Pressure mounts on Cardinal Pell to return and face criminal charges

The Australian Senate has endorsed the Green Party’s call for Cardinal Pell’s return from Rome to face allegations of criminal misconduct.

In reply, Pell says the Green Party’s actions show it is “anti-religion”.

A spokesperson for Pell said the move is really about political point scoring.

“The Greens have opted for an obvious political stunt while knowing full well Cardinal Pell has consistently co-operated with the Royal Commission and the Victorian police.

The suggestion that Cardinal Pell should be accountable for all the wrongdoings of Church personnel throughout Australia over many decades is not only unjust and completely fanciful but also acts to shield those in the Church who should be called to account for their failures.”

The Green Party’s Rachel Siewert launched the motion after acknowledging Australia’s 4,444 alleged victims of clerical child sexual abuse.

In doing so, she noted “the allegations of criminal misconduct against Cardinal George Pell have been forwarded to the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions by the Victoria police”.

She then called for the cardinal to “return to Australia to assist Victorian police and the Office of Public Prosecutions with their investigations into these matters.”

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