maandag, februari 15, 2016

Abuse survivors want to be in Rome when George Pell speaks


Sydney Morning Herald 

Clerical abuse survivors are pushing to fly to Rome to be present when Cardinal George Pell gives evidence via videolink to a Royal Commission this month.

On Monday morning, survivors released a public statement outlining a request to the inquiry to allow them to travel overseas to face Cardinal Pell, the Ballarat Courier reports.

They also pushed for his evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to be given outside of the walls of the Vatican.

Earlier this month, Cardinal Pell succeeded in a bid to remain in Rome after the inquiry accepted a doctor's report which said he was too sick to return to Australia to testify.

He is scheduled to give evidence on February 29.

Speaking on behalf of survivors, David Ridsdale, victim and nephew of disgraced priest Gerald Ridsdale said the conditions of his evidence must replicate an Australian court setting.

"[Evidence] should be given in the Australian embassy or somewhere with broadcast quality connection to ensure there are no technical difficulties," he said.

"As the commission hearings are open to the public we request the ability for interested parties to travel to Rome and attend the evidence in person."

Mr Ridsdale said facing the Cardinal as he gave evidence would be useful to the recovery process.

"It was also an opportunity to provide direct responses to the survivors of the crimes committed under the auspices of the Catholic Church."

He said it was now paramount survivors or their representatives were allowed to attend the hearing in Italy on behalf of the city.

"We have admired and adhered to the Australian Court System in providing information and evidence to the Royal Commission," Mr Ridsdale said.

"We would like to see a continuation of this process in all aspects of the commission process."

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