Church leaders hit back at clergy abuse inquiry claims

The Age

[Bishop Hart’s statement]

[Cardinal Pell’s statement]

March 30, 2013

Barney Zwartz
Religion editor, The Age.

Australia’s two most senior Catholic prelates, Cardinal George Pell and Archbishop Denis Hart, have repudiated as inaccurate allegations against them at Victoria’s clergy sex abuse inquiry.

Melbourne Archbishop Hart denied testimony by Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay to the parliamentary inquiry that the church has hindered and obstructed police, and challenges police about why they have not acted already if they have evidence of such behaviour.

Cardinal Pell again rejected claims by Melbourne lawyer Vivian Waller that he was present in 1969 when a child described being raped to another priest, and attacked the claims as ”seriously defamatory” and possibly a contempt of Parliament and professional misconduct.

Their responses were posted on Thursday on the inquiry website, on a new section called ”right of reply”. Archbishop Hart first wrote on October 17 and Cardinal Pell’s statement is dated January 15.

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