harm. In fact, the avenue of this new lawsuit is not the criminal (oriented to taking someone to prison) but civil, the majority of times geared to obtaining economic benefits from the accused. It’s also worthwhile to say that the boy whose father is taking this lawsuit forward died accidentally of an overdose in 2014. The deceased never raised a charge against Cardinal Pell.
Cardinal George Pell spent unjustly 13 months in prison after being linked, without proofs, to crimes of abuse against a man who said he was abused when he was 13 and a member of the choir of the Cathedral of Melbourne. Australia’s Supreme Court of justice acquitted Cardinal Pell by unanimity, finding that the two preceding Courts ruled incorrectly.
Resulting from the period of imprisonment was the Cardinal Memoirs, which he already published. In June of 2021, Australian justice sentenced Australian media, which defamed the Cardinal or intervened in his trial, to pay fines. In a recent interview with Reuters Agency, Pope Francis vindicated the figure of Cardinal Pell, stressing that to him is owed the initiation of the cleansing of the Vatican’s finances.
This new case will be addressed in the Australian courts on August 4.