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Committee pledges hunt for source of Pell complainant character slur


The body that examines abuse allegations on Friday vowed to try to find those who leaked personal information about a man who claims he was sexually assaulted by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr George Pell.

The undertaking came from Sr Angela Ryan, the Melbourne-based executive officer of the church's National Committee for Professional Standards, which supervises the Towards Healing process for those abused by the clergy, church workers and members of religious orders.

Sr Ryan said the search for the truth about the leaks would be part of an overall review of Towards Healing following the commission of inquiry into the allegations against Dr Pell.

The commission, under former Supreme Court judge Alec Southwell, ended in Melbourne on Friday night after a five-day inquiry into allegations that Dr Pell had abused a boy, aged 11, at a camp for altar boys at Smiths Beach, Phillip Island, in 1961.

The leaks - including the complainant's name - were seen as damaging to the complainant's case. The Broken Rites support group for abuse victims revealed that within hours of the church decision to hold an inquiry, the complainant's name had been released to the media, with details of his criminal past.

SOURCE
The Age


IRISH CARDINAL APOLOGISES FOR MISTAKES IN ABUSE CASES

In a letter distributed at Masses throughout the Dublin Archdiocese, Cardinal Desmond Connell says he deeply regrets the mistakes he made in dealing with the cases of child sexual abuse by priests.

"We failed in significant ways to deal with it appropriately," he said in the letter, distributed at the weekend. "For these failures we ask for forgiveness."

Meanwhile, the president of the U.S. bishops' conference said he hopes the clerical sex-abuse scandals do not weaken the role of religious ideals in influencing public policy, the Associated Press reported.

AP said that Bishop Wilton Gregory, at a Mass in Washington, D.C., for government officials today, cited the role of "religious voices" in shaping policies "whether they be war and peace, the death penalty, stem cell research or questions of poverty.''

SOURCE
Zenit

LINKS
Australian Paper Exposes Campaign against Archbishop Pell (Catholic World News)
George Pell's accuser has career in crime (Sunday Herald-Sun)
Cardinal regrets church's 'failure' (BBC)
Archbishop Pell faces his accusers (4/10/02)
Activities of jailed priest reportedly resurface in Pell inquiry (2/10/02)
Southwell inquiry starts in Victoria (Catholic Weekly)
Critics complain about 'closed door' Pell inquiry (1/10/02)
Inquiry into archbishop abuse claims (BBC)
Pell sex abuse hearing to take place today (30/9/02)
Day of truth dawns for Pell and accuser (The Age)
Pell knew 'abused' boys (27/9/02)
I knew the altar boys, says Pell (The Age)
Family unaware of Pell abuse claim (24/9/02)
Pell accuser stands by his claim (10/9/02)
Pell defence swaps QCs (The Age)
Legal lifeline for Pell accuser (AAP)
Pell's accuser weighs up his options (9/9/02)
Terms of Reference Releases for Pell Enquiry (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)
Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
Terms of Reference - The Pell Enquiry (comment from lawyer Geoff Cahill)
Dr Pell steps aside while allegations are investigated (Catholic Weekly 1/9/02)



8 Oct 2002