Cardinal George Pell’s Evidence Challenged by Three Catholic Officials
By Dan Box
April 27, 2016
Three former Catholic Church officials have directly challenged evidence from Cardinal George Pell, who claimed to have been “deceived” and made the victim of a “cover-up” over the activities of a paedophile priest.
The former Melbourne Catholic Education Office officials told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today they were in “shock, “disappointed” and “angry” at the Cardinal’s claims, which were “quite wrong”.
Giving evidence to the commission last month, Cardinal Pell, now a senior Vatican official, accused the Education Office of keeping from him reports of violent and sexual misconduct by the late Peter Searson.
Father Searson, who sexually abused children, threatened parishioners with a gun and allegedly stabbed a bird to death with a screwdriver, was able to continue working as a priest for years despite repeated complaints about him, the inquiry heard.
Cardinal Pell told the commission he had been “deceived” about Searson’s activities during late 1980s and early 1990s, when he was a bishop in Melbourne with responsibility for the Doveton parish where the priest worked.