TONY JONES: Tony Abbott, on another matter, have you met Archbishop Pell during the election campaign?
TONY ABBOTT: Not that I can recall.
TONY JONES: Not that you can recall, because we believe that you’ve had at least one meeting with him quite recently. You don’t recall that?
TONY ABBOTT: Well, when? Where?
TONY JONES: At the presbytery in Sydney.
TONY ABBOTT: Ah, actually now that you do mention it, I did meet with Cardinal Pell. So what? Why shouldn’t I meet with Cardinal Pell?
TONY JONES: Why couldn’t you recall meeting him, I think, 10 days ago?
TONY ABBOTT: Look, whenever it was, so what? Why shouldn’t I meet Cardinal Pell. Cardinal Pell is a fine man. He made a very good statement the other day about the Labor Party’s policy, why shouldn’t I meet with him?…
TONY JONES: What issues were discussed?
TONY ABBOTT: Well, Tony, I may well have been going to confession to Cardinal Pell, I may well have been seeking pastoral counseling from Cardinal Pell. What’s so sinister about that?
Cardinal Pell is one of the greatest churchmen that Australia has seen. I am a very imperfect Catholic. Why shouldn’t I go and seek counsel? Why shouldn’t I go and trespass on the time occasionally of someone like Cardinal Pell.
If you spent more time with Cardinal Pell, your life might be more interesting.
- Tony Abbott interviewed on ABC’s Lateline
“Abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people”. - Cardinal George Pell