Information "Not Withheld" from Pell
April 27, 2016
The former deputy director of the Catholic Education Office says he was shocked and angry when he heard Cardinal George Pell say he was deceived by the CEO during his time in Melbourne.
Education consultant Peter Annett was deputy director of the Archdiocese of Melbourne's education office when Dr Pell was auxiliary bishop with responsibility for education.
On Wednesday he told the child abuse royal commission at one stage in the late 80s a number one priority for the office was that notorious paedophile priest Peter Searson be removed from the parish of Doveton.
Mr Annett is one of four former education officers responding to evidence given by Cardinal Pell from Rome in March that the CEO withheld information about Searson.
'I would have thought our staff would be completely frank with Bishop Pell and be cheering from the rooftops if he as able to take action,' he said.
The commission is investigating the responses of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to complaints of child sexual abuse. This is its third hearing.
In March Dr Pell said he was probably deceived by the Catholic Education Office because they knew he would take decisive action and not put up with the status quo.
Mr Annett, who was giving evidence for the first time, said his immediate reaction to what Dr Pell was saying about the inaction of the education office was shock.
'I was disappointed and perhaps angry, but certainly very disappointed,' said Mr Annett, who later became director of the Catholic Education office in Canberra.