George Pell has been called to give evidence at hearings in Ballarat later this year.
George Pell has been called to give evidence at hearings in Ballarat later this year.

Pell called to face Royal Commission into child sex abuse

CARDINAL George Pell has been asked to again give evidence at the royal commission into institutional child abuse.   The royal commission released a statement on Monday afternoon that said the cardinal has been asked to front the second round of Ballarat hearings.  

The statement said a person residing overseas could not be summoned but, because Cardinal Pell indicated he was prepared to come back to Australia to give evidence, the commission would ask him to come back.

The cardinal is currently a finance chief at the Vatican. He also gave evidence at the commission last year. 

The call to front the commission comes after a child abuse survivor labelled his position "untenable" on television on Sunday.  

The survivor, Peter Saunders, who is also a member of the Vatican's commission on child protection, made the comments on Channel Nine.  

He said Cardinal Pell's position was untenable due to a "catalogue of denials", after the church leader was accused of trying to bribe an abuse victim to keep quiet.  

Cardinal Pell has denied the allegations made at the royal commission, with a spokesman for the cardinal releasing a statement on Monday saying he was seeking legal advice.  

While Cardinal Pell has promised to answer the commission's questions, he has not yet answered calls to return to Australia to appear as a witness.  

The statement said Cardinal Pell had taken a strong stand against child sexual abuse and he had never met Mr Saunders.  


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