woensdag, maart 02, 2016

# 8 , # 35, # 28


BALLARAT clergy abuse survivors have agreed to meet with Cardinal George Pell on Thursday (Rome time) but are still pushing to meet Pope Francis.

Survivors will also meet a member of the Pontifical Commission for Protection on Minors, an institution which deals with the rampant sexual abuse of children at the hands of Catholic clergy on Thursday morning, Rome time.

It comes after Cardinal Pell announced he would meet with survivors of clergy sexual abuse but victims said they have lost all faith in Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric.

Ballarat survivor Philip Nagle said on Wednesday victims had grown increasingly frustrated by Cardinal Pell's failure to accept any responsibility for the sexual abuse of children at the hands of clergy and their preference was to meet the world's most senior Catholic.

"George (Pell) is still defending the current model of the church, this model is a proven failure in protecting children against sexual abuse by their clergy," Mr Nagle said.

"He has turned his back on us.We're getting tired of what George is saying on the stand and we've only got two more days left here in Rome and we want to be heard. We want somebody to show that they care about us."
But on Thursday moments before Cardinal Pell was set to give his fourth day of evidence to the sex abuse inquiry the group of survivors said they had a change of heart and now wanted to meet with the Cardinal .
"We believe he can still help us in goal of protecting children into the future and healing the damage of the past," Mr Nagle said. 
Mr Nagle said the group of survivors wanted to hold the meeting with Pope Francis to push to implement systems to ensure children are never abused by Catholic clergy again but are yet to hear back from the Vatican.
Clergy abuse victim Andrew Collins said the group of men sent a formal request to Pope Francis on Monday.
"We made a formal request via fax as we were told it was the only way we could contact the Pope," Mr Collins said. 
"We're yet to get a response."
Survivor David Ridsdale said victims believed Cardinal Pell had been untruthful in evidence to the commission.
"We've seen a performance from (Cardinal Pell) we've not seen evidence," Mr Ridsdale said. 
"The commission has completely demonstrated the lack of structure, the lack of accountability within the church in Australia. They've shown that everybody has known George Pell has consistently pointed the blame elsewhere, has accused everyone of being a liar and deceit and if he is telling the truth that would make him an extraordinary ignorant man." 
A statement released from Cardinal Pell's office said he would be willingly to meet with survivors privately with no legal or media representatives present.
The meetings will be held outside of the Vatican in the Hotel Quirnale where has given Cardinal Pell has given evidence to the sex abuse inquiry. 
He also said in a statement he would assist survivors in their quest to meet Pope Francis on Friday.

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