Pope Francis he met yesterday morning with the Spanish Cardinal and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Luis Ladaria, to address the issue of Cardinal and former finance minister of the Vatican, George Pell. The condemnatory sentence was already known, the details of the rape that the cardinal subjected to one of the two children he abused in 1996 and his foreseeable entry into prison (it has become effective this Wednesday). So both agreed that the dicastery that deals with the canonical processes on these crimes would launch an investigation to open a process to the cardinal. The decision has been made years after rumors and accusations about Pell reached the Pope's ears. But it will allow the Vatican to be prepared to take forceful measures, once the appeal in the second instance presented by Pell is resolved.
The CDF had never opened an investigation to a member of such a high level in the Vatican hierarchy. The problem is that right now they will not be able to send their officers to Australia so as not to interfere with the civil process. For the time being, the inquiries will be limited to a collection of existing information or a follow-up in press of the news that will appear as the appeal progresses. When the case is closed, the phase in which the convenience of taking a radical decision such as expulsion from the priesthood, could be initiated, as was done two weeks ago with the American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The Vatican has always believed that accusations about the cardinal, to whom the Pope entrusted one of the most important areas of his reform, would come to nothing. Francisco kept him in his position against all odds and until his mandate expired on Sunday (five years exactly after his appointment), he was still the prefect of the Secretariat of Economy of the Vatican. His innocence, in some sectors of the curia, was taken for granted. In fact, yesterday there were still many voices that considered that in the second instance, without the impulses of a jury and before the strict decision of a judge, the prelate would have it much easier. But the news from Australia suggests the opposite.
Judge has ordered this morning the entry into prison without bail Pell, 77 years old. The feeling is that the magistrate is quite clear about the cardinal's guilt. Especially, after hearing the delirious defense of his lawyer, Robert Richter, who, according to EFE, said that the crimes of his client "are not more than a simple case of conventional sexual penetration in which the child does not participate voluntarily or actively " Then the press asked him to leave the court and the lawyer drained the package: "I do not know what they are talking about."
Richter also noted that the event lasted only five minutes and was not premeditated, but the product of an impulse, to which the judge replied that it was a "cruel and shameless offense" and recalled that there are no medical records to prove that Pell is a man with mental disturbances. The judge, according to the same agency, explained that "there was an element of brutality in this aggression, it was an attack" and stated that the crime "implies a breach of trust and a feeling of impunity. to think that he could get away with it? "