Pell accused of putting forward ‘implausible’ scenario

ON THE SPOT: Child sex abuse survivors David Ridsdale and Phil Nagle are in Rome to hear Cardinal Pell.
ON THE SPOT: Child sex abuse survivors David Ridsdale and Phil Nagle are in Rome to hear Cardinal Pell. LLOYD JONES / AAP

CARDINAL George Pell has conceded he "should have done more" about child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, but "didn't think of it" at the time.

During a third day of questioning by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell was accused by counsel assisting the commissioner of putting forward a "completely implausible" scenario in saying the Catholic Education Office and an archbishop had kept him out of the loop about child abuse in the church.

He said he was not informed about abuse allegations because the education office feared he "would have asked all sorts of inconvenient questions if I had been better briefed".

Despite conceding he "should have done more" about specific abuse allegations involving pedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale, Cardinal Pell said: "I didn't think of it and when I was told they were dealing with it at that time I was quite content."

Cardinal Pell further said he was not told about specific abuse allegations by at least three others, including two priests and a bishop.

The counsel assisting the commissioner said Cardinal Pell's testimony appeared to deflect blame from himself onto others.

Abuse survivors in Rome were expected to meet behind closed doors with Cardinal Pell after his testimony by video link.

Topics:  cardinal george pell catholic church child abuse george pell royal commission into child sexual abuse

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