News / Asia

    Australian Cardinal Admits Negligence, Vows to Help Abuse Victims

    Australian cardinal George Pell reads a statement to reporters as he leaves the Quirinale hotel after meeting members of the Australian group of relatives and victims of priestly sex abuses, in Rome, March 3, 2016.
    Australian cardinal George Pell reads a statement to reporters as he leaves the Quirinale hotel after meeting members of the Australian group of relatives and victims of priestly sex abuses, in Rome, March 3, 2016.

    A top Vatican official vowed Thursday to work to better protect children in his Australian hometown  acknowledging he failed to act on an allegation of clergy sexual abuse decades ago.

    Pope Francis’ top financial adviser Cardinal George Pell met with victims of abuse who traveled from Australia to Rome to witness his four days of testimony delivered to Australia’s Royal Commission via satellite.

    The commission is investigating how the Catholic Church, as well as other institutions, handled cases of sex abuse of children over a span of decades.

    Pell was called to testify each night from around 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. about his time as a priest in Ballarat and an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne. The 74-year-old cardinal said that he was a junior priest at the time that an unnamed student at St. Patrick’s College reported that Christian Brothers teacher Edward Dowlan was “misbehaving with boys.”

    Testimony to the Royal Commission revealed that members of the Christian Brothers religious order preyed on dozens of children who attended its schools, which operated from the 1960s into the 1980s.

    When asked by commission chairman Peter McClellan how he responded to the 1974 allegation, Pell admitted: “I didn’t do anything about it.” He acknowledged that “evil was done” and that he should have done more.

    Pell added that he eventually raised concerns over the allegation to the school chaplain. Dowlan was later removed from the school but went on to abuse schoolchildren elsewhere until 1985.

    The cardinal denied that he angrily dismissed another schoolboy’s accusations against the same cleric and that he tried to bribe one victim to keep quiet.

    After meeting with nearly a dozen survivors at a Rome hotel, Pell in a statement pledged to help his hometown of Ballarat – a heavily Catholic city of 100,000, in Victoria – to recover from the string of suicides amongst sex abuse victims, noting that even “one suicide is too many.”

    “With the experience of 40 years later, certainly I would agree that I should have done more,” Pell said, later adding: “I commit myself to work with the group…so that suicide is not seen as an option for those who are suffering.”

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora