Sex abuse inquiry finds George Pell put church finances before victim

By Natasha Robinson
February 12, 2015

THE child abuse royal commission has slammed former Sydney archbishop George Pell, finding that he placed the church’s financial interests above his obligation to a victim of childhood sexual abuse as part of an aggressive legal strategy to protect the assets of the Sydney archdiocese.

The royal commission reported yesterday on three case studies, ­including that of solicitor John Ellis, who it found was denied justice and compassion by the Archdiocese of Sydney, which vigorously defended his compensation claim despite its own asses­sor’s conclusion he was telling the truth.

Mr Ellis was sexually assaulted by Father Aidan Duggan for five years between 1974 and 1979, when he was an altar boy. The abuse began when Mr Ellis was 13 years old. When he finally disclosed the abuse and, in 2002, took part in the church’s Towards Healingprocess, set up to offer pastoral care and reparation to victims, the church fundamentally failed to comply with the principles of its own policy.

Cardinal Pell initially dismissed Mr Ellis’s complaint, saying: “I do not see that there is anything the archdiocese can do.”


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