Archbishop Denis Hart says criticism of church handling of paedophiles is valid

Herald Sun

November 30, 2015
Padraic Murphy
Herald Sun

CARDINAL George Pell was briefed about concerns a priest had shown a dead body to children but the pervert was not removed from the school, the Royal Commission in to child abuse has heard.

Inaction over that priest — who it later emerged was a pedophile — emerged as Archbishop Denis Hart gave evidence about an horrific period at Doveton Parish in the 1980s that saw a succession of pedophile priests in charge.

Archbishop Hart said he expected Cardinal George Pell – who at the time was the parish’s Auxiliary Bishop – to have been to act on the priest’s morbid behaviour.

“I would have expected he would have taken up the matter……I don’t know what he knew and I don’t know what he did,” Archbishop Hart said.

At one point in 1989, Cardinal Pell discussed a list of grievances about pedophile priest Peter Searson lodged by parentswhich said he had shown children a body in a casket and tortured animals in front of them.

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