Thursday, 29 June 2017
Vatican treasurer charged with sex offences
"The Vatican treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing after being charged with sex offences in his native Australia..."
"Cardinal Pell has been a strong supporter of traditional Catholic values, taking a conservative stance on same-sex marriage and contraception, and advocating priestly celibacy."
"But his career has been dogged first by claims that he covered up child sexual abuse by priests, and then later that he was himself an abuser. He has always strongly denied any wrongdoing."
"In 2014, Cardinal Pell was summoned to Rome to become chief of the Vatican's finances, a new position created by Pope Francis in the wake of scandals at the Vatican Bank."
"But he left behind growing anger over revelations of child sex abuse by members of the Catholic clergy in Australia."
"Cardinal Pell repeatedly faced allegations from abuse victims of a cover-up and his critics accused him of appearing aloof and arrogant."
"He was accused of moving one notorious paedophile priest - Gerald Ridsdale - around parishes rather than reporting him, and of attempting to bribe one of the victims to keep quiet."
"He denied any wrongdoing but said he could have done more to investigate claims of abuse."