Catholic World News

Cardinal Pell agrees to new meeting with abuse victims

February 18, 2016

Cardinal George Pell has indicated that he is willing to meet with Australian sex-abuse victims who have vowed to travel to Rome to witness his testimony to a royal investigating commission.

The Australian cardinal, who is now the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, said that he "Is prepared to meet with and listen to victims and express his ongoing support." In his statement the cardinal observed that he has met with sex-abuse victims in the past, and held such meetings during his previous two appearances before the royal commission.

Cardinal Pell was scheduled to travel to Australia for his testimony before the commission in December 2015, but was advised by doctors that he should not make the long trip because of health problems. The commission eventually accepted his offer to testify by video link. 

Representatives of sex-abuse victims have raised over $100,000 in a crowd-funding campaign to travel to Rome, intending to confront the cardinal as he testifies. His statement indicates that he is willing to meet with the group, perhaps outside the context of his formal testimony. That testimony is now scheduled for February 29; no site has been announced. 

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