Pell denies knowing about Ballarat abuses

Sky News

Cardinal George Pell heard rumours about pedophile priests and suspected a Christian Brother might have been involved in ‘pedophilic activity’ but insists he was unaware of sexual abuse and cover-ups across the Ballarat diocese in the 1970s.

Child abuse survivors from Australia had a front-row seat in Rome as they watched Cardinal Pell sit late into the night to give evidence to the child abuse royal commission via a video link back to Sydney.

Their reaction was mixed: welcoming of a more conciliatory tone but cautious about what they saw as the cardinal’s careful choice of words.

The Australian cleric now in charge of the Vatican’s finances told the commission he had heard rumours of abuse and inappropriate behaviour by priests and brothers in the Victorian diocese of Ballarat in the early 1970s.

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