My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I write to you concerning the decision handed down today by the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal in relation to Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on five charges of child sexual abuse. The court rejected the cardinal’s appeal, in a 2–1 ruling.
As I have consistently maintained, regardless of the outcome, the legal process must be respected. Conscious of this, I am aware that there is a possibility of a further appeal to the High Court of Australia. Therefore, it is not appropriate for me to make any further comment that could be seen to prejudice the outcome of this process.
I am also conscious that, regardless of the outcome, many of you, like me, may be experiencing a range of emotions. Our first priority must always be to support those impacted by this matter or other similar matters. I want you to know that we are here to support you. If you would like to speak to someone and access support, I encourage you to contact our diocesan Office of Professional Standards and Safeguarding on (02) 4222 2428 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org so that the appropriate support can be arranged.
If you would prefer to speak to an external organisation for support, we have a list of
independent organisations on our website at email@example.com. During this time, I invite you to join me in praying for our brothers and sisters who have been abused within our Church; that they may find justice and peace. I also ask that you join me in praying for each other in our Catholic community; that we remain united, nurturing of each other, and a positive and supportive force within society.
Finally, I pray that we truly become the Church that Jesus calls us to be—a Church of humility, compassion and healing, as we continue to strive to build a culture of safety in all our parishes, schools and agencies.
Yours in the Lord,
Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD
BISHOP OF WOLLONGONG