Cardinal George Pell testifies to the child sexual abuse royal commission from Rome, day three – live

By Melissa Davey
March 02, 2016

Australian Cardinal George Pell arrives the Quirinale hotel in Rome, from where he is giving evidence to Australia’s child sex abuse royal commission via videolink.
Photo by Alessandra Tarantino

Child sexual abuse survivors from Ballarat watching Pell’s evidence in Rome have just held a press conference calling for a meeting with the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis. They say they have grown frustrated with Pell’s evidence. While some wodivd still be willing to meet with Pell, their priority is a meeting with Pope Francis.

Pell says the senior figures around him deceived him about the extent of abuse within the Catholic church. But counsel assisting, Gail Furness, didn’t accept Pell’s evidence that he was unaware of the abuse inflicted on children by Father Ridsdale and Searson.

Furness also did not accept Pell’s evidence that senior figures who worked alongside him who knew of the abuse deliberately didn’t tell him about it.

For the second time in two days, Furness told Pell his evidence was “implausible” adding it was “designed to deflect blame”.

Furness and the commission chair, Justice Peter McClellan, have finished their questioning. Lawyers representing have begun their questioning of Pell and this will continue tomorrow.

The commission will begin an hour early tomorrow, at 7am Australian eastern daylight time, and run until 1pm in order to get through all of the questioning. We will bring you live coverage again then.


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