By John Jalsevac

Cardinal PellFRONT ROYAL, VA, May 18, 2006 ( – Australia’s Cardinal George Pell, was in Front Royal, Virginia over the weekend celebrating Mass and giving the Commencement address at Christendom College. interviewed the Australian Church leader at the college last Friday. will publish in three parts, the content of that interview beginning with today’s instalment.

LifeSiteNews:ÂRecently the church has seen corruption enter into its own walls in the form of the sex abuse scandals. What do you think the root of that problem has been, and how does it relate to the culture at large? Do you think that the culture at large has played a big factor in that, or is it just a separate problem in and of itself?

Cardinal Pell:“Human nature is always weak, but I do believe that the problem has been worsened considerably because of the moral confusion in society: the weakening of the faith, the absence of clear moral lines.

“As you know most of the abuse, at least in the English speaking world, that is most of the clerical abuse, is not in the strictest terms pedophilia, but what’s called ephebophilia, and that is with young fellows as adolescents after puberty. And what is significantly different, which you would also probably be aware, is that 80% of the abuse is with young boys. So I mean it’s obviously connected with the problem of homosexuality.

“I also think it’s connected remotely with false views of conscience, where people come to think that all truth is relative, and that you can choose for yourself, especially when the pressure is on. It’s not too difficult to deceive yourself morally. That’s especially true in matters of sexuality. Of course now there’s a very organized push to entice people into the world of active homosexuality.

“All these factors have impinged on the Church life, and made it more difficult. I think we’ve made very, very considerable strides in addressing the problem of pedophilia. But we’ve also got to be aware that we don’t allow problems to develop with homosexuality just between adults within the church. We’ve got to see that this is not tolerated amongst clergy and religious orders.”