- May 28, 2020
Cardinal George Pell is due to appear in a court in the Victoria state capital Melbourne on July 26 on what Victoria Police described as multiple counts of “historical sexual assault offenses” — meaning crimes that generally occurred years ago. When police announced the charges last month, Pell vowed to fight the allegations, saying: “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”
With criminal charges of sexual abuse having been filed against Cardinal George Pell in his home country of Australia, many questions will be asked, most about the accusations and Pell’s defense. From a Vatican point of view, however, a key question is what all this means for the prospects of financial reform, and the best answer probably is, “Nothing good.”
Police in Australia will “take time to consider … advice” from prosecutors over the allegations Cardinal George Pell engaged in inappropriate behavior with young people decades ago. The cardinal, currently the head of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, has issued a “vehement” denial of all accusations against him.
Australian police have questioned Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, in Rome in relation to accusations of alleged historic sexual abuse. The cardinal continues to insist there is no foundation to the claims.
A deal between the Vatican and Italy on taxation of income from accounts at the Vatican bank was decreed by the Secretariat of State, not the new Secretariat for the Economy, confirming that for Pope Francis, more and more reform is a blend of the old and the new.
As part of Pope Francis’s ongoing financial clean-up operation at the Vatican, the Holy See and Italy have entered into a new agreement that requires all individuals and entities with accounts at the so-called ‘Vatican bank’ to report income for Italian tax purposes.