Allegations Against Cardinal Pell

Cardinal George Pell maintains his innocence on all allegations, including his conviction (overturned on final appeal). He was acquitted from the following charges: 5 counts of child molestation: 1 count of sexual penetration of a child under 16, and 4 counts of committing an indecent act with, or in the presence, of a child.[4] This conviction was overturned by the high court of Australia upon appeal: See the Wikipedia page and section on Cardinal George Pell’s Acquittal here.


“He stands publicly accused of complicity in a sex abuse coverup in the diocese of Ballarat in the 1970s and early 1980s; complicity in a sex abuse coverup in the archdiocese of Melbourne in the late 1980s and 1990s; and various counts of child molestation, assault, and indecent exposure, from 1961 through 1997.” [5]

“Then there is the allegation that Pell fondled a boy at a camp at Phillip Island in 1961.” [1]

In 2002, Pell “temporarily stands aside while a Church investigation looks into an allegation that he sexually abused a 12-year-old altar boy in 1961 while he was a seminarian.” [2]

“Scott alleged that Pell molested him ‘on any occasion that it was possible’ during the camp — in his tent, on nature walks, while they were swimming. He also alleged that Pell abused another camper, Michael Foley.” [3]

“One of the three men who have claimed Pell touched them improperly in Ballarat swimming pools in the 1970s intends to sue the cardinal for damages, and the other two are expected to give evidence in that case.” [1]

” ‘When we were in the deep end… Father Pell would let one hand go and I felt his other hand reach up and hold my crotch area,’ Lyndon Monument, one of his accusers, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The allegation was echoed by Damian Dignan and Michael Breen, who gave their accounts to ABC journalist Louise Milligan. Monument also alleged that Pell loitered in the boys’ changing rooms, an allegation repeated by another accuser, Les Tyack. Tyack claimed he saw Pell naked with three young boys for an extended period of time in a boys’ changing room in Torquay, a seaside town where Pell vacationed for many years.” [3]

“Father Pell lives with Gerard Ridsdale who was later convicted for sexual abuse in the 1960s-1980s. Pell has maintained he never knew of the abuse, which was a focus of questioning by Australia’s royal commission in 2016.” [2]

“Moreover, he [Pell] lived in the clergy house with Australia’s worst pedophile priest, Gerald Ridsdale, who raped victims in that presbytery.” [3]
“Ridsdale pleaded guilty to 27 counts of child abuse” [3]

“Pell…lived and practiced in the St. Alipius presbytery…. the St. Alipius boys’ school had become overrun with child sexual abuse, perpetrated by a ring of Christian brothers and a pedophile priest. They were raping, beating, and abusing the schoolboys. Kids were violated in just about every corner of the school, including the principal’s office. In one fourth grade class, over a third of the boys went on to commit suicide.” [3]

“Years later, multiple victims testified that Pell knew about the abuse, both at St. Alipius and other parishes. He even sat on a committee that facilitated Ridsdale’s moving from parish to parish, allowing the priest to abuse countless more children while keeping the scandal under wraps.” [3]

More on Risdale and St. Alpius

1975 or 76
a Victorian man told police “that in 1975 or 1976, when he was 10, he slipped off Pell’s shoulders while playing in a lake near Swan Hill and made accidental contact with the priest’s erect penis. Pell was alleged to have told the boy: ‘Don’t worry, it’s only natural.’ ” [1]

“Pell is part of a committee that sends Ridsdale to his next parish of Edenhope.” [2]

“An ex-seminarian known as ‘Joe’ came forward [in 1996] alleging that Pell and several other priests had, 10 to 15 years earlier, been having sex with Mannix College trainee clerics at ‘parties … involving young men’.” [1]

“In 2016 Torquay resident Les Tyack went public with allegations he submitted to the royal commission and to the police that he saw Pell expose himself for many minutes to three boys at the local surf lifesaving club in the 1980s.” [1]

“July 2016 Victoria police announce allegation against Cardinal Pell that he exposed himself to a group of young boys at a surf club in the late 1980s.” [2]

that Pell molested two choir boys. Pell was convicted on five counts and sentenced to six years in prison. His appeal is pending.

Read the victim’s own account

that Pell refused to remove a priest, Fr. Peter Searson, “who wandered the Catholic school in military clothing, sometimes carried a gun, stabbed a bird with a screwdriver and tortured a cat.” Searson was also alleged to have sexually abused many children. A delegation from the school met with Pell, but he did nothing in response. [1]

“Bishop Pell accompanies Ridsdale to his first court appearance for child sex offences.” [2]

“John Paul II appoints Pell archbishop of Melbourne where he pioneers the Melbourne Response, which offers support and counselling to victims of sexual abuse but was criticized for placing limits on compensation payments.” [2]

“Victims reported their abuse to the church, who settled the matter privately outside of the courts…. ‘I haven’t been able to find a single survivor who had anything good to say about [the Melbourne Response],’ Milligan tells Rolling Stone. ‘The amounts of money that victims were given – $25,000 for a lifetime of pain – is atrocious.’ ” [3]

* Reliving the Melbourne Response – and Pell’s

“Helen Last, the counsellor hired by the Catholic Church in Melbourne to assist victims of clerical abuse…. developed suspicions about Pell very early during her work with the Archdiocese of Melbourne.” [1]

Helen Last: “I believe Pell set up the Melbourne Response partly to protect himself.” [1]

Helen Last: “It was alleged to me early that Pell was among a group of offenders from Ballarat to Melbourne. They were part of the Ballarat organised clerical offending, which extended down to Laverton and around Melbourne.” [1]

“Ms Last’s contract was terminated in May 1997 as a result, she claims, of her defying explicit instructions from archbishop Pell and then vicar-general Denis Hart to stay away from the Doveton parish, which suffered six paedophiles in succession as parish priest or assistant priest.” [1]

September 20, 2018
First trial: “A mistrial is declared after jurors were unable to reach a majority verdict. Some reports say the verdict was 10-2 in Pell’s favor, but this has not been fully proven.” [2]

December 11, 2018
Second trial: “The jury returns a unanimous verdict of guilty on all five charges of abusing the boys in St. Patrick’s Cathedral after less than four days of deliberation.” [2]

March 13, 2019
Cardinal Pell sentenced to six years in prison. [2]

June 2019
“The appeal hearing will take place in June.” [2]

August 2019
Cardinal George Pell loses appeal of sex abuse convictions

[1] Church knew Pell was at centre of decades-old lurid sex claims – by Barney Zwartz, (March 7, 2019)

[2] Cardinal George Pell: A Timeline – by Edward Pentin, National Catholic Register (Mar. 16, 2019)

[3] How Cardinal George Pell Became the Highest-Ranking Catholic Official to Be Convicted of Child Abuse by Nicholas Lord (Mar 17, 2019)

[4] Australian Broadcasting Corporation, (Updated February 26, 2019)


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