By the Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB Archbishop of Perth Wednesday 21st August 2019
Following cardinal Pell’s unsuccessful appeal against his conviction on charges of historic sexual abuse of minors, reactions will be varied. Those who have been convinced of his guilt will believe that justice has been served. Those who have always accepted cardinal Pell’s constant insistence on his innocence of all charges will be dismayed that his appeal has been rejected.
Many people have commented on the conduct of the investigation, trial and con-viction of cardinal Pell. I will not do so. Rather, I would appeal to everyone to remain calm, measured and compassionate in our reactions and responses.
I would also plead with everyone in our society to join in a common effort to eradicate the scourge of sexual abuse from our communities and our institutions. This is what our children and young people need from us at this time.
The Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB
Archbishop of Perth
Statement from Archbishop Mark Coleridge,
President of the Australian catholic Bishops Conference
The Victorian Court of Appeal has today announced that, in a 2-1 decision, Car-dinal George Pell’s appeal against his convictions for child sexual abuse offenc-es has been dismissed.
The Catholic Bishops of Australia believe all Australians must be equal under the law and accept today’s judgement accordingly.
Cardinal Pell’s legal team has said it will examine the judgement in order to de-termine a special leave application to the High Court.
The Bishops realise that this has been and remains a most difficult time for survi-vors of child sexual abuse and those who support them. We acknowledge the pain that those abused by clergy have experienced through the long process of the trials and appeal of Cardinal Pell. We also acknowledge that his judgement will be distressing to many people.
We remain committed to doing everything we can to bring healing to those who have suffered greatly and to ensuring that Catholic settings are the safest possi-ble places for all people, but especially for children and vulnerable adults.
August 21, 2019.