Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
Cardinal Pell spoke at the royal commission via a video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday
He said the church was no more legally responsible for priests who abuse than a trucking company that employs a driver who molests women
The Vatican has refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission
By Sarah Dean For Daily Mail Australia and Aap
21 August 2014
....When the Australian federal government announced the establishment of a Royal Commission in late 2012 into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell also caused controversy when he stated that priests who hear confessions from people who commit child sex abuse must remain bound by the Seal of Confession.
'If that is done outside the confessional (it can be reported to the police).... (But) the Seal of Confession is inviolable. If the priest knows beforehand about such a situation, the priest should refuse to hear the confession... That would be my advice, and I would never hear the confession of a priest who is suspected of such a thing,' he said.
On Thursday the Vatican also refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission.
The Vatican said the commission's request for documents on each allegation involving an Australian cleric was 'neither possible nor appropriate'.
Reasons included ongoing church investigations, and that internal working documents were the sovereign property of the Holy See....
Pell denies church responsible in abuse
Friday, 22 August 2014
The Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company which employs a driver who molests women, Cardinal George Pell maintains.
Victims' families say it's a ludicrous comparison and even the chair of the child abuse royal commission thinks the situation is quite different when it comes to a priest getting access to a child.
Cardinal Pell accepts the church has a moral obligation to victims, but when it comes to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests are not necessarily its fault.
'If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,' Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome on Thursday.
But Cardinal Pell said if the church had been warned about a priest or had bad policies or procedures in place, 'then certainly the church official would be responsible'....
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said priests got access to children with the parents' consent, unlike truck drivers.
'The relationship between the priest and a child is quite different to that between the truck driver and the casual passenger, isn't it?' he asked Cardinal Pell.
'Yes, I would certainly concede that,' Cardinal Pell responded....