Cardinal Pell denies 1960s abuse claim, notes factual errors in lawyer's charge
October 11, 2012
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has denied sex-abuse attorney Vivian Waller’s claim that he refused to listen to a third-grader’s 1969 claim that he had been abused by Christian Brother Robert Charles Best.
Waller made her claim in a submission to the Victoria state government’s inquiry into alleged sexual abuse by clergy. Best is serving a 14-year prison sentence on 27 counts of sexual abuse against 11 boys.
“Factual errors in the submission to the Inquiry made by Dr. Waller of Waller Legal, relating to Cardinal Pell's presence in the Diocese of Ballarat in 1969, have been repeated by media outlets across the country,” the Archdiocese of Sydney said in a statement.
“Cardinal Pell was studying at Oxford in 1969 and was not a priest appointed in the Diocese of Ballarat at the time alleged in Dr. Waller's submission,” the statement continued. “Cardinal Pell was never present when any allegations of rape were made by a victim against Brother Best.”
“Cardinal Pell's postings from the early 1960s are well documented and could have easily been checked by Dr Waller … [and] by the media outlets reporting on the Inquiry,” the statement added.
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