By MARTHA AZZI FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AAP
Cardinal George Pell faces 'the moment of truth' about his knowledge of paedophile priests, a victims' advocacy group says.
If any 'silver bullet' exists it will come out during cross-examination of Cardinal Pell in the child abuse royal commission next week, Broken Rites spokesman Wayne Chamley said.
Cardinal Pell has already given evidence to the commission twice but Dr Chamley noted that was largely about process - the Melbourne Response complaints handling scheme he set up as Melbourne archbishop in 1996 and the 'Ellis defence' case as Sydney archbishop.
Cardinal George Pell will face the royal commission next week for a cross-examination into the cover-up of abuse by clergy
Cardinal Pell's evidence about any knowledge of paedophile priests during his time in Victoria's Ballarat diocese and as a Melbourne bishop has a much sharper edge on it, Dr Chamley said.
'This is the moment of truth,' he told AAP. 'It's beyond belief that he didn't (know). It's just beyond belief.'
Dr Chamley said the hearing will be the time for any new documents involving Cardinal Pell to come out.
'There's always been the possibility that some barrister representing someone has got a piece of paper which wasn't captured in the legal discovery process of the commission, and they get him up there and they say `well what about this, isn't this your signature?'.
'That's the silver bullet everybody's hoping for. Whether it exists or not we have to wait and see.
'If that exists then it's open slather in the courts. There's no comeback.'
Cardinal Pell has maintained he was never involved in the cover-up of abuse by clergy.
The commission has heard former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns knew about paedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale from 1975 and moved him between parishes.
But Cardinal Pell, who was one of the bishop's advisers, has said he did not know about the child abuse allegations against Ridsdale.
Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan on Thursday suggested to Bishop Mulkearns that his advisers 'knew what was going on' with paedophile priests, but the bishop said he could not recall who knew what at that stage.
A group of abuse victims will be in the Rome hotel conference room when Cardinal Pell testifies via videolink to the commission in Sydney from Monday.
Ballarat survivor Peter Belmiro said they were not attempting to bring the Catholic Church down nor was it a personal attack on Cardinal Pell.
'It's not a witch-hunt. It's a quest for truth, to protect our children and to support those ones that have been affected,' he said.
|All the victims and their supporters have arrived in Rome to witness Cardinal Pell be questioned about a number of claims|
Helen Last, CEO of clergy victims' advocacy group In Good Faith Foundation, does not expect to hear anything new although Cardinal Pell will be questioned about a number of claims from victims about what they told him.
She said Cardinal Pell had been in key positions in the church hierarchy.
'He certainly had the opportunity to be totally aware of what was going on because of the committees that he was sitting on and the curia and the consultors' bodies,' she said.
'He has claimed that nothing was ever talked about, about sexual offending, and that he would not have been involved in moving anyone on. Well that becomes impossible to accept as an answer.
'It's impossible to believe there was never any discussion or naming of paedophilia at all in any of those meetings.'
|A two-page medical report was handed up to support the application that a flight to Australia from Rome, |
where Cardinal Pell oversees the Vatican's finances, could pose a serious risk to his health
The 15 Australian child sex abuse victims have travelled to Rome after Cardinal George Pell claimed he was too ill to fly to Australia to front the commission.
As the victims began arriving on Saturday afternoon some admitted being so close to the Vatican will be confronting, reported the ABC.
'Growing up Catholic we're going to walk there, see all these sites and we'll be in awe,' Mr Collins said,' said Andrew Collins, who was abused by for different men from the age of seven.
|Comedian Tim Minchin penned a scathing piece directed at Cardinal George Pell after he released a charity-song urging the most senior member of the Catholic Church in Australia to come home and 'face the music'|
The victims were able to travel with the support British-Australian comedian Tim Minchin who helped raise money raise over $200,000 for the victims and their supporters.
Way to go Tim; you're my hero today. God bless you.
Minchin penned a scathing piece directed at Cardinal George Pell as he was unhappy with Cardinal Pell's inability to return to Australia,
This came after he Minchin released a charity-song urging the most senior member of the Catholic Church in Australia to come home from Rome and 'face the music', or all proceeds from the song would fund the Ballarat survivor's travel costs to the Italian capital city.
In a letter published by The West Australian, Minchin praised the generosity of the Australian public who helped fund fifteen Australian child sex abuse survivors to fly to Rome to listen to Cardinal Pell give evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
'These incredibly brave men and women will sit in a room with George Pell while he gives evidence via video-link to the Royal Commission. We hope that he will look them in the eye and tell them everything he knew.