A victim of a pedophile priest told Cardinal George Pell (pictured) in 2002 that he had experienced “severe and prolonged sexual abuse”.
A victim of a pedophile priest told Cardinal George Pell (pictured) in 2002 that he had experienced “severe and prolonged sexual abuse”. Riccardo De Luca

George Pell knew about child rape priest since 2002

A VICTIM of a notorious pedophile priest told Cardinal George Pell in 2002 that he had experienced "severe and prolonged sexual abuse".

The victim's letter sent to Cardinal Pell when he was archbishop of Sydney was tendered as evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse this week.

The victim describes being abused by Father John Farrell in the 1980s.

Farrell was convicted earlier this year of 62 child abuse offences against 12 victims.

Farrell's victims made allegations about the priest as far back as 1984 but the Catholic Church allowed him to continue working with young boys until 1992 - the same year the former priest "confessed" to three senior church members to abusing five boys in the Armidale diocese in 1992.

The victim's letter was sent to Cardinal Pell and the then Armidale bishop Luc Matthys who was Farrell's superior, Sydney media outlets reported this week.

"I'm seeking further ­explanation of the manner in which the Catholic Church handled the incident," the letter says.

"I'm prepared to meet with yourself or an appropriate person within the church ... to discuss my situation in more detail."

Bishop Matthys wrote to the victim that Farrell was prevented from preaching in 1992.  

Bishop Matthys told the commission on Wednesday: "I just took it that these things happened and they happened here."

Victoria Police is investigating child abuse claims against Cardinal Pell.

The Cardinal, who gave evidence at the commission earlier this year, has described the abuse allegations against him as "utterly false".


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