By Danny Morgan
The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne has defended his predecessor, Cardinal George Pell, against allegations he did not properly follow up child sexual abuse complaints against priests.
Denis Hart has told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that during the 1980s and early 1990s senior bishops did not do enough to convince Archbishop Frank Little to remove priests who were molesting children.
Archbishop Hart said it was a complete failure of process on the part of the bishops.
“So that includes Archbishop, now Cardinal, Pell?” he was asked by counsel assisting, Gail Furness SC.
Archbishop Hart replied: “I would exclude him.”
The commission had earlier heard Cardinal Pell, as an auxiliary bishop based in Melbourne in 1989, received complaints about paedophile priest Peter Searson.
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