Pell should have acted on priest: Commission lawyers


Source: AAP
31 OCT 2016

The child sex abuse royal commission is being urged to reject evidence from Cardinal George Pell, who has been accused of failing to stop a Melbourne pedophile priest.

Lawyers for the commission argue there are no grounds to accept Cardinal Pell’s evidence that he was intentionally deceived by Catholic Education Office about abuse carried out by Doveton parish priest Peter Searson in the 1980s.

In their submission to the commission the lawyers say Cardinal Pell knew enough about child abuse claims linked to Searson to consider sacking him or, at the very least, launch an investigation.

While the CEO should have done more to respond to the threat posed by Searson, there was no evidence it had intentionally concealed evidence from the archdiocese or wanted to keep him in Doveton, they said.

“The royal commission should find that the CEO officers had no motive to deceive Cardinal Pell and did not do so,” lawyers Gail Furness SC and Stephen Free wrote in their submission published on Monday.

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