AUSTRALIA- Victims to Pope: demand Cardinal returns to Australia to testify

For immediate release: Friday, May 22, 2015

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, founder and president of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (312-399-4747[email protected])


We urge Pope Francis to demand that Australia’s highest ranking Catholic official, Cardinal George Pell, return to his home country to face questions from the Royal Commission investigating sex crimes and cover up. The Cardinal has been implicated in the cover up.

Pell should be assisting the Royal Commission in getting the complete picture. He should testify before the government panel where allegations have been raised against him for his mishandling of clergy sex abuse crimes, including recent testimony that he bribed a victim to stay quiet. The truth should be exposed so that justice for Australian Catholics and victims is unattainable.

Pope Francis can make the difference. He should act now. Keeping Pell in Rome appears as a deliberate effort to keep the truth hidden and victims in pain. Francis promised to do better. We hope he will act on that promise and send Pell back to Australia to answer to the Royal Commission.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]); Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]); Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected])

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