Cardinal George Pell has publicly apologised to a victim of child sexual abuse, saying the Church failed in its moral and pastoral responsibilities, reports the ABC on Yahoo7.
The outgoing Archbishop of Sydney was called back to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney, to answer more questions about his role in the case of former altar boy John Ellis.
Mr Ellis sued the Church after he was abused by a priest in the 1970s, but lost the case on a technicality in 2007.
Cardinal Pell has previously apologised to the victim in a statement tendered to the Royal Commission, and today he conveyed that in the hearing room.
'As former Archbishop and speaking personally, I would want to say to Mr Ellis that we failed in many ways, some way inadvertently, in our moral and pastoral responsibilities to him,' Cardinal Pell said in the long-awaited apology.
'I want to acknowledge his suffering and the impact of this terrible affair on his life. As the then Archbishop, I have to take ultimate responsibility, and this I do.
'At this end of this gruelling appearance for both of us at this Royal Commission, I want publicity to say sorry to him for the hurt caused him by the mistakes made, admitted by me, and some of our archdiocesan personnel during the course of the Towards Healing process and litigation.'
Mr Ellis, who sat in the front row of today's hearing, did not react. He later spoke to ABC's PM, saying he was 'a bit surprised' at the Cardinal's apology.
Abuse victim surprised by apology from Cardinal Pell (The Daily Telegraph)