By Dan Smith, staff
The Catholic Church made “enormous mistakes” and “let people down” in its handling of child sexual abuse by priests, Cardinal George Pell told the child abuse royal commission this morning.
Australia’s most senior Catholic testified via video link from a hotel in Rome, giving evidence about Catholic abuse in Ballarat and Melbourne.
He said he was “not here to defend the indefensible”, and admitted children at the time were unlikely to be believed if they had come forward with allegations of abuse.
When asked if the general attitude of the church was to not believe a child, he said it “certainly was much, much more difficult for the child to be believed then … the predisposition was not to believe”.
“…Too many of them certainly were dismissed and sometimes they were dismissed in absolutely scandalous circumstances,” he said.
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