The federal attorney-general has final advice that unredacted child abuse royal commission reports relating to Cardinal George Pell can be released.
The federal attorney-general has final advice that unredacted child abuse royal commission reports relating to Cardinal George Pell can be released.

Royal Commission's Pell findings will be released in days

A royal commission's findings about Cardinal George Pell's knowledge of historical child sexual abuse complaints will be released within days.

Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter says he has been advised that the two Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reports can now be published in full.

Mr Porter said that would happen within days, although he would not give a specific release date.

"The advice is that it is now okay to publish the unredacted version," he told the ABC on Tuesday.

Mr Porter said he would read the reports and consider the final legal advice, but did not expect there to be any problem with the release of the documents.

"They've only just arrived with me now that that advice has been received, so it's just a matter of process from here and that will be a matter of days."

The reports into the Catholic Church's response to abuse complaints and allegations in the Melbourne archdiocese and Victoria's Ballarat diocese were released in December 2017.

Both had sections blacked out to avoid prejudicing any current or future prosecutions, including the child sexual abuse case against Cardinal Pell.

The former Vatican treasurer and Melbourne and Sydney archbishop was freed from jail on April 7 after the High Court overturned his convictions.

The royal commission's findings will not relate to abuse allegations against Cardinal Pell himself, but rather his knowledge of complaints against pedophile priests and Christian Brothers.

In 2016, Cardinal Pell told the royal commission he was deceived about pedophile priests in "a world of crimes and cover-ups" and did not know about the abuse.

Cardinal Pell was a Ballarat priest from 1973 until 1984, overseeing the diocese's schools and at times acting as an adviser to the bishop.

He also served as one of the Melbourne archbishop's advisers while an auxiliary bishop between 1987 and 1996.

Originally published as Royal commission's Pell findings in days


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