The truth of the high Australian prelate after 400 days in prison as an innocent
VATICAN CITY. “There was resistance in the Secretariat of State. But if the Auditor or us of the Secretariat for the Economy had been able to intervene earlier, we would have saved a lot, a lot of money destined for the London building and also in other places ». In his apartment a few steps from St. Peter’s, Australian Cardinal George Pell, 80, yesterday received some journalists to talk about his book “Diary of imprisonment”, which he presents today in the Senate at 4 pm. of prison lived after the first instance conviction for sexual abuse of two children, before the acquittal established by the judges of the Australian Federal Supreme Court. And in the dialogue with the reporters he also dwells on the financial scandals that have invested the Sacred Rooms. Until June 2017, the cardinal was the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, with the task of supervising the accounts of the Holy See.
Your Eminence, during the trial against her for pedophilia a woman shouted to her: “You will burn in hell.” What would he say if he saw her now?
«I would simply ask you: what have I done? What sin have I committed? I also remember other men, full of anger. They were an organized group. I thought: “My God” ».
How could he handle such a slanderous accusation?
“What was the alternative?”
Why did he end up in jail? Could they have framed her?
“There are so many possibilities. Obviously, the sexual abuse crisis has been great, both for the crimes and for the way the bishops have treated it. In the Anglo-Saxon world there are “culture wars”: I am a conservative, the strongest opposition to secularization comes from us conservatives, and this was another element of difficulty … Some speak of a possible connection between the problems in the area of finance here (in the Vatican) and my problems in Australia, but we have no proof. We know that some money has passed from the Vatican to Australia, two million and 230 thousand dollars, but so far no one has explained why “.
Did Pope Francis then tell you something about your judicial affair?
“He sent me a message of encouragement, and I was very grateful to him for that. When I got back, he received me and we talked for 40-45 minutes. He was very nice ».
When did you take over the Secretariat for the Economy, what was the situation like?
“It was still the ‘old world’. We have introduced the verification methodology that the whole world uses today. We discovered a billion and 300 thousand euros scattered in the offices. We first prepared a budget before the start of the financial year. These are fundamental things ».
Is it true that the Secretariat of State opposed the controls?
“Yes, it is in the public domain. Becciu said that the Auditor had no authority to enter the Secretariat of State. This was false. ‘
And you could control what was happening in the Secretariat of State?
“We had the authority to enter but they prevented us from doing so.”
Would you have saved the Vatican from the hole of tens of millions that emerged?
“Maybe not all, some things started earlier. But in other situations we have done it. The Holy Father told me: you had affirmed so many right things ».
What do you think of Cardinal Becciu?
“You have the right to a fair trial. We’ll see”.
How do you live the trial on the financial scandals?
“Go on, but slowly … I don’t know how it will proceed, but we know where we are, we know how they lost a lot of pounds with that building in London and at least that’s progress.”
What plans do you have now?
«Prayer and penance. I see a lot of people, I write something, I try to help some victims of sexual abuse ».
#Cardinal #Pell #avoided #London #scandal #Vatican #blocked