Jesuit priest and human rights lawyer Frank Brennan has called for Victoria Police to travel to Rome immediately to interview Ballarat’s Cardinal George Pell over allegations of child sexual abuse.
In an opinion piece for public affairs publication Eureka Street the outspoken priest said the whole saga wreaked of injustice and incompetent policing. He also called for the Victorian Government to take resolute action and demand Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton get to the bottom of the leaks.
It followed two alleged victims coming forward who say Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric groped their genitals in the 1970s. Another says he saw the priest expose himself to young boys.
Damian Dignan and Lyndon Monument disclosed their alleged abuse on ABC’s 7.30 Report this week. Cardinal Pell has maintained his innocence and released a robust rebuttal, accusing Victoria Police and the ABC of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
“If Damian Dignan, Lyndon Monument and George Pell are to receive justice Graham Ashton should commission his SANO Taskforce to travel to Rome immediately,” Father Brennan said. “More police obfuscation and media titillation merely risks undermining the standing and outcomes of the present royal commission and further unnecessary suffering for victims seeking justice and closure.”
He said if Cardinal Pell was proven to be a child abuser he should be extradited out of the Vactian.
Clergy sexual abuse survivor Peter Blenkiron said it was up to the laws of society to determine guilt or innocence. He praised the courage of Mr Dignan and Mr Monument.
“These acts destroy life and mental well-being and are the true terrorist attacks on our planet and humanity,” he said. “These attacks have been global. It's time our planet heals and puts children's safety and education first, support those damaged in the past who need help today and make sure power cannot be misused to destroy our global future.”