Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli
Today the Victorian Court of Appeal, in a 2:1 majority decision,
dismissed Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for assaulting
two choir boys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in late 1996 and early 1997.
I respectfully receive the Court’s decision, and I encourage
everyone to do the same. That there have
been two trials, and now today’s decision in the Court of Appeal, the
complexity of the search for the truth in this matter has tested many, and may
very well continue to do so.
My thoughts and prayers are with the man who brought this matter
before the courts. I humbly acknowledge
it has been a challenging time for him, and I stand ready to offer pastoral and
spiritual help, should he seek it.
In Christian charity, I will ensure that Cardinal Pell is
provided pastoral and spiritual support while he serves the remainder of his
sentence, according to the teaching and example of Jesus to visit those in
I also want to acknowledge with gratitude the people who
have been involved in this case. For
many, this has been a demanding and distressing experience.
To the faithful of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, I want to
acknowledge the deep impact today’s decision will have for you. My prayer is
that all of us might reach out to each other in faith, hope and love, as I do
for you at this moment.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne continues to work with
survivors to offer support for their healing, recovery and well-being. This is
based upon an Archdiocesan-wide commitment to build a culture of respect and
safety for all, and to reach out to those who courageously bring forward their
I re-commit myself and the Archdiocese to a culture that listens,
that seeks to bring justice and healing, and that protects children and
Most Rev Peter A Comensoli
Archbishop of Melbourne