April 01, 2013
CARDINAL George Pell will appear at the Victorian inquiry into child abuse within weeks, as the Catholic Church proposes a new system for handling abuse complaints.
Cardinal Pell introduced Melbourne’s controversial complaints handling system when he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. The church confirmed Cardinal Pell would appear before the panel in coming weeks.
“The committee has indicated some interest in Cardinal Pell attending and he’s certainly willing to co-operate with that,” church spokesman Shane Mackinlay said.
Church figures will propose changes to its complaints process, which has attracted criticism for keeping abuse allegations in-house and making victims feel that they could not report their abuse to police.
In Victoria, the Catholic Church will propose having the Ombudsman review its abuse investigations. And it will suggest changing the Crimes Act so that the church can routinely report abuse complaints to police without identifying victims.
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