CARDINAL GEORGE PELL’S STATEMENT
These matters have been under investigation now for two years.
There have been leaks to the media. There has been relentless character assassination.
A relentless character assassination.
And for more than a month, claims that a decision on whether to lay charges was imminent.
I’m looking forward, finally, to having my day in court. I’m innocent of these charges. They are false.
The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me. I’ve kept Pope Francis — the Holy Father — regularly informed during these long months.
I have spoken to him on a number of occasions in the last week, I think — most recently, a day or so ago. We talked about my need to take leave to clear my name.
So I’m very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia. I’ve spoken to my lawyers about when this will be necessary.
And I’ve spoken to my doctors about the best way to achieve this. All along, I have been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations.
News of these charges strengthens my resolve, strengthens my resolve. And court proceedings now offer me an opportunity to clear my name and then return here back to Rome to work. Thank you.