Showing posts with label Religion/Crime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion/Crime. Show all posts

December 13, 2018

Top Advisor to The Pope, Cardinal Pell, Found Guilty of Historical Sexual Offenses



Australian Cardinal George Pell leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court Oct. 6. 
(CNS photo/Mark Dadswell, Reuters)

Gerard O’Connell
American Magazine

An Australian jury has found Cardinal George Pell, 77, guilty on five charges of “historical child sexual offenses” that go back decades, according to various media reports and confirmed by America. The 12-member jury gave their unanimous verdict in the County Court of the State of Victoria in Melbourne on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
The judge decided that the sentencing will take place in early February 2019 and released the cardinal on bail.
Little is known about the nature of the charges on which Cardinal Pell has been condemned because the entire trial and a second trial that has yet to take place are covered by a strict suppression order issued by the presiding judge, Peter Kidd. The order prohibits reporting on the case in any of the country’s media until the second trial has taken place to avoid prejudicing his case in both instances. The judge has prohibited the publication of the number of complainants in either of the two trials as well as the number and nature of the charges, except for the fact that the charges relate to “historical child sexual offenses.” 
An Australian jury has found Cardinal George Pell, 77, guilty on five charges of historical sexual offenses. 


The cardinal is the most senior churchman yet to be convicted of such offenses, though he is not the third-ranking Vatican official, as some media have reported. His conviction is a grave blow not only to the church in Australia but also to the Vatican and to Pope Francis, who placed great trust in him by nominating the Australian prelate to his nine-member Council of Cardinal Advisors (he was the only cardinal from Oceania at that time, and Francis chose one cardinal from each continent) and by appointing him as prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy with a sweeping mandate to reform Vatican finances.
Cardinal Pell made great headway in those reform efforts, but he has not finished that work when he decided to return to Australia to respond to the allegations of historical sexual offenses. The cardinal has always maintained his innocence. Committal hearings were held in May at the end of which the presiding magistrate while dismissing some of the most serious charges, ordered him to stand trial on the other charges.
His lawyers and the Victoria State public prosecutors agreed to split the charges against him into two trials: one relating to alleged sexual offenses committed at the cathedral in Melbourne (the first trial known as “the cathedral trial”) and the other for abuse said to have been committed in Ballarat, reportedly at a swimming pool (known as “the swimmers trial”). Yesterday’s verdict comes from the first trial. That trial began in September but the jury could not reach a verdict, and so a new trial began in November which resulted in yesterday’s verdict. The second trial is expected to take place early in 2019, probably around mid-February or early March, after the sentencing related to the first verdict has taken place. 
Cardinal Pell’s conviction is a grave blow not only to the church in Australia but also to the Vatican and to Pope Francis. 


The Vatican has not commented on the news of the cardinal’s conviction out of respect for the suppression order. On Wednesday, Dec. 12., the director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, responding to a question at a press brief in the Vatican about whether the cardinal would remain as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy in the light of his judicial situation told reporters, “That is a good question.”
He then added, “The Holy See has the utmost respect for the Australian judicial authorities. We are aware there is a suppression order in place and we respect that order.”
Pope Francis told journalists in an airborne press conference earlier this year that he would speak only after the judicial process (which includes the possibility of appeal after sentencing) had run its course. Sources say the cardinal, who has always insisted in this innocence, will appeal.
The conviction of another Australian archbishop, Philip Wilson, was overturned by an appeals court, and sources believe the case of Cardinal Pell could follow suit. 
Pope Francis has said he would speak only after the judicial process had run its course.  


Pope Francis “granted Cardinal Pell a leave of absence so he could defend himself from the accusations” on June 29, 2017. Since then, the cardinal has been unable to carry out his responsibilities as prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy, a senior position in the Vatican, and as a member of the pope’s council of nine cardinals advisors.
Prior to his leave of absence—when allegations became public and some thought the pope should have removed Cardinal Pell from office—Francis applied the principle of law known as “in dubio pro reo” (“doubt favors the accused”), insisting that a person is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. The pope did not remove Cardinal Pell from his Vatican posts then because he believed to do so would be equivalent to an admission of guilt. Francis explained his stance in a press conference on the return flight from World Youth Day in Poland, July 31, 2016. He said: “We have to wait for the justice system to do its job and not pass judgment in the media because this is not helpful. ‘Judgment’ by gossip, and then what? We don’t know how it will turn out. See what the justice system decides. Once it has spoken, then I will speak.” 
Pope Francis’ words make clear that he does not intend to speak until the judicial process, including a possible appeal, has ended. He has, however, terminated Cardinal Pell’s membership of the council of nine cardinal advisors, Mr. Burke, indicated on Dec. 12. Mr. Burke revealed that at the end of October, the pope sent a letter thanking Cardinals Pell, Francisco Javier Errazuriz (Chile) and Laurent Monswengo Pasinya (the Democratic Republic of the Congo) for their work in his council of cardinal advisors over the past five years.
Cardinal Pell could decide to hand in his resignation as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, since it is unlikely that his second trial and an eventual appeal will have taken place by the time his five-year term as prefect expires on Feb. 24. The cardinal, who will be 78 in June, could also resign from his other roles in various Roman Curia departments and offices. Currently, he is a member of the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
Regardless, Cardinal Pell is not allowed to carry out any pastoral ministry in public until the whole judicial process has ended, and then only if the verdict is in his favor. 

November 12, 2018

Humans Have Never Been Saints: ie Mother Theresa, Worse Than The Average Sinner


 Nobody epitomizes the answer of this question more than Anjeze Gonxhe, aka Mother Theresa.

October 20, 2018

Feds Investigating on Sex Probe Against Child Sex Abuse Cases on Pennsylvania Church

 

 St Mary's Church in PA. Where Police is investigating child sex abuse


The Department of Justice has launched an investigation of child sex abuse within Pennsylvania's Roman Catholic Church, sending subpoenas to dioceses across the state seeking private files and records to explore the possibility that priests and bishops violated federal law in cases that go back decades, NPR has learned.
In what is thought to be the first-ever such inquiry into the church's clergy sex-abuse scandal, authorities have issued subpoenas to look into possible violations of the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, also known as RICO, according to a person close to the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.  
The source did not elaborate on what other potential federal crimes could be part of the inquiry, which could take years and is now only in its early stages. 
RICO has historically been used to dismantle organized-crime syndicates. 
Officials at six of Pennsylvania's eight dioceses — Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Scranton and Harrisburg — have confirmed to NPR that they have recently received and are currently complying with federal subpoenas for information. The two remaining dioceses did not return requests for comment.  
Supporters of those who have been victimized by church leaders applauded federal prosecutors for initiating a criminal investigation into one of the state's most powerful institutions.  
"There is a consensus rising, which is this just has to stop. And it won't stop if prosecutors just sit on their hands," said Marci Hamilton, University of Pennsylvania professor who also runs Child USA, a group that advocates for victims of child sex abuse. "The federal government has been silent on these issues to date, and it's high time they got to work."
The federal investigation follows a sweeping grand jury report released in August by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office that found that more than 1,000 minors were abused by some 300 priests across Pennsylvania over a 70-year period.
A dozen other states have also opened investigations into clergy sex abuse.
Fallout from the Pennsylvania report has included Catholic schools that honored now-disgraced clergy being renamed and the archbishop of Washington, D.C., Cardinal Donald Wuerl, resigning after being accused of covering up sexual abuse during his time as bishop of Pittsburgh.
Numerous other church officials, the report found, participated in a systemic cover-up of the abuse that included shuffling priests around to other parishes and, in some cases, obstructing police investigations. However, because some of the allegations are decades old, many of the accused are now deceased. 
Because of Pennsylvania's statute of limitations, just two of the priests named in the report were charged as a result of the state-led investigation.
Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, says that the federal statute of limitations could allow more time to prosecute individuals who are now out of reach under state laws.
"This could bring the full force of the federal government to bear. It's potentially enormous," he said.
The subpoenas were first reported by The Associated Press, which said investigators sought to examine organizational charts, insurance coverage, clergy assignments and confidential documents stored in what has become known as the church's "Secret Archives." 
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania William McSwain authorized the subpoenas. A spokeswoman for McSwain declined to comment.
A Justice Department representative in Washington, D.C., would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the investigation.
Legal experts said accruing enough evidence to build a RICO case against the Roman Catholic Church — basically treating the influential institution as a crime syndicate — will be a burdensome task. 
Child USA's Hamilton, for one, said she thinks using federal RICO as a weapon against the church would be a stretch, since the 1970 law is not designed to deal with problems such as sex abuse and other personal injury cases. Instead, she said, most RICO cases involve financial crimes. "I hope that they can find a way to make it fit, but it will be challenging," she said.
However, Hamilton said a federal statute called the Mann Act, which prohibits moving people across state lines for the purpose of illegal sex acts, could be a more promising legal avenue. 
"As we know, there have been plenty of priests who took children across state lines," she said.
Tobias, the law professor who specializes in federal courts, said whatever comes of the investigation, the issuing of the subpoenas has likely sent a jolt across the country. If the inquiry of the Pennsylvania church results in criminal charges, it could be used as a road map for federal prosecutors hoping to pursue abusers in other states. 
"Pennsylvania might be the first state where the federal government does this," Tobias said. "But then they build on the lessons they've learned there, as DOJ often does when they have a national issue, and go to the other states and use that template again."


September 5, 2018

This Religious Christian Man Thought He Could Deface Art He Doesn't Like_He Learned Otherwise








Benjamin Gittany leaves the Downing Centre Courts, Sydney, Thursday, December 7, 2017.







The Erskineville community wrote messages of support about George Michael and the mural over Gittany's black paint.
 



 

Ben Gittany, 24, was sentenced in the New South Wales Local Court on Tuesday morning after he covered the mural in black paint on November 18, 2017.
The artwork, titled "St George", was painted by artist Scott Marsh in the inner Sydney suburb of Erskineville following Michael's death in December 2016. It depicts the gay rights icon wearing a white robe with a halo around his head while holding a joint.
Gittany, a Christian, claimed he was "defending his religion" as he defaced the mural three days after the same-sex marriage postal survey results were announced. The incident happened a week after another mural by Marsh in a neighbouring suburb, showing Tony Abbott and George Pell in a relationship, had also been defaced.
On November 18 Gittany travelled from his home town near Bathurst to Erskineville, stopping at Bunnings to buy $135 worth of supplies, and proceeded to cover the colourful mural in a thick black layer of paint.
In footage of the incident Gittany can be heard saying "I've done nothing wrong, I'm defending my religion".
To an onlooker who warned he may spend time in prison, Gittany said: "I don't care what happens to me, my religion's more important than me."
"What was left [on the wall] was a large area of black paint which arguably was a disturbing message of rejection to the community and arguably a contempt for other people.
"We are not a community where violence, criminal acts and property destruction are sanctioned because you have different beliefs to other people. They had to look at it for months. It distressed the owner and the community, and it was extensive."
Letters supporting Gittany said he was running a carpentry business and taking responsibility in his family, particularly in his role as an uncle.
"Your conduct contradicts the belief that those around you have in you," Huntsman told Gittany.
A character reference from his sister said he had "travelled away from younger offending behaviour".
"Unfortunately the matter before court doesn’t demonstrate that," Huntsman said.
A pre-sentence report on Gittany said the 24-year-old had shown insight that he could learn to accept life in a religious pluralist society.
He also told the officer who wrote the report that he now realised there were other ways to show his disapproval of the mural, like complaining to the council.
Huntsman ordered Gittany carry out 300 hours of community service, which may include cleaning graffiti, and told him: "Every time you have to spend hours washing damaged walls you can reflect on your own conduct."
He was also ordered to pay $14,000 compensation to the owners of the mural.
"Clearly there’s an incredible amount of black paint on that wall. It needs to be primed, it’s a very tall wall and there is a need for lift hire," Huntsman said. The sum also includes the fee of the artist.
Prosecutors had asked for a further $8,000 to graffiti-proof a re-painted version of the mural, but Huntsman said she could not order that as it was not strictly speaking damage compensation.
After Gittany covered the mural in black paint, people in the community wrote messages on it such as "love wins" and "gotta have faith" in support of the LGBTI community and same-sex marriage.
More than 30,000 people signed an online petition supporting Gittany and claiming the mural incited hate against Christians by invoking religious iconography.

August 16, 2018

1356 Page Grand Jury Report, 300 Predator Priests, 1000 Abused Children and How The Church Hid the Whole Thing


Follow up from Yesterday







REUTERS/Jim Young 
  • A grand jury in Pennsylvania released a 1,300-word report Tuesday detailing allegations about the Roman Catholic Church's decades-long cover-up of sexual abuse of nearly 1,000 children by 300 "predator priests."
  • The report details what investigators described in the report as a "a playbook for concealing the truth" that was used by officials to cover up 70 years of abuse of children by 300 Roman Catholic priests.
  • Across files from six dioceses, special agents identified several patterns using special language and illegitimate investigations to downplay accusations and protect the priests.

A grand jury in Pennsylvania released a 1,300-page report Tuesday detailing allegations that the Roman Catholic Church spent decades covering up sexual abuse claims against 300 "predator priests" who are said to have targeted nearly 1,000 children. 
The report covers 70 years of alleged abuse and the lengths that church officials went to cover up the accusations, using what investigators described in the report as a "a playbook for concealing the truth." 
Special agents identified several common practices across the files from the six dioceses they investigated that kept the accusations within the church, and avoided recording any criminal identifications in the documents. 
The report lays out what it said were mechanisms for shielding accused priests from legitimate punishment, including: 
  • Using euphemisms for the sexual assaults. "Never say 'rape'; say 'inappropriate contact' or 'boundary issues.'" 
  • Choosing fellow clergy members, not unbiased professionals to "ask inadequate questions and then make credibility determinations about the colleagues with whom they live and work." 
  • "For an appearance of integrity, send priests for 'evaluation' at church -run psychiatric treatment centers," as the priest's diagnosis would be mostly based on his own "'self -reports,' regardless of whether the priest had actually engaged in sexual contact with a child." 
  • To completely conceal any wrongdoing even if the priest is removed, "don't say why. Tell his parishioners that he is on "sick leave," or suffering from 'nervous exhaustion.' Or say nothing at all." 
  • "Even if a priest is raping children, keep providing him housing and living expenses, although he may be using these resources to facilitate more sexual assaults." 
  • If a predator's conduct becomes known to the community, don't remove him from the priesthood to ensure that no more children will be victimized. Instead, transfer him to a new location where no one will know he is a child abuser." 
  • "Finally and above all, don't tell the police," though sexual abuse of minors is a universally punishable crime, "don't treat it that way; handle it like a personnel matter, 'in house,'" the text said, according to the report. 
The report goes on to list 300 cases of individual priests from Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg dioceses with names and graphic details from their accusers.  Some of the accused priests protested the report after it was announced, saying it would unfairly damage their reputations. Some information in the document is redacted, but the court released it in full. 
For decades, the Catholic Church has been hit with sexual abuse allegations in parishes worldwide. Pope Francis has recently accepted a number of resignations from church officials in Chile and Argentina as a result. 
The Pope admitted in 2017 the Catholic Church was "a bit late" in realizing the damage done by predatory priests who had been accused of raping and molesting children, and was only made worse by the decades-long practice of moving pedophiles around rather than punishing and removing them.

Read the full report below: 








August 15, 2018

Predator Priests in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and May be Other Places Too





A counselor at a South Jersey Jewish Community Center camp is under investigation for alleged child sex abuse.
Officials with the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey sent a letter to parents Monday informing them of the allegations against a male assistant counselor at the JCC in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. 
Officials told parents a child at the camp was injured about two weeks ago after an interaction with the counselor. The counselor was transferred to the kitchen but officials with a state agency determined the incident was accidental.
A week later, a parent accused the same counselor of inappropriately touching a child at the camp. The counselor was suspended. On Friday, more child sexual assault allegations surfaced against him.
“We have been consulting with the Prosecutor’s Office,” officials wrote in their letter to parents. “Its investigation continues, and we are working with them to not do anything that might hinder the investigation. This afternoon, we were given the green light to send this letter to you.”
The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office told NBC10 they were aware of the allegations against the counselor but would not comment any further.
“I’ve been a member for years,” Lindsay Feuer of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, said. “My son went to camp here. I’ve always had a very positive experience here. I’m not here to demonize the JCC but I don’t feel like this was handled well.”
Feuer said the accused counselor watched her 3-year-old daughter.
“I don’t understand why I wasn’t called and told,” she said. “They’ve known about it for I don’t know how long.”
The suspended counselor’s identity has not been revealed. JCC officials say they remain vigilant and continue to work with investigators, “for the safety and security of our children which is always our priority.”


November 13, 2017

Moore to get a Pass from Evangelicals: "Evangelicalism and GOP have lost their credibility and their souls in the pursuit of power"







For many evangelicals, fiery Alabama politician and judge Roy Moore have been a longtime hero. Others have sometimes cringed at his heated rhetoric and bellicose style.

Now, as Moore’s Republican U.S. Senate campaign is imperiled by allegations of sexual overtures to a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s, there’s an outpouring of impassioned and soul-searching discussion in evangelical ranks.

“This is one of those excruciating decision moments for evangelicals,” Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said in a telephone interview. “These allegations, if true, are devastating. If true, this is a very big deal.”

Mohler said Alabama voters face a potentially wrenching task of trying to determine if the allegations — Moore has emphatically denied them — are credible.

According to the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of Alabama adults are evangelical Protestants. For some of them, the Moore allegations echo the quandary they faced last year, wrestling over whether to support Donald Trump in the presidential race despite his crude sexual boasts.

The Rev. Robert Franklin, professor of moral leadership at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, said The Washington Post’s report about the Moore allegations represents a test of “moral consistency” for evangelicals.

“Evangelicals are steadily losing their moral authority in the larger public square by intensifying their uncritical loyalty to Donald Trump,” Franklin wrote in an email. “Since this is Roy Moore and not Donald Trump, I think there may be significant disaffection with him and increased demands for his removal from the ballot.” 



As for Moore himself, Franklin suggested there were “classic evangelical remedies” such as confession, prayer and remorse, and isolation.

“Election to higher office is not one of them,” Franklin wrote.

Although Trump won 80 percent of the white evangelical vote in his presidential victory, his candidacy exposed and hardened rifts among conservative Christians about partisan politics, the personal character of government leaders and the Gospel. Surveys by the Public Religion Research Institute found that the percentage of white evangelicals who said they still trusted the leadership of a politician who commits an immoral act rose from 30 percent in 2011 to 72 percent last year.

Still, a solid minority of conservative Christians adopted the NeverTrump hashtag on social media and joined that outside evangelicalism who said “values voters” had lost their values. Women and black evangelicals especially emerged as critics of Trump’s remarks about women, immigrants, African-Americans and Muslims. Many of these same critics of Trump’s behavior and rhetoric condemned Moore in recent days and bemoaned the fact that some evangelicals were standing by him.


“Okay, seriously, we elected a man president who bragged about using his power and authority to sexually assault women,” tweeted Kyle James Howard, an African-American student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “Why are we surprised that members of his party would now be defending a party member’s sexual assault of a minor?”

One of the Southern Baptist Convention’s leading public policy experts, the Rev. Russell Moore, expressed dismay after the allegations against Judge Moore — no relation — surfaced on Thursday.

“Whether in the hills of Hollywood or the halls of power, it doesn’t matter,” the Rev. Moore tweeted. “This is true: sexual assault and child molestation are evil, unjust, satanic.”

Roy Moore embraced controversy as he built his evangelical following. He was twice removed from his post as Alabama’s chief justice, once for disobeying a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of the state judicial building, and later for urging probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.
More and more the cross seems to be showing the blood of opponents than the blood of Christ
 
Among those declining to break with Moore in the wake of the sex allegations was Jerry Falwell Jr., president of evangelical Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

“It comes down to a question of who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser,” Falwell told Religion News Service. “And I believe the judge is telling the truth.”

Mohler, the seminary president, said many evangelical Alabama voters will find themselves facing a difficult choice when ballots are cast in the Dec. 12 special election.

“There’s so much at stake,” he said. “Those of us who are pro-life have got to be very concerned about losing even one seat in the U.S. Senate.”

The Democratic candidate in the special election, Doug Jones, has said that a decision on whether to have an abortion should generally be left to the woman in question.

Abortion policy also was evoked by Ed Cyzewski, a Kentucky-based seminary graduate, and author, in a series of Twitter posts Friday questioning why some of his fellow evangelicals would continue to stand by Moore.


“Right now there are evangelicals who feel trapped,” Cyzewski wrote. “They think Moore did something reprehensible, but believe abortion is evil.”

Katelyn Beaty, an editor at large with the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, suggested that among many of Moore’s evangelical supporters, there’s a “presumption of innocence” because of their mistrust of national media such as The Washington Post.

“Many Christian communities have trouble appropriately responding to sex abuse allegations,” Beaty wrote in an email. “There is a default trust in powerful, charismatic male leaders, coupled with a discomfort with women who use their story or voice to challenge the status quo or power structures.” 

However, Beaty said more moderate evangelicals — notably those critical of Trump — were likely dismayed by the allegations against Moore.

“For them, the defense of Moore is another sign that both evangelicalism and the GOP have lost their credibility and their souls in the pursuit of power,” she wrote.

June 29, 2017

Australian Cardinal Sex Abuse Charges Rocks The Vatican

Never has a Cardinal been accused of a crime such as this or any criminal or civil crime for that matter. Not because they didn't happen but because at that height it was very hard for anything to reach them. Instead, it will reach the ones below holding the institution. This Cardinal is accused of trying to hide what others were doing and now we now it was because they were hiding him and he was hiding them. A trial is the worst thing the Vatican would want because at trials everything tends to come out. I don't see the Vatican allowing a trial to take place. {adamfoxie.blogspot.com]

Australian Cardinal George Pell speaks to members of the media at the Vatican on 29 June 2017.Image copyright
Image captionAustralian Cardinal George Pell will return to Australia to defend himself in court

Australian Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis' most senior advisers, is facing criminal charges for alleged sex offenses dating back several decades.
Cardinal Pell has emphatically denied the charges.
At the Vatican, it's being seen as a punishing body blow to the reputation and credibility of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.
Cardinal Pell, 76, is a former Archbishop of Sydney who now resides inside the Vatican. He was summoned to Rome by Pope Francis in 2014 to try to sort out scandal at the Vatican Bank and to reform a particularly messy situation in Vatican finances. 
Three years ago, the cardinal pleaded health reasons for refusing to return home to face questioning at a public hearing by a Royal Commission set up to investigate allegations of child sex abuse inside Australian institutions such as churches, schools, and sporting groups. 
However, he agreed to answer questions by video link from Rome, vigorously denying any wrongdoing, although arousing some public criticism over a surprising analogy that he offered.
He likened the Catholic Church's responsibility for child abuse to that of a trucking company for the behavior of its employees.
"If a driver picks up some lady and then molests her," the Cardinal said, "I don't think it is appropriate because it is contrary to the policy [of the company] for the ownership, the leadership of that company, to be held responsible." 
The Australian Trucking Association, representing 170,000 local truckers, said it was "deeply insulted" by his remarks.
The cardinal has been granted a leave of absence by Pope Francis to return to Australia to defend himself in court in Melbourne on 18 July.
A Vatican statement said that Pope Francis "...has appreciated Cardinal Pell's honesty during his three years of work in the Roman Curia, is grateful for his collaboration, and in particular, for his energetic dedication to the reforms in the economic and administrative sector".
It went on: "The Holy See expresses its respect for the Australian justice system that will have to decide the merits of the questions raised. 
"At the same time, it is important to recall that Card Pell has openly and repeatedly condemned as immoral and intolerable the acts of abuse committed against minors; has cooperated in the past with Australian authorities (for example, in his depositions before the Royal Commission); has supported the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors; and finally, as a diocesan bishop in Australia, has introduced systems and procedures both for the protection of minors and to provide assistance to victims of abuse."
At a news conference, Cardinal Pell told reporters: "There has been relentless character assassination for months ... I am looking forward finally to having my day in court, I am innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."  The decision by Australian prosecutors to take Cardinal Pell to court comes at a particularly significant moment in Pope Francis' four-year reign - his handing over this week of red hats to five new "princes of the church". 
Pope Francis is selecting new church leaders - and perhaps his own successor - from clerics of a very different mold to that of his predecessors. In fact, he emphatically told his new cardinal appointees not to consider themselves "princes" but "servants of God and the people".
Instead of promoting to top positions in the church former administrators of great metropolitan Catholic dioceses around the world, like Cardinal Pell (who has already submitted his resignation having reached the compulsory retirement age of 75), Francis is increasingly choosing new cardinals from among bishops in countries "on the periphery" as he puts it. 
Four of the five cardinals he appointed this week to come from countries - Laos, Mali, El Salvador, and, surprisingly, predominant Lutheran Sweden - that have never had a representative among the Sacred College of Cardinals, the elite churchmen who alone have the power to elect future popes. 
A church dominated for centuries by Italians in particular, and Europeans, in general is reconfiguring itself to reflect the real and diverse world of the 21st century.
BBC


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