Yesterday, Cardinal George Pell, the most powerful religious leader in the country, lied to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. He flatly refused to accept any personal responsibility for failing children who were sexually abused by Catholic priests.
Perhaps it is an accepted code of conduct handed down by generations of priests through the ages, otherwise why did Pell make no attempt to change the culture? When there was a complaint against a paedophile priest, they were simply moved somewhere else, knowing the abuse would continue. Pell believed that sexual abuse victims were enemies of the church and as such, should be denied and ignored.
He blamed the men he depended on to handle the John Ellis case, he said they were mistaken, muddled, insufficiently informed or plain wrong.
John Ellis sat in the front row and hardly looked at Pell, sitting just a few steps away.
Ellis wanted $100,000 compensation but Pell fought the decision, hoping he would give up and go away. But he didn't give up and the case went on to cost the church millions.
Pell blamed his chancellor Brian Rayner for not telling him. "But Rayner says he did" said Commissioner Justice Peter McClellan. "It didn't happen" snapped Pell, angry at being caught out in a lie.
"I asked good lawyers to deal with it and left the running of the case to them" he said. Another lie according to the lawyers.
"You should be ashamed of yourself Cardinal" yelled a man in the audience. "Please leave us" said McClellan and the man left the room.
George Pell has all the qualifications necessary to rise to the top of his profession, yet he defends child rape.
The Cardinal was supposed to return to the hearing today but he's off to the Vatican this weekend and he's been given a day off to attend a farewell party. He will take up the position of Prefect for the Economy in Rome. He's being rewarded for saving the Vatican millions in child abuse compensation. He returns to the witness box tomorrow.