Cardinal George Pell

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Cardinal Pell Testifies From Rome for Australian Royal Commission Investigation

Ties ribbon at Vatican grotto as sign of support for victims of sexual abuse

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Vatican Radio reports:
The Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, testified via videolink for four hours overnight on Sunday from a Rome hotel to the Australian Royal Commission investigating how different institutions in the country handled sexual abuse.
Cardinal Pell has repeatedly given his support for the commission’s work, and has vowed to meet individually with victims who had travelled to Rome and has said he hoped the coming days “will eventually lead to healing for everyone.”
During his testimony, he acknowledged the Church has not handled the issue of sexual abuse well in the past.
“The Church has made enormous mistakes and is working to remedy those, but the Church in many places, certainly in Australia, has mucked things up, has let people down,” he said.
Cardinal Pell is scheduled to give further evidence over the next three days.
This weekend, the cardinal visited the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens to pray for all survivors of abuse.
Cardinal Pell also offered his support for the Loud Fence movement by tying a yellow ribbon on the fence at the grotto. Beginning in Ballarat, in the Australian state of Victoria, the Loud Fence movement encourages people to tie brightly-coloured ribbons on the fences of Catholic institutions, as a symbol of solidarity with survivors of sexual abuse, their families and communities.
The people of the Diocese of Ballarat suffered greatly from a sexual abuse crisis, which led to the suicide of several victims. Loud Fence ribbons had previously been tied to the barricades around St. Peter’s Square, but the ribbon Cardinal Pell tied to the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto is the first to appear within the Vatican itself.
“I am aware of the Loud Fence movement and how it has grown rapidly. This is my gesture of support, especially for the people of Ballarat,” Cardinal Pell said.
“I think this is an entirely appropriate place to place a ribbon of support and pray for all survivors of abuse here.

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