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Pell accuser's past crimes 'leaked'

The criminal history of a man allegedly sexually molested by Sydney Archbishop George Pell was leaked to the media by the Catholic Church, a victims support group said yesterday.

Last week Dr Pell stood aside while claims he molested a 12-year-old boy while working as a trainee priest at a Catholic holiday camp in Victoria in 1961 are investigated.

Dr Pell has denied the allegations, describing them as "lies". Media reports immediately followed Dr Pell's announcement, detailing the alleged victim's criminal past, and his naming during a royal commission into union corruption.

Chris MacIsaac, president of Broken Rites, a support group for victims of sexual abuse in the church, said the information leak was designed to discredit the man.

"Somebody has leaked that [information] and the only people that have an interest in blackening this man's name was the Catholic Church," she said on television yesterday.

The television program yesterday said that newspapers had reported that the Catholic Church had since made statements that the information leak was "regrettable".

The terms of reference for the Pell inquiry are due to be released this week.

On Friday the co-chairman of the Catholic Church body which is conducting the investigation, the National Committee for Professional Standards, said the terms of reference, to be finalised by retired Victorian Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell, had been delayed.

Archbishop on Trial (Channel 9 'Sunday' 25/8/02)
Geoff Cahill (ABC Radio National 'Perspective' 23/8/02) | audio
Rome at top of canon law (The Age)
Catholic Church needs to rethink celibacy (Adele Horin comment, SMH)
Churches in crisis at a time of change (John Bartlett comment, Canberra Times)
Hard man an unusual victim (The Australian)
Leak `discredits' archbishop's accuser (The Advertiser)
His grace under pressure (SMH)
Accuser: I won't back down to bullying or smears (The Age)
I'm not anonymous: abuse victim (The Australian)

Daily Telegraph

26 Aug 2002