We begin today with the news that an Australian judge has ordered Cardinal George Pell to stand trial on multiple charges of abuse, charges that the Cardinal consistently has denied.
The 76-year-old Cardinal, head of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, took a leave of absence from his position last summer to fight the charges. Before leaving Rome, the Cardinal told reporters at a Vatican press conference, "I'm innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."
Earlier today, the Vatican Press Office released a short statement saying, "The Holy See has taken note of the decision issued by judicial authorities in Australia regarding His Eminence Cardinal George Pell. Last year, the Holy Father granted Cardinal Pell a leave of absence so he could defend himself from the accusations. The leave of absence is still in place."
Here in Ontario, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board celebrates Catholic Education Week next week. And who better to explain the initiative, than the Bishop of Hamilton, Bishop Douglas Crosby.
Catholic Education Week is coordinated by the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association to raise awareness about the unique dimension of Catholic education in Ontario. And for more information on this, can you visit the Diocese of Hamilton’s website listed below.
Finally, the US government is drastically cutting the number of refugees allowed into the country. Nearly 20 US Catholic refugee resettlement programs were forced to close in the past two years, with many more scaling back operations. CNS has this story.
And that is all that we have time for today. Join us again tomorrow when I bring you more news and stories from the perspective of a Catholic lens.