George Pell denies sex abuse claims

IF CARDINAL George Pell ends up facing child sex abuse charges he should return to Australia, the head of the Blue Knot Foundation has said.

Cardinal Pell has denied allegations against him and said people who made complaints that he was allegedly involved in child sex abuse were wrong.

The Blue Knot Foundation supports survivors of childhood trauma and abuse and its president Cathy Kezelman said if Victorian police established a case against Cardinal Pell, then "we need to see him in Australia".

The allegations made against Cardinal Pell were revealed on ABC's 7.30 program that said Victoria Police's Taskforce SANO had been examining allegations against the cardinal for more than a year that included alleged incidents from the 1970s and 1990s.

In a statement, Cardinal Pell said the taskforce had not requested an interview with him.

His office also said he would not participate in a trial by media and that he was entitled to the presumption of innocence and not immediate condemnation.

Ms Kezelman said a "trial by media" was not the appropriate way forward and that police would have to examine the complainants' evidence, establish the facts and decide whether or not the cardinal should be charged.

She also said victims rarely fabricated stories of abuse.

Cardinal Pell's colleague Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher jumped to his defence and said in a statement that the allegations did not correspond with the George Pell he knew.

"Cardinal Pell deserves the presumption of innocence," he said.

"Those who believe they have been abused deserve to be heard with respect and compassion."

"And the community deserves the rule of law be respected."

"Trial by media benefits no one."


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