Melbourne's archbishop still believes Cardinal George Pell is innocent

Newstalk ZB, AP,
Publish Date
Thursday, 22 August 2019, 5:15PM
Pell yesterday had his appeal denied. (Photo / AP)

The Catholic archbishop of Melbourne is protesting for George Pell's innocence.

Peter Comensoli believes Pell was wrongly accused for sexually abusing two choirboys in 1996.

“I believe in what he said to me, on many occasions, that he’s innocent and I continue to be really quite shocked with all of how things are developed,” he told the 3AW radio station today. 

Comsensoli says he believes the young people were abused but may have got the identity wrong, however Australian correspondent Murray Olds told Heather du Plessis-Allan he must be cracking jokes.

"It's of course preposterous. He's been found guilty, five counts, two boys, one of whom died of a heroin overdose, and it was only after that the second victim of George Pell came forward."

The comments after the Vatican made says it will let Cardinal George Pell exhaust all his appeals of his sexual abuse convictions in Australia before taking up his case in its own canon law investigation.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni says the decision to hold off on any action is consistent with the way the Vatican has handled other sex abuse cases.

Bruni was responding to questions after an Australian appeals court on Wednesday upheld Pell's conviction on charges he molested two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne's St. Patrick's Cathedral more than two decades ago. Pell can still lodge a final appeal with the High Court, Australia's final arbiter.

If the Vatican eventually convicts Pell of sex abuse under canon law, he could be defrocked. Pell has already been barred from exercising public ministry or having contact with minors.

Pell has insisted on his innocence.

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