Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sexual abuse apology still stands: Pell

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, says an apology made to the family of two girls who were raped by a priest still stands.

Anthony Foster's daughter Emma committed suicide years after she and her sister were abused by Melbourne priest Father Kevin O'Donnell.

The family settled with the church for damages but only after an eight-year court battle.

Mr Foster is travelling to Sydney from the UK to advocate for better treatment of sex abuse victims by the Catholic Church and its lawyers.

Cardinal Pell says he offered his apology to Emma in 1998 and she received counselling that the church contributed funds towards.

"My apology still stands, I repeat it has never been withdrawn," he said.

"It's a tragic case in every sense of the word and I repeat my apologies.

"I left Melbourne in 2001, in 2002 the Fosters, as is their right, initiated a civil action.

"I was not named as a partner in that civil action, not named as a defendant. I took no part in that civil case."


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