In The Age newspaper today (27 September 2002) the front page's main headline is "I knew the altar boys, says Pell" by Martin Daly.
Archbishop Pell has been accused of sexually assaulting two altar boys at a Philip Island camp more than 40 years ago.
Another seminarian there was Anthony Salvatore Bongiorno, who became a priest and has since died. He was acquitted of indecent assault charges in 1996 that were allegedly committed between 1981 and 1986.
The inquiry is headed by former Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell under the Church's Towards Healing process. Martin Daly describes it as a "secret commission of inquiry". But this information is from a submission to the inquiry made on Dr Pell on Wednesday. Martin Daly described part of the complainant's statement to the commision in The Age on 24 September.
Martin Daly does not indicate the source of this information. In speculating I would categorise the possibilites as from the team of: the complainant, Dr Pell or the judge. From the information available to me all are possible, but the complainant seems most likely.
The complainant has decided he wants to be anomyous, hence the requirement for the secret inquiry. Can he have it both ways? Choose to be anomyous and give details of the secret inquiry? Yes. The Church will bend over backwards to be just in this.
Yesterday I saw an interview on Dateline with Archbishop Zycinski. He expressed concerns about media reporting:
I see the injustice, but I see it as worthwhile to avoid worse injustices.
On Wednesday Cardinal Keeler in Baltimore published details of "priests and religious men who have served in the Archdiocese and have been accused of child sexual abuse". There are dangers in this: scandal, harming victims, being sued for libel and naming someone falsely accused. But I think his decision is the correct one.
His letter described the reasons for his decision:
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 27 September 2002.