The Archbishops of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, and Canberra-Goulburn have issued a joint statement in support of Cardinal George Pell, reports The Australian.
The Archbishops - Anthony Fisher OP, Mark Coleridge, Timothy Costelloe ODB, Julian Porteous, and Christopher Prowse - as well as the Bishop of Broken Bay, Peter Comensoli, and Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, Terence Brady, affirmed Cardinal Pell is “a man of integrity,” who is committed to the truth.
The Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, who is also the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, spoke out in defence of Cardinal Pell on Monday, urging people to hold off from making hasty judgments.
Cardinal Pell has come under fire following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse hearing in Ballarat last month. The inquiry was told Cardinal Pell tried to bribe a victim of paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to keep quiet and dismissed another abuse victim’s complaint as ridiculous.
The Royal Commission also heard Cardinal Pell was present at a Ballarat diocesan consultors meeting which approved Ridsdale’s transfer from the western Victorian parish of Mortlake where he had offended against children.
The seven Archbishops and Bishops say they know Cardinal Pell well from working with him and that he is committed to the truth and to helping others, particularly those who have been hurt or who are struggling.
“His style can be robust and direct; he does not wear his heart on his sleeve. But underneath he has a big heart for people,” they wrote.
George Pell a man of integrity insist Australia bishops (The Australian)