Cardinal George Pell highest-ranking Catholic cleric convicted of child sex abuse, Ritual Abuse Conferences in 2019
March 13, 2019 § Leave a comment
Pell is the highest-ranking Catholic cleric worldwide to be convicted of child sex abuse .
March 12, 2019 By Doha Madani and Associated Press
The most senior Catholic cleric ever to be convicted of child sex abuse was sentenced to six years in prison in Australia on Wednesday morning.
Cardinal George Pell, 77, faced as many as 50 years in prison after being convicted in December for the molestation of two choir boys while he was the archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. Pell must serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.
He will spend the rest of his life as a registered sex offender.
Pell was convicted for the assault of the 13-year-old boys after he caught them swigging sacramental wine in a rear room of Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in late 1996.
The jury also found Pell guilty of indecently assaulting one of the boys in a corridor more than a month later….
During the nearly hour-long sentencing remarks, Kidd called Pell’s attack “brazen” and suggested that the cleric was “breathtakingly arrogant” in his attack on the young boys.
“There is no evidence of your remorse or contrition,” Kidd said Wednesday in court….
A spokesman for the Vatican also said that Pell was no longer head of the Secretariat for the Economy, a post that oversees the Vatican’s finances.
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Cardinal George Pell: Vatican treasurer sexual offences trial, Cyril Smith and Knowl View predators free rein in Rochdale, ‘Satanic Christian’ couple
May 2, 2018 § Leave a comment
– Cardinal George Pell: Vatican treasurer faces historical sexual offences trial
– ‘Three Girls’, Cyril Smith and Knowl View – why did predators have free rein in Rochdale?
– ‘Satanic Christian’ couple in child porn case caught by FBI Cincinnati task force
Cardinal George Pell: Vatican treasurer faces historical sexual offences trial
Australia’s most senior Catholic has said he will plead not guilty to all charges
Tue 1 May 2018
Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the controller of the Vatican’s finances in Rome, has pleaded not guilty after he was ordered to stand trial over historical sexual offence allegations.
Pell has always denied the allegations against him, but it was the first time he had been required to enter a formal plea.
Many of the most serious allegations were dismissed in the Melbourne magistrates’ court on Tuesday, with witnesses described as unreliable and lacking credibility. But a number of charges were ordered to go to trial. Further details of the nature of the charges are unable to be reported for legal reasons….
‘Three Girls’, Cyril Smith and Knowl View – why did predators have free rein in Rochdale?
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse made a damning assessment of institutional attitudes in the town, going back decades.
By Damon Wilkinson 15 APR 2018
….But over the last forty years, the close-knit communities that make up Rochdale have been rocked by a string of child sexual abuse scandals.
‘Three Girls’. Satanic Abuse. Cyril Smith and Knowl View.
At times it seems abusers have had free rein in the town. Why? Has there been a series of conspiracies and cover-ups as some believe?
Or merely a perfect storm of disregard – the toxic mix of paedophile networks, self-serving politicians, small-town poverty and government neglect?
On Thursday a long-awaited report lifted the lid on the widespread sexual abuse carried out by former Rochdale MP Cyril Smith and several other predatory paedophiles.
….Monsters loomed in places where children were supposed to be protected – at Cambridge House, a boys’ hostel, and Knowl View, a residential school for boys with learning and behavioural difficulties, from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Public places became playgrounds for perverts too; the bus station, the Smith Street public toilet – in view of council’s offices – where lads of primary school age were prostituted for just a few pence.
It’s a chilling precedent of the the town’s most recent abuse scandal – in which young girls were molested by much older men under the nose of the authorities.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse did not look at that most recent child grooming scandal. But it made a damning assessment of institutional attitudes in the town, going back decades.
Based on the harrowing testimony of dozens of victims of abuse at Knowl View, Cambridge House and Smith Street toilets, plus evidence from social workers, teachers, politicians and council officers, the IICSA’s findings lay bare how young, often vulnerable victims were let down time and time again by the very people who were supposed to be protecting them.
But how was this allowed to happen?
Certainly Cyril Smith has cast a shadow over the town. 29 stone at his heaviest, he was long celebrated as a political giant.
How distressing must that reputation have been to his victims, who knew what he was really capable of?
Stories have abounded in Rochdale that Smith had local police ‘in his pocket’ – using political influence to quash investigations that he was a serial molester of boys.
In 1970 a Lancashire constabulary probe into Smith was dropped on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions, who felt the allegations concerned – which dated from Cambridge House in the mid 60s – were ‘stale’, lacked corroboration, and the ‘character of the complainants would likely render their evidence suspect’.
….But what is abundantly clear from the report is that allegations of sexual assault were simply not taken seriously by those in authority, a culture that permeated the council from top to bottom for years, and allowed Smith and others to repeatedly get away with their sickening crimes.
From social workers and education workers to former council leaders Richard Farnell – suspended by the Labour Party after the report concluded he lied about what he knew about Knowl View – and Paul Rowen, who has been accused of having ‘turned a blind eye’ to the problems at Knowl View, there was a ‘careless and wholly inadequate response’ to the issue.
In regards to Knowl View the inquiry found there was a ‘total lack of urgency on the part of the authorities to address the problem and treat the matters involved for what they were – serious sexual assaults’….
‘Satanic Christian’ couple in child porn case caught by FBI Cincinnati task force
Kevin Grasha April 20, 2018
A special agent and police officer working for an FBI Cincinnati task force helped uncover “systematic” sexual abuse of children by a woman and man who claimed they were a “Satanic Christian” couple, court documents show.
The couple sexually abused six children who were in their care and produced multiple images of child pornography, officials said. Federal prosecutors in a news release called the couple’s behavior “depraved” and said it “represented ongoing, systematic and horrific abuse of multiple children.”
The victims ranged in age from 6 months to 14 years.
Sherri Smith, of Osceola, Indiana, and her boyfriend, Joseph Williams, of Watervliet, Michigan, were sentenced this week in federal court in Michigan. Smith was sentenced to 60 years in prison; Williams was sentenced to 80 years.
According to court documents, Williams contacted members of the FBI Cincinnati task force through the website, Motherless.com. Communications then continued through messaging apps.
In a February 2017 message, according to court documents, the person “stated that ‘they’ were a ‘Satanic Christian’ couple and were into ‘older/younger (very younger) and incest.’”
Williams’ home was described as a “child pornography house of horrors.” Among items seized was a reproduction of a young girl’s buttocks and genitals, court documents say.
Both Smith, 48, and Williams, 53, pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges.
December 15, 2017 Comments Off on Australia Gripped by Decades of Sexual Abuse of Children, Panel Finds
Australia Gripped by Decades of Sexual Abuse of Children, Panel Finds
By JACQUELINE WILLIAMS DEC. 14, 2017
Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate, Cardinal George Pell, in June became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses.
SYDNEY, Australia — A royal commission investigating the sexual abuse of children in Australia found Friday that the nation was gripped by an epidemic dating back decades, with tens of thousands of children sexually abused in schools, religious organizations and other institutions.
The commission, the highest form of investigation in Australia, urged government action on its 189 recommendations, including the establishment of a new National Office for Child Safety and penalties for those who suspect abuse and fail to alert the police, including priests who hear about abuse in confessionals. It also urged Australia’s Roman Catholic leadership to press Rome to end mandatory celibacy for priests.
“Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions,” said the report, which was particularly critical of Catholic organizations. “We will never know the true number. Whatever the number, it is a national tragedy, perpetrated over generations within many of our most trusted institutions.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the commission had exposed “a national tragedy.”
The commission’s chairman, Justice Peter McClellan, said that the panel heard from more than 1,000 witnesses over nearly 15 months in assessing the magnitude of the abuse.
“It is not a case of a few rotten apples,” the report said. “Society’s major institutions have seriously failed. In many cases those failings have been exacerbated by a manifestly inadequate response to the abused person. The problems have been so widespread, and the nature of the abuse so heinous, that it is difficult to comprehend.”
Australia created the commission in 2012 to investigate decades of sexual abuse in religious institutions, schools and other establishments — the only country in the world so far to initiate such a sweeping government-led inquiry. More than 4,000 institutions have been implicated in abuse allegations, the commission found.
Australian government investigators identified 4,444 victims of abuse and at least 1,880 suspected abusers from 1980 to 2015. Most of those suspected of abuse were Catholic priests and religious brothers. The report released Friday said 62 percent of the survivors who told the commission they were abused in religious institutions were abused in a Catholic facility….
The most damaging revelations about child sexual abuse have centered on scandals in towns like Ballarat, the hometown of Cardinal George Pell, who this year became the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual offenses….
The charges brought in June against Cardinal Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, followed years of criticism that he had at best overlooked, and at worst covered up, the widespread abuse of children by clergymen in Australia.
Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses, Church Of England ‘Colluded And Concealed’ Bishop’s Sex Abuse, Leader Says
June 30, 2017 Comments Off on Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses, Church Of England ‘Colluded And Concealed’ Bishop’s Sex Abuse, Leader Says
– Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses
– Church Of England ‘Colluded And Concealed’ Bishop’s Sex Abuse, Leader Says
Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses
Laura Smith Spark-Profile-Image
By Joshua Berlinger and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN Thu June 29, 2017
Cardinal George Pell, a senior adviser to Pope Francis and the third-ranking official in the Holy See, is taking leave from the Vatican to fight historical sexual assault charges in his home country of Australia.
The case is the latest black mark against the Catholic Church, which has been reeling from sexual abuse scandals across several countries that date back decades. It could also have ramifications for Pope Francis, who counts Pell among his closest aides.
Australian police have not released a detailed list of charges against Pell and didn’t disclose any information about alleged victims, saying only that there were multiple charges and “multiple complainants.” ….
“I’m innocent of these charges, they are false,” Pell said. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”….
Pell has previously denied covering up abuse committed by priests when he served as the Archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 to 2001. But he acknowledged his predecessor, Archbishop Frank Little, now deceased, had destroyed documents to protect priests.
A 2013 Australian government inquiry, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, found that 7% of priests in Australia were accused of abusing children, from 1950 until 2015. At least 1,880 alleged perpetrators were identified and 4,444 victims came forward…..
In the United States, analysis of information on 110,000 priests who served the Church between 1950 and 2002 found that 4% of them had been accused of abuse…..
Church Of England ‘Colluded And Concealed’ Bishop’s Sex Abuse, Leader Says
June 22, 2017 Colin Dwyer
When faced with allegations of sex abuse against one of its bishops, the Church of England “colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward,” the church’s leader acknowledged Thursday.
“For the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology,” Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, said in a statement. “There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades.”
Welby was responding to the findings of an independent investigation into how the church handled the allegations against Ball, a former bishop who pleaded guilty in 2015 to indecent assault against young men. That report, also released Thursday, found that Ball “abused many boys and men over a period of twenty years or more.”
“That is shocking in itself but is compounded by the failure of the Church to respond appropriately to his misconduct, again over a period of many years,” Moira Gibb, who led the investigation, said in the report. “Ball’s priority was to protect and promote himself and he maligned the abused. The Church colluded with that rather than seeking to help those he had harmed, or assuring itself of the safety of others.”….
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Neil Brick has developed Internet resources to publish scientific information about child and ritual abuse. He publishes a bimonthly newsletter and organizes informational conferences. The goal of these resources is to help stop child and ritual abuse through public education.
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June 29, 2017 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell charged with historical sex offences
Cardinal George Pell charged with historical sex offences
Nino Bucci Tom Cowie Nick Miller June 29 2017
Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s highest ranking Catholic, has been charged with historical sex offences.
Victoria Police has confirmed Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons over multiple allegations and is due to face Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18 for a filing hearing.
A statement from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney said Cardinal Pell had been informed of Victoria Police’s “decision and action”.
“Cardinal Pell will return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name following advice and approval by his doctors who will also advise on his travel arrangements….
Cardinal Pell is the third most senior Catholic at the Vatican, where he is responsible for the church’s finances….
“There are multiple complainants relating to those charges,” he said….
He has repeatedly and emphatically denied all allegations, but said he would continue to co-operate with the police investigation….
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Pennsylvania Catholic diocese covered up decades worth of child abuse, grand jury says, Pell blames bishop for Australia child abuse cover-up
March 2, 2016 Comments Off on Pennsylvania Catholic diocese covered up decades worth of child abuse, grand jury says, Pell blames bishop for Australia child abuse cover-up
has graphic descriptions of abuse
Pennsylvania Catholic diocese covered up decades worth of child abuse, grand jury says
A new grand jury report claims two Roman Catholic bishops in a central Pennsylvania diocese helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by over 50 priests or religious leaders over a 40-year period.
by Steve Esack and Laurie Mason Schroeder
March 1, 2016
From Boston to Philadelphia to the United Nations, the Catholic Church has been accused of covering up and protecting priests and other religious leaders who sexually abused children.
Now add a slice of western Pennsylvania to the list.
A grand jury report released Tuesday accuses two bishops who ran the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown of allowing at least 50 priests and other religious leaders to sexually abuse hundreds of children for decades.
“These predators desecrated a sacred trust and preyed upon their victims … where they should have felt most safe,” state Attorney General Kathleen Kane said.
The report says the late Bishop James Hogan and former Bishop Joseph Adamec kept filing cabinets with 115,042 secret documents detailing victims’ abuse claims. It tells how church officials ordered priests to undergo treatment while transferring them to other parishes, or intervened when local and state police made inquiries starting in the mid-1960s.
The report also outlines a diocesan “payout chart” of $10,000 for victims fondled over their clothes, and up to $175,000 for victims of forced sodomy or intercourse.
The grand jury report uses those documents to explain in extraordinary detail how one priest “hypnotized” children by rubbing his genitals on their feet, another priest choked boys if they refused his advances at his cabin in the woods, and another priest plied a child with alcohol and then raped him until he bled….
After his own 2002 investigation, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli was critical of the way the church handled abuse claims before Cullen was installed as bishop in 1998.
Before that, he said, the diocese was focused more on the priest than on the alleged victims.
“Even when priests admitted sexual abuse with minors, they were often sent to treatment centers and continued to function as priests,” Morganelli said in a 2002 report. “A number of the priests had multiple incidents involving more than one victim.”
Like Martin, Morganelli found no basis for criminal charges against church officials who oversaw priests. Also like Martin, he noted the diocese has created a policy requiring the immediate review of allegations against priests and the instant removal of those priests if the allegations are deemed credible….
Every Catholic community — including the Allentown Diocese — has its hidden information.
Such secrets go back centuries to the mid-1600s or early 1700s, when the Vatican created Canon Law 489. It is a legal mechanism that allows Catholic religious orders to keep from public view a trove of documents, including personnel and financial files, that only the local bishop and his trusted few could access, according to testimony from sex-abuse prosecutions and lawsuits that rocked the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 2013.
In 2014, the United Nations accused the Vatican of “systematically” protecting predator priests from being brought to justice for the sexual “torture” of tens of thousands of children around the globe.
In 2012, some of the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s secrets came to light when a 1994 memo was uncovered that showed the archdiocese’s top clergy — including Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and Bishop Edward Cullen, who later headed the Allentown Diocese — ordered the shredding of a list of 35 priests suspected of sexually abusing children….
Pell blames bishop for Australia child abuse cover-up
1 March 2016
Cardinal George Pell says he was deceived by a senior clergyman over the activities of a paedophile priest.
Australia’s most senior Catholic is presenting evidence from Rome via video link over several days to an Australian Royal Commission into child sex abuse.
On Tuesday Cardinal Pell was questioned about paedophile Gerald Ridsdale, a priest who was repeatedly moved between parishes in the 1970s and 80s.
He accepted no responsibility for the failure to report Ridsdale’s abuse….
Cardinal Pell repeatedly criticised Ronald Mulkearns, who was bishop of Ballarat between 1971 and 1997, for withholding information about Ridsdale.
Cardinal Pell was one of the consultors who gave advice to Bishop Mulkearns from 1977 to 1984.
Particular attention was paid to a meeting of the consultors that Cardinal Pell attended in 1982, where a decision was taken to move Ridsdale for a sixth time.
Counsel assisting the commissioner, Gail Furness, said it was “implausible” that Cardinal Pell and other priests at the meeting did not know the reason for Ridsdale’s relocation.
Cardinal Pell responded: “That is complete nonsense.”….
He said that responsibility for Ridsdale’s relocation lay “overwhelmingly with the bishop”, who used “gentle and euphemistic language” to disguise the truth of Risdale’s actions.
“I can’t nominate another bishop whose actions are so grave and inexplicable … His repeated refusal to act is, I think, absolutely extraordinary,” Cardinal Pell said.
The cardinal provoked gasps from survivors earlier in testimony when he said the news of Ridsdale’s abuse was “a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me”.
“The suffering, of course, was real and I very much regret that but I had no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the evils that Ridsdale had perpetrated,” he said….
Cardinal Pell, who is not accused of sexual abuse, denied knowing about paedophile priests who were active in the Ballarat diocese during his time there as a priest in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse is holding its second round of inquiries into child sex abuse that occurred in the city of Ballarat in Victoria state.
Cardinal Pell was a priest in Ballarat and lived in a seminary with a notorious paedophile priest, Gerald Ridsdale, in the early 1970s.
Ridsdale committed more than 130 offences against young boys while working as a chaplain at Ballarat’s St Alipius school between the 1960s and the 1980s….
Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation, ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies
February 24, 2016 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation, ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies
– Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation
– Cardinal George Pell won’t be asked about Victoria Police inquiry
– ‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies
Cardinal George Pell denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation
Cardinal George Pell has vehemently denied allegations of abuse, in a statement issued in the wake of media reports that he is being investigated by Victoria Police.
In response to a Herald Sun report that a Victoria Police taskforce was investigating abuse allegations against him, Australia’s most high-profile Catholic said the allegations were “undetailed” and had not been raised with him.
A statement from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney also said allegations of abuse that were raised 15 years ago were “without foundation and utterly false”….
Cardinal George Pell won’t be asked about Victoria Police inquiry
The Australian February 24, 2016
Cardinal George Pell is not expected to be questioned by a royal commission over allegations being investigated by police that he was involved in the sexual abuse of boys over several decades.
The publication of the allegations on Friday night provoked a storm of reaction. The cardinal, who vehemently denies the claims, called for a public inquiry into the “maliciously timed” leak, allegedly by Victoria Police.
Cardinal Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and who now manages the Vatican’s finances, is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse next week. But several legal and church sources said they did not expect him to be questioned directly by the commission’s lawyers over the alleged abuse.
The commission’s Letters Patent, signed by the Governor-General and which establish the confines of its work, say it “is not required … to inquire … into a particular matter” that is subject to another criminal investigation….
‘Slave’ who ‘stabbed his master to death in self defence’ took part in devil-worshipping ceremonies where his ‘dominating’ partner would slice his forehead as 16th century church choir music played
A slave who stabbed his master to death says he acted in self defence
Henry Rose, 59, pleaded not guilty to murdering his partner Drew Dax, 44
Mr Dax was stabbed multiple times in their Caulfield North home in 2011
He had a knife in his hands but police allege Mr Rose planted it there
Police documents reveal the two had been involved in a violent relationship
Mr Dax was charged with assault after slicing Mr Rose in devil worship ritual
By Belinda Grant Geary For Daily Mail Australia 23 February 2016
A ‘slave’ who claims he killed his ‘master’ in self-defence was stabbed and sliced by his dominating partner during a ritualistic devil worshipping ceremony.
Henry Rose, 59, pleaded not guilty to murdering his controlling partner Drew Dax, formerly known as Andrew Barratt, during an appearance at the Melbourne Supreme Court on Monday.
Mr Dax, 44, was found with a knife in his hand after being stabbed multiple times with two different blades in the couple’s Caulfield North home on January 11, 2015.
The court has heard that the two had been involved in a string of violent confrontations during their 28 year relationship – one so serious that the 44-year-old master had been charged with assault, the Age reported….
Police were called to the couple’s apartment in Elwood, south of Melbourne’s CBD, in 1989 after Mr Dax entered a trance-like state and demanded Mr Rose kneel before him.
According to reports, Mr Dax, who was playing the role of Satan, used a kitchen knife to slice his slave’s forehead and stab him in the hand as dramatic 16th century church music played.
Mr Dax was charged with assault and placed on an 18 month community based order, despite Mr Rose insisting that he wanted to withdraw his complaint….
June 3, 2015 Comments Off on Vatican defends Cardinal George Pell in child sex abuse scandal
Vatican defends Cardinal George Pell in child sex abuse scandal
June 02, 2015
THE Vatican has defended its finance chief, Australian Cardinal George Pell, after he was accused by one of Pope Francis’ commissioners for child protection of being almost sociopathic.
Spokesman Federico Lombardi says Peter Saunders, who called for Pell to be dismissed over allegations he covered up abuse and denigrated victims, was expressing his personal views and not speaking on behalf of the commission.
Lombardi told journalists Pell, formerly the top Catholic cleric in Australia, has replied to all questions posed by the authorities and his defence must be considered reliable and worthy of attention and respect.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday requested Pell give evidence when the inquiry next meets at a date to be determined.
Pell says he will be present at the hearing.
Mr Saunders, an abuse survivor, made headlines earlier this week when he called on the Pope to sack Cardinal Pell as the Vatican’s financial chief over allegations he helped cover up paedophile activity in Australia.
Now Mr Saunders has revealed the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors may not be able to do its job properly due to a lack of resources.
“George Pell is in the Pope’s cabinet, the inner sanctum, and is in charge of Vatican finances,” he said….
Cardinal Pell, who denies the cover-up allegations, said he was consulting his legal advisers after Mr Saunders said the Australian’s lack of care for victims was “almost sociopathic”.
Mr Saunders responded by stating the threat of legal action wasn’t surprising and he wouldn’t shut up for anyone.
Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at child sex abuse inquiry, Child sexual abuse royal commission: O’Callaghan advised abuse victims on strength of cases
August 21, 2014 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at child sex abuse inquiry, Child sexual abuse royal commission: O’Callaghan advised abuse victims on strength of cases
“But victims were told if they chose to go to police, they were no longer eligible for compensation”
Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at child sex abuse inquiry
Pell was archbishop of Melbourne when the church set up the Melbourne Response compensation scheme
Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Wednesday 20 August 2014
Cardinal George Pell’s role in setting up a Catholic Church compensation scheme for victims of pedophile priests will be scrutinised on Thursday at the child abuse royal commission.
Pell was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 when the Melbourne archdiocese decided to respond to growing allegations of child sex abuse by its clergy. The church considered creating a legal entity that could be sued by victims, but designed the Melbourne Response compensation scheme instead.
Cardinal Pell told the royal commission earlier this year he believed the church should now create an entity that could be sued.
A Victorian parliamentary inquiry last year recommended the Catholic Church be incorporated so it could be sued….
Child sexual abuse royal commission: O’Callaghan advised abuse victims on strength of cases
By court reporter Peta Carlyon 20 August 2014
The man in charge of the Catholic Church’s so-called Melbourne Response to allegations of child abuse has rejected suggestions he failed to encourage victims to go to police.
Peter O’Callaghan QC has been dealing with complainants and deciding whether they are eligible for compensation since the scheme began in 1996.
He was repeatedly questioned about the legal integrity of his decision-making at today’s hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Mr O’Callaghan has been a Queen’s Counsel for 40 years and said the Melbourne Response was based in canon law and “natural justice”.
He said when there was a dispute with a claim he would take on a role similar to a magistrate in a criminal case.
He was again asked repeatedly why he did not report cases of abuse to Victoria Police and why he took it upon himself to advise victims on the potential strength of their cases….
Yesterday he told the commission he had made more than 330 adverse findings against priests within the Melbourne archdiocese since the complaint’s procedure began.
The church has paid out more than $17 million to abuse victims through the scheme.
But victims were told if they chose to go to police, they were no longer eligible for compensation….