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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/25/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Australian survivors of clergy abuse incensed over Cardinal George Pell's analogy that absolves church blame

Australian survivors of clergy abuse are highly incensed by comments made by Cardinal George Pell. Speaking form the Vatican via video-link, Cardinal Pell gave an analogy which absolved the Catholic Church from culpability in past molestation cases. The comments left abuse survivors feeling hurt and offended - along with truck drivers as well!

Speaking at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell said it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be 'foisted' on church leaders, he drew an analogy between the Catholic Church and a trucking company.

Speaking at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell said it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be "foisted" on church leaders, he drew an analogy between the Catholic Church and a trucking company.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/25/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Cardinal George Pell, Australia, molestation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Speaking at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell said it would not be appropriate for legal culpability to be "foisted" on church leaders, he drew an analogy between the Catholic Church and a trucking company.

He then cited a hypothetical example of a case involving a woman who was molested by a truck driver.

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"It would not be appropriate, because it's contrary to the policy, for the ownership, leadership of that company to be held responsible," Cardinal Pell said.

"Similarly with the church and the head of any other organization.

"If every precaution has been taken, no warning has been given, it is, I think, not appropriate for legal culpability to be foisted on the authority figure.

"If in fact the authority figure has been remiss through bad preparation [or] bad procedures or been warned and done nothing or [done something] insufficient, then certainly the church official would be responsible."

Dr. Cathy Kezelman from Adults Surviving Child Abuse said the "outrageous" and "appalling" analogy could do a lot of damage.

"The victims are already in this process of being repeatedly traumatized. To have their experiences denied yet again drives a knife into the wound and twists it yet again," she said.

Additionally, Nicky Davis from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said the truck analogy left the audience "open mouthed in shock.

"We were literally saying to each other, 'Did he really just say that?'," she said.

"He shows that he really has absolutely no conception of what is appropriate or inappropriate behavior and what are appropriate or inappropriate things to say to survivors.

"It was a highly offensive comparison and showed that, at the end of the day, all he was concerned with was protecting himself and making excuses for behavior that is inexcusable."

Davis added that Cardinal Pell was trying to avoid liability by referring to the sovereignty of the Vatican.

"He's basically saying 'no, we're a foreign state ... you can't hold us accountable'," she said.

"If this foreign state is committing so many crimes on Australian soil against Australia's most vulnerable citizens, why are we putting them in charge of providing social services to vulnerable people?"

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