Untested allegations "emphatically denied"

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
28 Jul 2016

Cardinal George Pell has emphatically denied untested allegations against him which were aired on ABC 7.30 Report on Wednesday evening.

His office issued a statement shortly after the program was screened, refuting all allegations made on the program.  A full copy of the statement can be found below.

Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, also issued a response to the screening of the claims.  He said respect for all parties requires allegations be investigated in a way that affords all parties natural justice. 

President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart, also commented on the 7.30 Report.

Statement of Cardinal George Pell

Statement of Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP

Statement of Archbishop Denis Hart


Cardinal Pell repeats what he told the ABC 730 Report before the broadcast, he refutes all the allegations made on the program.

The ABC has no licence to destroy the reputation of innocent people and Cardinal Pell, like all those who have allegations against them that have not been tested by the Courts, is entitled to the presumption of innocence - not immediate condemnation. He is entitled to a fair go.

While the Cardinal in no way wishes to cause any harm to those making allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse against him, the simple fact is that they are wrong.

"I bear no ill will and have no desire to cause them harm but what they say about me is not true." Cardinal Pell said.

Nearly six months ago media outlets carried leaked stories of allegations against the Cardinal which were said to have been under investigation by the Victorian SANO Taskforce for over 12 months. Despite this there has been no requests made by the Taskforce to interview the Cardinal and the Victorian Police Commissioner confirmed last month that no request to interview the Cardinal had been proposed to him as necessary.

It seems there has been leaking of information and allegations by elements of the Victorian Police to the ABC. This is consistent with previous patterns of improper and illegal disclosure of information from such sources to a variety of media outlets. Such information has in the past repeatedly been demonstrated to be inaccurate and unfounded.

In a context where police themselves have suggested, accurately or otherwise, that the making of charges is under review by relevant authorities, these disclosures and consequent publicity by the ABC clearly are apt and calculated deliberately to influence and compromise relevant judicial and prosecutorial processes.

The Cardinal calls for an investigation to assess whether any actions of elements of the Victoria Police and the ABC program amount to a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The Cardinal has cooperated in the past and will continue to co-operate through the proper and appropriate civil authorities. He will not participate in trial by the ABC and other media outlets.

"I have done nothing wrong." Cardinal Pell said.