Catholic Cardinal George Pell has attacked reports casting doubt on the legitimacy on his illness, which has stopped him appearing at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Kid Sexual Abuse.
Cardinal Pell was to appear at the inquiry on Wednesday but his lawyer told the hearing on Friday that Cardinal Pell was unwell and could not travel to give proof in person.
He released a statement this afternoon in which he stated the commission had reviewed and accepted the medical evidence tendered, and mentioned reports referring to an “alleged” illness had been misleading and mischievous.
“The royal commission reviewed this healthcare proof and accepted it as grounds for deferring Cardinal Pell’s attendance until February,” mentioned the statement, attributed to an unnamed spokesperson for Cardinal Pell.
“The commission also needed this individual details to be treated as confidential.”
Cardinal Pell stated he was nonetheless working and could give proof by video hyperlink, but was as well ill for a extended-haul flight from Rome to Australia.
He said the commission had asked — not ordered — him to appear in February, and he denied refusing to attend or face victims.
“Claims that Cardinal Pell is refusing to attend the royal commission or to face victims of sexual abuse are false and ridiculous,” the statement stated.
“Cardinal Pell’s whole career is a story of stepping up to meet challenges, not avoiding them.
“Above all, he wants to do every thing that he can to help survivors in obtaining justice and healing, and understands the significance of his evidence for them.”
Subjects: royal-commissions, catholic, religion-and-beliefs, neighborhood-and-society, law-crime-and-justice, holy-see-vatican-city-state, australia