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Australian abuse panel will take Cardinal Pell's testimony by video link

February 08, 2016

The head of an Australian royal commission investigating the sex-abuse scandal has agreed to take testimony from Cardinal George Pell by a video link.

Cardinal Pell, who has already given testimony twice before the commission, had been due to appear a third time in December. But the cardinal revealed that his doctors had told him that he should not make the trip from Rome, because of a heart condition. More recently the Australian prelate-- who now lives in Rome, where he heads the Secretariat for the Economy-- cancelled a speaking appearance in the US, again explaining that his health would not allow the overseas voyage.

Last year, upon hearing the Cardinal Pell could not make the trip, Judge Peter McClellan, who chairs the investigating committee, declined the cardinal's offer to testify by video link. But now, having seen the cardinal's medical file, he has reversed that decision. He explained that "it could not be expected that his health is likely to improve" sufficiently to allow the long flight, he said.

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