As a young man in Australia Anthony Jones was forcibly molested by the Rev Terence Goodall. Jones made a formal complaint to the church, which ordered an investigation. Australian Lateline reports
While the report says that Father Goodall raised the issue of an element of consent, the investigator recommended that Anthony Jones’ allegations be sustained without qualification. The report, as well as a number of other documents, was referred upwards to the desk of Archbishop George Pell. And it was the Archbishop who would eventually respond to Anthony Jones about the outcome.
But the letter George Pell wrote to Anthony Jones differed markedly from the investigation’s findings.
The Archbishop wrote: “After examining all of the material, Mr Murray provided me with a report, and he has recommended that the allegations of inappropriate behaviour against you be found to be substantiated. However, as no other complaint of attempted sexual assault has been received against Father Goodall and he categorically denies the accusation, Mr Murray was of the opinion that the complaint of attempted aggravated sexual assault cannot be considered to have been substantiated.
But Pell was lying; on the same day he wrote and signed another letter:
But what the Archbishop wrote was not true. On the same day George Pell signed a letter to another man who had claimed that when he was just 10 or 11 years old he’d been attacked by Father Goodall. In a letter to that victim, which was put into evidence in the District Court in 2006, George Pell accepted his complaint.
LETTER FROM GEORGE PELL TO ABUSE VICTIM: After examining all of the material, Mr Murray provided me with a report in which he recommended that the complaints of inappropriate behaviour with altar boys and of indecent assault of you when a young be found to be substantiated.”
And now, according to the West Australian, Pell is compounding the lie:
But Cardinal Pell, in response to the Lateline program, denied he had misled Mr Jones.
“The letter to Mr Jones was badly worded and a mistake – an attempt to inform him there was no other allegation of rape,” Cardinal Pell said in a statement.
“However, I signed both letters of February 2003 mentioned in the ABC’s Lateline program, and any fault in the drafting was mine.
“In a subsequent letter soon after the February 2003 letter, I expressed my sorrow at what Mr Jones had suffered and offered to meet him.
“There was no attempt to mislead him. I apologise for the confusion caused to Mr Jones.”
Just the thing to set the tone for World Youth Day. Pope Benedict has apologized for priest who abuse; when will he apologize for and remove bishops who lie?