Victims and relatives of children who claim they were sexually abused by the Catholic Church hold placards as they stand outside the venue for Australia's Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney, Australia, February 29, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray

(From Reuters)

Australian Cardinal George Pell said the Catholic Church made “enormous mistakes” and dismissed cases of sexual abuse of children in “scandalous circumstances”, as he became the highest-ranking Vatican official to testify on Church abuse.

Australian Cardinal George Pel holds a Bible while appearing via video link from a hotel in Rome

Giving evidence in front of abuse victims in a Rome hotel room, Pell told Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse that children were often not believed and abusive priests shuffled from parish to parish.

“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,” Pell said via video link to the commission in Sydney.

The Australian inquiry into sexual abuse cases which occurred decades ago has taken on wider implications about accountability of Church leaders because of Pell’s high position in the Vatican, where he now serves as finance minister.

Ironically, the Rome hearing started just hours before the Oscar ceremony in Hollywood, where Spotlight, a film about the systematic cover-up of sexual abuse in the Church in Boston, was named best picture. Read More

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