Cardinal Pell grilled for four-and-a-half hours at Victorian Inquiry

Australia’s most prominent Catholic was grilled for four-and-a-half hours last month by a Victorian Parliamentary Committee into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations.  He was questioned about the Catholic Church’s systemic failings to deal with abuse. He has admitted cover-ups of child sexual abuse and destruction of documents. The inquiry heard that the Melbourne response put a cap of $75,000.00 on payments to victims compared to payouts in the order of $1 million on the average in the US. Pell defended the Church’s compensation scheme, saying it abided by the “law of the land”. But he has opened the door to greater compensation for victims, describing a payment of $27,000.00 to a man raped ten times as “miserable”. Pell indicated that the church could afford to pay its victims proper compensation.  He has agreed that the Catholic Church will contribute to a National Fund if a redress board is set-up following recommendations by the Royal Commission.


About Peter Kelso

I am a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. I have been admitted to practice since 1984. I am the principal and founder of Kelso Lawyers which has operated in Newcastle since 1986.

I have been an advocate for compensation for victims of abuse since the commencement of the Victims Compensation Tribunal in New South Wales in 1988. I conduct the largest victims practice in New South Wales. I have a high level of engagement with numerous NGOs such as woman’s refuges, sexual assault services, community organisations and healing centres.

On 31 October 2012 I was a finalist for the Justice Medal, presented by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.

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