Controversial Catholic leader Cardinal George Pell has admitted he does not know if he will ever return to Australia.
Speaking briefly to News Corp, the high-ranking Vatican Cardinal said he had “co-operated fully” with all requests from police and the royal commission on child sex abuse.
Asked if he would travel to Australia to face those who’d accused him directly of sexual abuse, he said: “No, not this weekend for sure.”
Queried on whether he would ever return home, Cardinal Pell responded: “I don’t know.”
On Friday, News Corp reported that Victoria Police were investigating Cardinal Pell directly over sexual abuse allegations made by five to ten boys over a period of four decades.
The Cardinal vehemently denied the allegations, issuing a lengthy statement.
“The timing of these leaks is clearly designed to do maximum damage to the Cardinal and the Catholic Church and undermines the work of the Royal Commission,” the statement said.
“The allegations are without foundation and utterly false.
“These un-detailed allegations have not been raised with the Cardinal by the police and the false claims investigated by Justice Southwell have been ignored by the police for over 15 years, despite the very transparent way they were dealt with by the Cardinal and the Catholic Church.”
According to the report, police were yet to decide whether they would question the Cardinal over the allegations.
Cardinal Pell will give evidence to the royal commission later this week.
The royal commission on child sex abuse resumed in Ballarat on Monday morning.
It announced it was looking for a venue where sex abuse survivors could watch Cardinal Pell give evidence.
The crowdfunding page to send survivors to Rome for the hearing has raised over $203,000.