The mother of six children—who were all sexually abused by a clergyman in Ballarat, Victoria as long as 30 years ago—recently said she was disgusted to learn that Cardinal George Pell was busy devouring a meal of steak and chips along with beer at a restaurant in Rome instead of appearing for an inquiry in Australia.
Ruth Lane called the pictures that exposed Pell feasting at the restaurant ‘insensitive’. Using sarcasm, she said the pictures truly reveal the clergyman’s ‘risk of heart failure’—if compelled to return to the country to face interrogation at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse—as stated in February this year.
Australia’s senior most clergyman was photographed at a restaurant called Domiziano inside Rome’s Piazza Navona on April 18, where he was having dinner with a colleague.
“He’s doing that even with a bad heart? “I am absolutely disgusted because he is protecting the church, he doesn’t care about the survivors or the victims… He does not give two hoots and they are all sticking by him. You wouldn’t be doing that if you had a bad heart, absolute bunkum. They are all sticking together, they don’t give a damn about the survivors and their families; they are laughing at us,” said Lane, whose second eldest son claimed his own life when he was 19 years old.
74-year-old Pell submitted a two-page medical report in February stating that a flight to Australia to give evidence would drastically affect his health and could possibly lead to heart failure. So the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse allowed him to provide testimony via a video link before concluding his evidence on March 3.
When contacted by Atheist Republic, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse refused to comment on the matter.
Despite being questioned over several days in February as well as March, Pell—who is supposedly the third highest official at the Vatican and in charge of the Roman Catholic Church’s finances—has continued to claim his innocence and refused to resign.
The clergyman has been under fire since media reports first alleged that he had turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to complaints from children who had been sexually abused by various members of the clergy in Ballarat and Melbourne. He was called in for interrogation by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse regarding pedophile priests who may have perpetrated such crimes within Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses while he was serving there during the 1970s and 80s. In particular, he was questioned regarding the conduct of Priest Gerald Ridsdale, who was imprisoned in 1994 on pedophile charges; and Brother Ross Grant, who shattered the trust and faith of Lane’s family by sexually abusing all her children.
Admitting that his denial of a carefully orchestrated cover-up may be infuriating for abuse survivors, Pell said he regrets having to put the Church or himself in this situation. He condemned the media for tainting his reputation by pushing forward the ‘evil, insensitive stereotype’ of pedophile priests.
“It's very, very difficult and upsetting. There's no way around it and I've tried to put out the truth,” he said. “I wouldn't resign as that would be taken as an admission of guilt.”
When contacted, Pell confirmed that he was traveling to Rome to resolve some financial issues at the Vatican.
Photo Credits: Stay at Home Mum