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Media statement re: Cardinal Pell's calls for Catholic Church to be sued

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Media Release

Published on

Slater and Gordon has welcomed Cardinal George Pell’s admission yesterday that the Catholic Church should be able to be sued by victims of abuse.  

Senior public liability lawyer Barrie Woollacott said the firm had acted for hundreds of people who had been victims of sexual and other abuse and welcomed the Church’s revised stance on the litigation.

“The Royal Commission is uncovering what victims have been telling us for a long time – that child sexual abuse was rife and it occurred across Catholic Church and other institutions for decades,” Mr Woollacott said.

“It is welcome news to hear that Cardinal George Pell now finally concedes that the Catholic Church should be held legally accountable for these horrific events.

“The sad reality is that these victims have never been able to seek fair legal redress due to the legal technicalities that protect the Catholic Church.

“No authority that has children in its care should be exempt from liability when there has been a gross oversight of its duty of care.” 

Slater and Gordon conducted the first major sexual abuse litigation in Australia in the 1990s and since then has also represented significant numbers of individual victims seeking redress for abuse suffered by members of the Catholic Church.