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Church defends abuse investigation process


Monsignor David Cappo, author of the Church's Towards Healing protocol for dealing with sexual abuse allegations believes people should let the inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse against Archbishop George Pell be completed before criticising the process.

Monsignor Cappo, who is also the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Adelailde, says he understands many people will voice opinions during and after the inquiry.

The Broken Rites group for victims of sexual abuse is concerned about the level of secrecy over the inquiry, with those involved obliged to remain silent under its terms of reference.

Broken Rites was joined by Canberra auxiliary Bishop Pat Power, who said: "I honestly believe secrecy in the operation of the Church is causing great harm."

And Sydney lawyer Geoff Cahill, one of the first solicitors to file a statement of claim against a Catholic religious institution on grounds of sexual abuse, described the enquiry as "a lame-duck interview".

However, Monsignor Cappo believes the Catholic Church will manage any findings from the inquiry in the most transparent way possible.

"From the position of the Church, it's to have a clear focus that enormous energy is being put into this inquiry in an appropriate way and we're simply going to have to focus on making sure the best possible inquiry takes place."

LINKS
Church outlines scope of Pell enquiry (28/8/02)
Monsignor David Cappo (ABC-TV 7.30 Report transcript, 20/8/02)
Pell inquiry 'should be public' (AAP)
Australian Bishop Raps Church Secrecy (Catholic World News)
Terms of Reference - The Pell Enquiry (comment from Catholic lawyer Geoff Cahill)

SOURCE
ABC

29 Aug 2002