Pell's new job called a 'golden parachute'

By Channel 9 News

February, 25, 2014

Cardinal George Pell's new job at the Vatican is not an honour but an "escape clause", says a group representing survivors of child sex abuse by priests.

Pope Francis on Monday revealed Cardinal Pell will be in charge of the Vatican budget.

Australia's leading Catholic said in a statement on Tuesday he was "deeply honoured" to be made head of the new Secretariat for the Economy, which will aim to modernise the church bureaucracy.

Cardinal Pell has come under fire in recent years over his response to cases of historic abuse by priests.

He will take up his new Vatican post in March but has indicated he will still appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse when it sits in Sydney next month.

But Nicky Davis of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says she believes Cardinal Pell will continue to evade facing up to the church's responsibility.

"It's absolutely no surprise that Cardinal Pell has been given a golden parachute by the Vatican to leave the jurisdiction just when things are getting hot at the royal commission.

"That's what a lot of survivors expected," she told AAP.

Ms Davis said that to survivors the appointment was "a kick in the head, a slap in the face".

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