Australian Cardinal George Pell will declare himself not guilty of sex abuse accusations leveled against him and will confirm his innocence, reported yesterday Vatican Radio, quoting the words of the defense lawyer, Robert Richter, at the opening of the Cardinal’s trial in Melbourne, which claims the Cardinal Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy could have committed abuses of minors.
In the preliminary hearing, which lasted six minutes, details were not given of the charges related to abuses some decades ago, indicated the police of Ballarat, the Cardinal’s birthplace, which conducted the investigation in the state of Victoria.
Cardinal Pell has already energetically rejected all the accusations of abuse, speaking of “relentless aggression against him.” He arrived at the Magistrates Court of Melbourne, escorted by the police, with his legal team, besieged by photographers and cameramen. The next hearing is scheduled for October 6.
We recall that the Report of the Committee in the trial reached Cardinal Pell on June 29. Hence, his decision to take a leave of absence from his post in the Vatican to defend himself from the accusations of Australia’s judicial power. “The judicial process will give me the opportunity to clean my name and return to my work in Rome,” said Cardinal Pell.
The Cardinal could have stayed in the Vatican, alluding to his responsibilities and taking advantage of his diplomatic immunity. Instead, he preferred to go to Melbourne to defend himself.