Cardinal George Pell Faces Criticism Over Child Sex Abuse

Cardinal George Pell faces more criticism from the man hand-picked by the Pope to protect children

CARDINAL George Pell continues to draw fire with the man hand-picked by Pope Francis to protect children and help others abused by members of Catholic Church saying he needs to go.

“I think it’s critical that George Pell is moved aside, that he is sent back to Australia, and that the Pope takes the strongest action against him,” Peter Saunders said speaking to 60 Minute’s Tara Brown in Rome.

Pell has been under fire of late for allegedly ignoring warnings about Father Gerald Ridsdale, Australia’s worst paedophile priest.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which has been sitting in Ballarat has heard witnesses claim Pell turned a blind eye to abuse.

One witness claims Pell tried to silence him with a bribe while another said Pell was present at a meeting where it was announced that Ridsdale needed to be moved to another parish.

‘He is making a mockery of the Pope’

Allegations levelled … The Royal Commission heard Cardinal George Pell knew about Father Gerald Ridsdale, Australia’s worst paedophile priest. Picture: AFP/ANDREAS SOLARO Source: AFP

Saunders, himself a victim of paedophile priests, was chosen by Pope Francis to sit on his new commission charged with establishing greater protections for children and the vulnerable, as well as increasing accountability and transparency on child sex abuse within the Catholic Church.

Saunder who has met with Australian victims and their families said he is appalled by the allegations levelled against Pell and the Cardinal’s response to these allegations so far.

Tonight on 60 Minutes he speaks for the first tome and calls for Pope Francis to move against him.

“He is making a mockery of the papal commission, of the Pope himself, but most of all of the victims and the survivors. More importantly, anybody who is a serious obstacle to the work of the commission and to the work of the Pope in trying to clean up the church’s act over this matter needs to be taken aside very quickly and removed from any kind of position of influence.”