Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews rejects state funeral for Cardinal George Pell
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Cardinal George Pell will receive no honours from the Victorian state government in the wake of his death.
Premier Daniel Andrews has ruled out hosting a state funeral for the disgraced church leader.
The Victorian leader was crystal clear in his comments about the late Cardinal, who died earlier this week at age 81.
Pell died in Rome after suffering complications from hip surgery.
Premier Andrews was quick to shoot down the suggestion that Pell would be offered a state funeral, with the majority of the church leader's alleged crimes occurring in Melbourne.
"I couldn’t think of anything more distressing for victim survivors," Andrews said, as per The Guardian.
"These things are usually offered and there will be no offer made.
"I think that would be a deeply, deeply distressing thing for every survivor of Catholic Church child sex abuse."
He added: "That is my view. And I will not do that.”
Andrews went on to tell reporters he chooses to stand beside victims of child sex abuse perpetrated by members of the Catholic Church.
"We should never ever forget that predator brothers and priests were systematically moved around knowingly. It was part of a strategy from one working-class parish to the next.
"We should never, ever forget that."
Pell became the highest ranked member of the Catholic Church to be convicted of child sex offences.
He was found guilty in 2018 of molesting two teenage choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
The alleged offences occurred when Pell was was serving as the Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996.
Pell always maintained his innocence in relation to his conviction, which was quashed in 2020 by the Australian High Court.
He served 13 months in jail for his alleged crimes before being released.
He fled to Rome shortly after his release.
Pell was born in the Victorian town of Ballarat, a place that has the unfortunate reputation as a former hotspot of historic sexual abuse by the clergy.
There have been ay least 130 claims and substantiated complaints against the clergy in Ballarat since 1980.
The commission also found Pell was aware of the abuse from 1973 but did nothing to stop, prevent, or even hold his fellow brothers to account for their actions.
Instead, in 1996, he set up a scheme to cap compensation for victims of child sexual abuse by members of the clergy to AUD$50,000.
That has since ben abolished.