Australia–Cardinal Pell takes more criticism; Victims respond

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Oct. 31, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home,

Independent attorneys have concluded that the second or third most powerful Catholic prelate on the planet should have taken more action to safeguard kids from predators. We’re not surprised.

For decades, all across the globe, virtually every independent investigation into child sex crimes by Catholic clergy has determined that high-ranking church officials often hid, protected and enabled child molesting clerics. So too has Cardinal George Pell.


We share the view of Gail Furness and Stephen Free who say there’s no grounds to accept Pell’s claim that he was intentionally deceived by Catholic Education Office about predator priest Peter Searson. Pell seems desperate as he tries to throw fellow church officials “under the bus” and deny his culpability, as we’ve seen so many bishops do when their wrongdoing is exposed. Pell also seems desperate when he tries to sift blame onto police, who he claims had more information about a child molesting cleric than he did.

However, we disagree with Furness and Free when they talk of Pell’s “failure” to take steps to prevent child sex crimes and when they say he “missed an important opportunity to recognise and deal with the serious risks” posed by one predator. We believe these were deliberate, repeated and self-serving decisions – not “failures” or slip-ups or oversights.

No matter what commissions or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.