Statement from Bishop Bill Wright on Cardinal George Pell

'This morning we learned the news that Victoria Police have charged Cardinal George Pell with historical sex offences. As a community, we must allow the judicial system to do its job, promote due process and uphold a fundamental right of everyone, the presumption of innocence. I note in that connection, that Cardinal Pell strenuously maintains his innocence.


We know from the ongoing stories shared with the Royal Commission and the accounts of survivor's in our own diocese, the undeniably disturbing picture of the consequences of sexual abuse and of the historical failings of the church in dealing with reports of child sexual abuse. As Bishop of the diocese, I strongly support the work of the Royal Commission led by Justice McClellan to address these past failings and ensure they are not repeated in the future. I remain committed to protecting children and working with survivors to support them on their individual journeys toward healing.


This news will undoubtedly affect many in our community and diocese in a number of ways, and I encourage all who wish, to contact Zimmerman Service's Healing and Support Team on 4979 1390 for dedicated support.'


- Bishop Bill Wright
Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle