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Sydney archdiocese decries newspaper 'smear' of Cardinal Pell

March 12, 2013

The Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, has denounced as “utterly false and seriously defamatory” a news service report that claimed Cardinal George Pell was “tainted by sex abuse scandals.”

The report by Fairfax media was a “smear of the most vindictive kind,” the archdiocese said. Lawyers representing Cardinal Pell have contacted the papers that printed the article, the archdiocese disclosed.

The Fairfax report suggested that an investigation into sex-abuse charges, conducted in 2002 by a retired judge, had cast suspicions on the cardinal’s role. In fact, the report from Judge A. J. Southwell had “completely exonerated Cardinal Pell of allegations made against him,” the archdiocese said. Judge Southwell wrote: “I find I am not satisfied that the complaint has been established.”


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