Cardinal George Pell will be the most senior Vatican figure ever to face a criminal trial
Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the controller of the Vatican’s finances in Rome, has pleaded not guilty after he was ordered to stand trial over historical sexual offence allegations.
Pell has always denied the allegations against him, but it was the first time he had been required to enter a formal plea.
The decision came after a dramatic four-week committal hearing in March in which the Cardinal’s lead barrister, Robert Richter, said the accusers were lying and had a vendetta against Cardinal Pell.
Pope Francis said that staying childless will ultimately bring married couples nothing but “the bitterness of loneliness”.
The Pope also counselled childless couples to be fruitful and multiply, and not spend time raising pets when they could be raising children. He said that while a childless life offers better vacation opportunities, it will end in solitude:
This culture of well-being from ten years ago convinced us: ‘It’s better not to have children! It’s better! You can go explore the world, go on holiday, you can have a villa in the countryside, you can be care-free… it might be better – more comfortable – to have a dog, two cats, and the love goes to the two cats and the dog. Is this true or is this not? Have you seen it? Then, in the end this marriage comes to old age in solitude, with the bitterness of loneliness. It is not fruitful, it does not do what Jesus does with his Church: He makes His Church fruitful.
[Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative to the United Nations, left, and Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief sex crimes investigator during a UN human rights committee hearing on January 16]]
A U.N. human rights committee has denounced the Vatican for adopting policies that allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children, and urged it to open its files on the pedophiles and the churchmen who concealed their crimes.
In a devastating report Wednesday, the U.N. committee also severely criticized the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception and abortion and urged it to review its policies to ensure children’s rights and their access to health care.
The committee issued its recommendations after subjecting the Holy See to a daylong interrogation last month on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the main international treaty ensuring children’s rights.
Terence Flanagan TD, who was expelled from the Fine Gael parliamentary party this week for voting against the protection of life during pregnancy bill, with Papal Nuncio Charles Brown at the American Ambassador’s residence in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, yesterday for July 4.
According to reports, a gay dating website for “homosensible Roman Catholic priests”, has been operating out of the Vatican.
Despite not being explicitly pornographic, reports from EponymousFlower suggest that the site, named Venerabilis, is geared towards enabling sexual contact between priests.
The site contains chatrooms in five languages, where sexual encounters in process have been discovered, with face-to-face meetings arranged in a number of locations.