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Australian abuse victims raise funds to travel to Rome, witness Cardinal Pell's testimony

February 17, 2016

Australian sex-abuse victims have raised more than $90,000 in a crowd-funding campaign to send representatives to Rome, to watch Cardinal George Pell give testimony before a royal commission on abuse.

Cardinal Pell, who has been a prime target of Church critics in Australia, had been scheduled to testify (for a 3rd time) before the Australian investigating panel in December. But the cardinal-- who now lives in Rome, where he serves as the prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy-- said that his doctors had advised him against the overseas trip because of a serious heart condition. After initially refusing the cardinal's offer to testify by video link, the commission decided this month to accept that offer.

A survivors' group called Loud Fence announced a fundraising campaign to allow some abuse victims to travel to Rome and witness the ceremony. Asking for $55,000, the group raised nearly twice that amount. 

However, there is no guarantee that the group will be able to witness the cardinal's testimony directly. The royal commission has not yet announced a venue for the questioning, and the cardinal is not under obligation to accept any particular location.


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  • Posted by: mhains8491 - Feb. 17, 2016 7:19 PM ET USA

    This is not about watching the testimony but part of witch hunt against the Cardinal and the Catholic Church. The appalling attacks on both occur each day here in Australia. Lies, misrepresentations, deliberate omissions of facts and straight out deception are the norm. The last week has been horrific, made worse by the failure of Catholic politicians to say anything - total silence. The only defence is by an atheistic journalist, to his credit: