Ballarat victims welcome much of Cardinal George Pell’s royal commission testimony but say ‘there’s still a long way to go’

Sydney Morning Herald

February 29, 2016

Melissa Cunningham

Ballarat clerical abuse survivors say Australia’s most senior Catholic is holding back on his knowledge of paedophile priests who sexually abused scores of children over decades.

During his evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal George Pell said he was not there to “defend the indefensible” and denied knowing about paedophile priests operating in the Ballarat diocese in the 1970s.

He said the Catholic Church had made “enormous” mistakes in its handling of child sex crimes and had let victims down but was working to repair it.

Standing outside of the Hotel Quirinale in Rome where Cardinal Pell gave evidence via video link back to Australia, clerical abuse victim David Ridsdale said thousands of people were still suffering as a result of the church’s failure to protect children.

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