Pell should have sought removal of paedophile priest, inquiry found

09 Mai, 2020, 11:04 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pell failed to act against paedophiles report finds

According to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, George Pell was aware of child abuse within the Catholic Church for decades - and "considered measures of avoiding situations that might provoke gossip".

The inquiry rejected Pell's evidence given by video link from Rome in 2016 that he was deceived and lied to by church officials about Australia's worst pedophile priest, Gerald Ridsdale, and disturbed Melbourne parish priest Peter Searson.

Although initially found guilty, the charges against the cardinal were quashed in a unanimous High Court decision last month.

"The then Fr Pell left the Diocese of Ballarat and therefore his position as a consultor at the end of 1984".

"We don't settle for that Bishop Pell was deceived, deliberately or in any other case".

The report, which contains more than 100 pages, shows Cardinal Pell was aware of children being sexually abused within the Archdiocese of Ballarat.

The inquiry heard that 7% of the nation's Catholic priests allegedly abused children between 1950 and 2010.

Cardinal George Pell's claims that he was unaware of abuse by notorious paedophile Gerald Ridsdale have been rejected.

Here is how the Royal commission reported on the Riddle and Pell. It found he should have urged Archbishop Frank Little to take action against Searson.

Ridsdale, in jail since 1994, has been convicted on more than 130 charges of sexually abusing children over almost three decades.

Carindal Pell gave evidence the bishop did not give the true reason for Ridsdale's removal and lied by not doing so.

Journalists received copies of the unredacted Royal Commission report after it was tabled in Parliament
Journalists received copies of the unredacted Royal Commission report after it was tabled in Parliament

The Royal Commission's five-year investigation was one of the world's biggest inquiries into child abuse and found several institutions, including the Catholic Church, had repeatedly failed to keep children safe with cultures of secrecy and cover-ups.

Mr Green told the inquiry the then Father Pell said "don't be ridiculous" and walked away, out of a swimming pool changing room. Pell was questioned closely about whether he should have been suspicious.

The royal commission accepted Mr Green's account. A couple of parishes later Ridsdale is removed from parish ministry.

However, after taking the matter to the country's highest court, Pell has had his convictions overturned.

Francis has until now managed to stay virtually silent on the controversy surrounding Cardinal George Pell, who served as the pope's finance chief until he was charged with sex offences in 2017.

The newly-released report asserts that in the 1980s when Cardinal Pell was an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne, he should have advocated for another priest, Fr Peter Searson, to be removed. The Doveton story is also one of ill treatment of a whistleblower Graeme Sleeman the principal of the school at Doveton who was forced out when the church backed Searson.

While there are no plans for Cardinal Pell to return to the Vatican to work, as a cardinal he remains the most senior Catholic in Australia.

"Today's revelations about Cardinal Pell tell a story we've always known to be true, that is, that Pell concealed knowledge of pedophilic behaviour in his time as a Ballarat priest and Melbourne bishop in the 70s and 80s", she said.

Pell previously told the commission that investigating Searson was not his responsibility and said he did not have enough information to act after being handed a handed a list of complaints about Searson in 1989.

A press release issued by spokeswoman Katrina Lee on behalf of Pell in the present day stated the Cardinal was "surprised" by some of the views of the Royal Fee about his actions. He becomes Archbishop of Sydney in 2001.

In 1996 Pell becomes Archbishop of Melbourne, introduces "the Melbourne Response" an early attempt to handle complaints in a better manner than before, but which survivors heavily criticise.

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