Cardinal Pell
Catholic priest Charles Portelli gave evidence to Cardinal Pell's committal hearing as he fights historical sexual offence charges involving multiple complainants.
No other details of the charges can be reported for legal reasons.
Father Portelli assisted the 76-year-old during cathedral ceremonies and told the hearing Cardinal Pell was never alone, before, after or during those masses.
He told the hearing he would help Cardinal Pell put on and take off his robes for masses in the sacristy.
Defence barrister Robert Richter QC asked Father Portelli if it would have been possible for someone apart from other clergy or their assistants to have been in the sacristy when the archbishop was also inside with his robes on.
"No," he responded.
Father Portelli said it was "absolutely" impossible any allegation of misconduct levelled at Cardinal Pell while he had his vestment on in the sacristy could be true, as he was never alone there while robed.
He said he would normally leave the cathedral with Cardinal Pell after mass so he could drive him to any afternoon engagements.
But Father Portelli told the court there had been instances when Cardinal Pell did not have any post-mass commitments and would leave alone.
#2's scary to think now it's better not to be left alone for even 5 minutes for fear of false accusation or make sure there is a camera on site.  Years ago, I believe priests did live in rectories and do home visits with another priest or layperson.  St Francis (in his Rule) sent 2 Brothers out together to beg or visit the poor/sick and it makes good sense to me.  God bless, angeltime :heart:

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