Cardinal Pell unlikely to become pope

Cardinal George Pell, tainted by sex abuse scandals, has no chance of becoming the 266th pope after Australian critics campaigned to publicise the allegations among voting cardinals, according to Australian commentator Paul Collins.

Taking a leaf from self-appointed traditionalist guardians who are quick to report Australian infractions to Rome, progressive Catholics have lobbied overseas journalists and cardinals to make sure they are aware of the 2002 inquiry into allegations that the Sydney Archbishop molested a 12-year-old boy several times in 1961.

Retired Supreme Court judge A.J. Southwell was ”not satisfied the complaint was established” but said he was impressed by the testimony of both the complainant and the cardinal.

”He has no chance,” Dr Collins, a former priest, said.

He said another problem for the cardinal was that his patrons – the former pope and other influential cardinals – had lost power. ”In Italy, without patrons, you’re gone.”

Cardinal Pell was ranked fifth on ”the dirty dozen” list by international victims group SNAP of 12 cardinals it said should be disqualified because of their record on clergy sex abuse. The group said Cardinal Pell blamed a smear campaign by the media and was morally compromised. (Sydney Morning Herald)