One week after the High Court quashed five convictions of child sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell has given his first TV interview since his acquittal, saying it is “ironic” that he was convicted of child sexual abuse when it was he who led the Melbourne Archdiocese response against it.
“I think it’s a bit ironic that I’m the figurehead, the scapegoat that has copped most of this because what I did very early in 1996 is set up the Melbourne response,” he told Sky News’ Andrew Bolt, one of his most vocal and consistent supporters, on Tuesday night.
“One consolation for me is, for no Christian is any earthly tribunal the last tribunal. I know I won’t be able to fool my good God.”
Watch: The father of one of George Pell‘s accusers says he has “lost faith” in Australia’s criminal justice system. Post continues after video.
The cardinal was convicted in December 2018 of five charges of child sexual abuse over allegations he assaulted two choirboys in the 1990s.
He was acquitted by the High Court last week and released from jail after serving 405 days behind bars of a six-year sentence.
During the interview, Cardinal Pell said he “became so incensed at the way prosecutors dealt with (two witnesses)” at his trial that he thought it would be best to remain silent in court.
“I thought that if I were to get in there I’ll have such a go at that fella because of this outrage,” he told Bolt.
The Cardinal, who has always maintained his innocence, said he still doesn’t understand what motivated his accuser to go to the police.
“I don’t know [what motivated him],” he said. “I wonder whether he was used. I don’t know what the poor fellow was up to.”