Cardinal George Pell was a key witness in hearings in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses. Picture: Getty Images
Cardinal George Pell was a key witness in hearings in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses. Picture: Getty Images

Secret Pell royal commission findings set for release

Secret findings of the child sexual abuse royal commission relating to Cardinal George Pell are finally set to be released tomorrow.

The unredacted reports of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse are expected to be tabled in full in the Senate on Thursday.

Cardinal Pell was a key witness in hearings in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses where he worked alongside notorious paedophiles and held senior positions.

The commission probed his knowledge and handling of the abuse crisis that plagued the Catholic Church.

 

Cardinal George Pell was a key witness in hearings in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses. Picture: Getty Images
Cardinal George Pell was a key witness in hearings in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses. Picture: Getty Images

 

But its findings about Cardinal Pell have remained redacted because of his long running criminal prosecution and subsequent successful appeal.

Following Cardinal Pell's High Court win, and release from jail, Victorian attorney general Jill Hennessy wrote to her federal counterpart to advise there was nothing stopping the release of the commission's findings.

Testifying to the royal commission Cardinal Pell said he was the victim of a widespread deception, lasting decades, that kept him in the dark about child abuse.

But counsel assisting asked the commission to find he was involved in knowingly shuffling at least one paedophile priest between parishes.

 

Cardinal George Pell after his release from prison. Picture: AAP
Cardinal George Pell after his release from prison. Picture: AAP

 

And there was strong evidence implicating him in a Catholic Church cover-up, it was submitted.

Cardinal Pell has strongly denied the claims.

Pell was a Ballarat priest from 1973 until 1984, overseeing the diocese's schools and at times acting as an adviser to the bishop.

He also served as one of the Melbourne archbishop's advisers while an auxiliary bishop between 1987 and 1996.

shannon.deery@news.com.au

Originally published as Secret Pell royal commission findings set for release


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