The following contains details of sexual assault which may be distressing. For 24-hour support, please call 1800 RESPECT.
A clip from a 2014 episode of the ABC’s Q&A featuring the now convicted paedophile George Pell has been resurfaced because of an uncomfortable comment.
Pell appeared on the panel with Richard Dawkins, an ethologist and evolutionary biologist.
In footage from the episode, an audience member asks the question; “It is okay to tell a child that God doesn’t exist?”
You can watch Pell on Q&A here. Post continues after video.
Dawkins answers first, and then it’s Pell’s turn.
Pell starts; “I remember when I was in England we were preparing some young English boys…”
He is interrupted by hushed boos and awkward chuckles and claps from the crowd.
“Preparing them for..”
He is interrupted again by more booing. Almost like the audience is warning him… aren’t you going to stop, and correct yourself?
“Thank you,” Pell says to the audience, seemingly annoyed at the interruption before continuing on to make his point.
Fast forward five years and the Cardinal has been found guilty of sexual penetration of a child and four counts of committing an indecent act with a child.
The charges relate to two incidents that took place with two boys while he was archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s.
Pell abused the choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral after celebrating one of his first Sunday masses in his new role.
He abused one of the boys a second time two months later.
Pell has always denied the allegations, but he did not give evidence at trial or make any public comment.
He’s due to be sentenced on March 13, but he has lodged an appeal.
If you have experienced sexual assault and are in need of support, please call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also contact Bravehearts for counselling and support for survivors of sexual abuse on 1800 272 831, Lifeline for 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention, or, if you’re the partner of a person who has experienced sexual assault, you can contact PartnerSPEAK on (03) 9018 7872 for peer support for non-offending partners.