Cardinal George Pell gave his long awaited four-hour testimony at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse earlier this morning.
The testimony covered many things around Pell’s time at various positions throughout various dioceses in Victoria and his knowledge of the behaviour of alleged paedophile priests.
The Rome-based Cardinal, who is the Secretariat for the Economy, responsible for the Holy See and Vatican’s finances, was forced to give evidence from the Italian capital because he is ill and unable to fly back to Australia to appear before the Royal Commission. His memory also appeared to be causing him trouble during testimony today.
Several times during his four hour appearance he said “I can’t remember any such examples but my memory might be playing me false”, or similar statements.
Here’s a list of the things the man in charge of the Catholic Church’s finances couldn’t recall or didn’t know anything about during his testimony today.
1. Whether he was ever approached about priests being “overly affectionate” with kids.
2. Whether he was approached for advice before a special tribunal was established to judge bishops accused of covering up priests who sexually abused children.
3. Whether paedophile priest Paul David Ryan was sent to the US for special treatment for his sexual offences.
4. Whether he knew anything about Paul David Ryan’s US trip at all.
5. Whether Bishop Ronald Mulkearns from Ballarat was aware of child abuse within his diocese.
6. Where the Corpus Christi seminary is located, where he was once a leader.
7. Whether he was aware of allegations against Stephen Farrell.
8. Whether he ever met Monsignor John Day, a now convicted paedophile.
9. Whether he heard even gossip around Monsignor Day’s actions.
10. Whether Mildura assistant priest Dan Torby warned him about what he had heard about Monsignor Day.
11. Whether he knew about Monsignor Day taking young boys out on trips with him.
12. Whether he knew about Monsignor Day receiving another job in another parish.
13. When he first knew about the offences committed by a man known as Brother BWX.
However, despite his poor memory, Cardinal Pell did condemn the actions of paedophile priests.
He also reiterated that, “I’m not here to defend the indefensible, the church has made enormous mistakes.”
Cardinal Pell will continue to appear before the Royal Commission to answer questions on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, AEST.