Cardinal Pell to give Royal Commission evidence by video link

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Cardinal Pell pictured in a 2014 file photo. Photo: CNS
Cardinal Pell pictured in a 2014 file photo. Photo: CNS

The former Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell, has welcomed the decision of the Royal Commission allowing him to give evidence by video link from Rome.

Speaking from Rome, the cardinal, who has suffered recent health problems, said he was keen to respond to issues raised in recent hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse, including responding to specific allegations that have been made against him.

“I have always expressed my willingness to assist the Royal Commission in its work,” said Cardinal Pell, who has appeared at two previous commission hearings.

“While my plans were always to make the journey home to appear in person, my doctors have made it very clear that at the present time my health prevents me from undertaking long haul travel.

“I wished things were different however I am pleased after receiving the latest medical reports last week, the commission has now decided to agree to hear my evidence via video link from a professional conference facility in Rome.”

Cardinal Pell expressed his concern that survivors from Ballarat and Melbourne had already had to wait to hear evidence.

“Survivors and the general public deserve a complete response and should not be subjected to further delays, in the hearing of evidence and I look forward to showing my continued support for all victims, especially those from my home town of Ballarat.