Australia--Cardinal charged with sexual abuse
Australian Cardinal charged with sexual assault, SNAP responds
For immediate release, June 29, 2017
Police in the Australian state of Victoria have today charged a Roman Catholic Cardinal with sexual assault.
Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, will face criminal charges involving accusation of sexual offenses. Law enforcement did not provide any additional details about these allegations, including the ages of the alleged victims, other than to say that there were multiple complainants.
SNAP, the Survivors Network, wants to thank the Victoria Police, who took the time to listen to those who came forward with allegations. We are always grateful and encouraged when law enforcement works hard to gather evidence to build a case against a powerful and influential man. We hope that anyone with additional information about this case will contact law enforcement.
We also hope that the Australian government’s long and extensive investigation into institutional abuse inspires other countries to follow in their footsteps and hold similar hearings. Sexual abuse thrives when it is allowed to flourish in secrecy.
Finally, we await Pope Francis’ response to this development. As the head of the Catholic Church, he has promised to work to end the scourge of abuse by his clergy. We expect him to give proof of this by sending Cardinal Pell home immediately to face these charges.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)