New police probe wouldn’t be a surprise: George Pell

Freed Cardinal George Pell has labelled Victoria Police's handling of his case as "extraordinary" and said he would not be surprised if police continue to investigate him.

In his second interview since his release from prison, Cardinal Pell told conservative commentator Andrew Bolt on Sky News that it was ironic that he was convicted of child sexual abuse when he had led the Melbourne archdiocese response against it.

In his second interview since his release from prison, Cardinal George Pell spoke with conservative commentator Andrew Bolt on Sky News. Credit:Sky News

“In a national broadcaster, to have an overwhelming presentation of one view, only one view, I think that’s a betrayal of national interest,” he said.

A day after his acquittal on historical child sex charges last week, the cardinal travelled to the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney, where he said he would continue to live.

On Tuesday, police visited Cardinal Pell at the seminary. NSW police said the meeting was to discuss social media threats made against him and they were not investigating him.

In the interview with Bolt, who has been a defender of the high-profile Catholic throughout his legal battles, Cardinal Pell said he was perplexed by the police investigation, which he said was sloppy and failed to substantiate the accuser’s claims.

“I don't know how to explain it, but it's certainly extraordinary,” he said.

The Victorian state opposition has called for an inquiry into police actions.

Cardinal Pell said his traditional views on marriage, gender and sex made him a target of people within institutions who wished to diminish him in order to devalue the role of the church in public life.

“The culture wars are real, there is a systematic attempt to remove the Judeo-Christian legal foundations … [on] marriage, life, gender, sex,” he said.

“I think that contributed … A lot of people don't like my views. I'm what's called a social conservative, I’m a Christian.”

Cardinal George Pell arrives at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney on Wednesday.Credit:AAP

“I never believed there was the remotest possibility that a couple of judges would not uphold my appeal.”

He also said the church had not contributed to the cost of his defence and that he had been backed by ‘‘a lot of very generous people’’.

He had also contributed from his superannuation and savings, but still kept some left over.

‘‘I’ve got considerably less than I had,’’ he said.

Cardinal Pell said he would have occasionally done things differently in his career, but was not emotionally scarred by his travails.

He described Victoria's Barwon Prison as a grim place but revealed that his time in jail had given him an interest in people who were ‘‘wrongly condemned’’.

Cardinal Pell said he made two friends in Barwon Prison, including one who has been convicted of murder.

That man, who Cardinal Pell said he did not believe was guilty, was one of two who congratulated him after he learnt of the High Court decision on television.

He said he would not play an active role in public life in Australia.

“I’ll go quietly,” he said.

With AAP

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