'I am a broken man': What the father of two church sex abuse victims told George Pell as he confronted the 'smooth' Cardinal following his royal commission evidence
By Lucy Mae Beers
March 1, 2016
|Mr Foster cornered the former Archbishop of Melbourne outside his Rome hotel room after his second day of testimony via video link to the child abuse royal commission,|
|Following the hearing, child sex abuse survivors (pictured) said they had 'watched a performance' rather than seen Cardinal Pell give credible evidence|
|Cardinal Pell faced his second day of testimony on Monday night, and shocked survivors by admitting Risdale's crimes were 'a sad story' that 'wasn't of much interest' to him|
|Ballarat child sex abuse survivors (L-R) Phil Nagle, Andrew Collins and David Ridsdale are seen outside the Quirinale Hotel in Rome after day two of testimonials|
|Fellow abuse survivor Phil Nagle said of Cardinal Pell's evidence that 'there was certainly no truth and honesty' in the way he answered the commission's question|
A father whose two daughters suffered horrific sexual abuse at the hands of a priest has confronted Cardinal George Pell, telling him he is a 'broken man.'
Anthony Foster cornered the former Archbishop of Melbourne outside his Rome hotel room after his second day of testimony via video link to the child abuse royal commission, but said the man he spoke to was the 'smooth Cardinal Pell, not the Cardinal Pell [he] saw on the stand,' The ABC reported.
Mr Foster's daughter Emma was raped by Melbourne priest Kevin O'Donnell in the 1980s and she died in 2008 the age of 26 from a drug overdose and years of battling eating disorders, self harm and addiction.
His other daughter Katie, who was also raped by Father O'Donnell, became a binge drinker and requires round the clock care after being left disabled from a car accident in 1999.
Mr Foster said they held hands as they spoke, but admitted he felt no connection and instead said the Cardinal was 'holding the hand of a broken man.'
Cardinal Pell, who was a Ballarat priest at the height of pedophile Gerald Risdale's offending, faced his second day of testimony on Monday night, and shocked survivors by admitting Risdale's crimes were 'a sad story' that 'wasn't of much interest' to him.
He told the commission he was never aware of the offending of notorious pedophile priest Ridsdale in the Ballarat diocese.
That was despite Cardinal Pell being on a consultative committee in the early 1980s that advised on shifting Ridsdale between parishes because of his offending.
Following the hearing, child sex abuse survivors said they had 'watched a performance' rather than seen Cardinal Pell give credible evidence.
The survivors, who have travelled to Rome to hear the cardinal, were disdainful, saying it was hard to believe an intelligent man like him could not have known of Ridsdale's offending when it was common knowledge in two Victorian communities.
The pedophile priest's nephew David Ridsdale, who was sexually abused by his uncle and is a spokesman for the survivors group, told reporters it was clear the Catholic church needed an external body to police its behaviour, especially when it came to children.
'All the evidence shows an incredible litany of lies and deceit that went on for decades.'
He said that in blaming Bishop Mulkearns, who is dying of cancer, and others on the consulting committee, Cardinal Pell had thrown 'a whole bunch of people under a bus.'
'We feel like we've watched a performance rather than evidence,' Mr Ridsdale said.
He said the Pope should question the cardinal on his 'inadequate role as a consultor' on the Ballarat committee as well as how he is fulfilling his current role as the Vatican's chief financial officer.
Fellow abuse survivor Phil Nagle said of Cardinal Pell's evidence that 'there was certainly no truth and honesty' in the way he answered the commission's questions.