This is not a witch hunt: Comment on Royal Commission findings in relation to George Pell

President of Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma Dr Kezelman AM offers the following comments in relation to the findings of the Royal Commission regarding Cardinal George Pell’s knowledge and handling of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

The now released redacted findings of Royal Commission’s report around Cardinal Pell are, as many who watched the proceedings suspected, as anticipated.

This is not a witch hunt. These are the considered findings of a thorough highly professional Royal Commission examining the facts.

The Commission found it implausible that Cardinal Pell was not aware of child sexual abuse activity. It identified that not only was he aware that children were being abused, but that he failed to act – not once but on numerous occasions.

Not only did he fail to act but was allegedly complicit in covering up and potentially concealing crimes against children in Ballarat and in Melbourne. His lack of action arguably caused irreparable harm to countless innocent children.

Cardinal Pell’s demeanour following the High Court judgement stands in stark contrast to these damning findings.

About Dr Cathy Kezelman AM

Dr Kezelman AM is a medical practitioner, mental health consumer advocate and President of Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma. She worked in medical practice for 20 years, mostly as a GP. Under her stewardship Blue Knot Foundation has grown from a peer support organisation to a national centre of excellence combining a prominent consumer voice with that of researchers, academics and clinicians advocating for socio-political trauma-informed change and informed responsiveness to complex trauma. Dr Kezelman was awarded an AM “for significant service to community health as a supporter and advocate for survivors of child abuse” in 2015.

About Blue Knot Foundation

Blue Knot Foundation is Australia’s National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, empowering recovery and building resilience for the more than five million adult Australians (1 in 4) with a lived experience of complex trauma, including childhood trauma and abuse, their families and communities. The organisation played a pivotal role supporting the work of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, in advocating for fair and equitable redress, and now in supporting people applying for redress, as well as engaging with the Disability Royal Commission. 

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