Vatican finance chief George Pell on Thursday hit out at calls that he return to Australia to assist in a child sex probe into him, railing against “anti-religion” agendas.
Pell, the country’s most senior Catholic cleric, was interviewed in Rome by Australian police last October over historical sex assault claims. He strongly denies the allegations and no charges have yet been laid.
Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper this week said a brief of evidence concerning the matter had now been handed to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
It coincided with the final stages of a long-running national inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse, which heard on Monday that 7 per cent of Catholic priests were accused of abusing children between 1950 and 2010. Pell has appeared before the royal commission three times, once in person and twice via video-link.
[The Greens’] anti-religion agenda is notorious and most fair-minded Australians would see this motion …