Statement from St Patrick's College
St Patrick's College has today issued the following statement regarding a County Court jury's verdict against Old Collegian Cardinal George Pell:
In response to a County Court jury’s verdict finding Cardinal George Pell guilty of sexual offences against young choirboys in Melbourne, St Patrick’s College, Ballarat will today remove his name from a building which had been named in his honour.
In addition the College will revoke his status as an inducted Legend of the school and a line will be struck through his name on a College honour board listing ordained former students.
Cardinal George Pell is an Old Collegian of St Patrick’s College who attended school here from 1949 to 1959. The above honours were bestowed upon him in recognition of his years of service to the Catholic Church.
Today’s actions are in line with Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) protocols for the removal of names from buildings and places of honour, and are consistent with the College’s statement, issued in conjunction with EREA, in December 2016.
Headmaster John Crowley said that he acknowledged Cardinal Pell may appeal the verdict, but as it currently stands, the College must respond to the jury’s findings. The College reserves the right to revisit this decision.
Mr Crowley said the College aims to role model the highest possible standards of behaviour to students entrusted to its care.
“The jury’s verdict demonstrates that Cardinal Pell’s behaviours have not met the standards we expect of those we honour as role models for the young men we educate,” Mr Crowley said.
“The statement we issued in 2016 specifically identifies unacceptable behaviours which do not align with our expectations around child safety.
“The College aims at every opportunity to fulfil our mission of raising fine boys to the status of great men.”
“The College also remains ever mindful of the victims and survivors who require our ongoing care, solidarity and support.”
The building which was formerly known as the Pell Wing, will be renamed the Waterford Wing, recognising the home of the Blessed Edmund Rice.