More Than 40,000 Sign Petition Calling For Cardinal George Pell To Be Defrocked
A child sexual abuse survivor has started an online petition calling for Cardinal George Pell to be defrocked from the Catholic Church.
Pell was released from prison last month after the High Court of Australia acquitted him of his historical child sexual abuse conviction.
However, last week findings from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made public its findings about its investigation into Pell. It had found that Pell knew children were being abused by members of the clergy and found it 'implausible' that other church members hadn't told him about the issue.
Following that report being made public, calls have been growing for Pell to lose his status and be forcibly removed from the priesthood.
Levey was abused by pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, who is currently in jail for committing more than 100 offences against children in Australia. Pell gave him a character reference during his child sexual abuse trial.
Writing on his Change.org petition, Levey wrote: "Cardinal George Pell needs to be removed from the priesthood after the full details of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse findings were finally released, acknowledging he knew of child abuse in the Ballarat diocese.
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"Pell allowed Gerald Ridsdale and others to continue to abuse children in their care for decades by simply moving them around to continue abusing.
"I was a victim of Ridsdale over a period of years, living in the prebytery in Mortlake where he abused nearly every Catholic boy in the town, as well as a number of young girls.
"George Pell accompanied Ridsdale to court in the '90s as a character reference. He claimed he did not know why he was going to court that day.
"I ask Pell be dismissed from the clerical state and defrocked, or in the very least resign immediately."
The Royal Commission report found that Pell attended a meeting the in 1980s, where he was told Ridsdale was being moved to a different parish due to child sexual abuse allegations.
Pell was 'surprised' by the Commission's unredacted report and insisted he had no knowledge of the pedophile priest's offending.
Levey's petition message concluded with: "The Church needs to face survivors and offer fair compensation, not the dismal offers you have made in the past.
"The Pope needs to set an example, showing child abuse and the cover-up of child abuse is not acceptable and will be dealt with by the law of the land, not your cannon law!"
Featured Image Credit: Pell