George Pell didn’t have “much interest” in abuse claim

By James Branson

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the man who couldn’t make it home to give testimony to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has said he did not have “much interest” in complaints about a paedophile priest.

Pell was giving evidence to the commission via video link in Rome, where a number of of victims have flown to see him squirm in person, and was in the middle of denying he had any knowledge of specific incidences of child abuse carried out by the now-notorious Gerard Ridsdale.

“I didn’t know whether it was common knowledge or whether it wasn’t,” he said. “It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me.”


When pressed, Pell said: “The suffering, of course, was real and I very much regret that but I had no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the evil that Ridsdale had perpetrated.”

Pell has done his very best to dodge hard questions regarding his knowledge of widespread child abuse in the Catholic Church, and last year was accused by Ridsdale’s nephew of offering bribes to keep victims quiet.

“I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet,” Pell allegedly said.

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