He later made a comment about the picture. “I intended no disrespect to the victims. I understand now that they perceived it — and probably rightly — as such, but I did not at the time.”
Cardinal Pell rose so high through the ranks of the Catholic Church that he became Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser and moved to the Vatican. But two days ago, Australian police charged him with “historic sexual assault offences” and demanded he come home, charges charges he vehemently denies.
He was one of the first bishops in the world to create a compensation program for church sex abuse victims when he was Archbishop of Melbourne. However, victims later criticised the scheme as a way to keep them from suing the church.
In a statement on Thursday, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher said the archdiocese would support him with accommodation upon his return.
So we wait to see what happens. Many believe he will never return - his doctor will say he is too sick to travel, or some other excuse will be put forward – but whether he comes home or not, it’s a tragic end to a brilliant career.