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Cardinal Pell testifies before parliamentary inquiry on abuse

Catholic World News - May 29, 2013

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has testified before a Victorian parliamentary inquiry about how he dealt with clerical sexual abuse when he was Archbishop of Melbourne (1996-2001).

Melbourne is the capital of the Australian state of Victoria.

“I acknowledge again with shame and great sadness the pain caused by the sexual abuse of children and apologize again to all those who suffered abuse from Catholic priests, religious and lay church workers,” said Cardinal Pell. “Along with other leaders in the Church, I will continue to work to prevent sexual abuse in the Church and to help those who have been abused.”

“Our commitment to victims of sexual abuse also means working with the police and other civil authorities to ensure there are no cover ups and no protection of abusers so that Catholic parishes, schools and welfare services continue to be safe places for young people,” he continued, adding:

Information provided to the Inquiry by the Church in Victoria shows that the Melbourne Response and Towards Healing in Victoria upheld 224 complaints of sexual abuse arising from the 1970s, 82 complaints arising from the 1980s, 12 complaints arising from the 1990s, and 1 complaint arising in the decade from 2000.

“I renew my commitment to eradicating this evil from the church by continuing our work with the police and child protection authorities,” he concluded. “I will continue my efforts to offer practical help and support, respectfully and compassionately, to those who are suffering because of these crimes. First and foremost I am on the side of people who have been hurt by sexual abuse. I always have been.”

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