Cardinal George Pell will give testimony for the Royal Commission via video link from the Vatican.
Cardinal George Pell will give testimony for the Royal Commission via video link from the Vatican. Rick Rycroft

Pell to face victims in Rome for child sex abuse hearing

A GROUP of victims of child sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church will be able to attend a hearing in Rome when Cardinal George Pell gives evidence.

The group includes 10 victims of childhood sexual abuse who had asked the Royal Commission to allow them to attend the hearing in Rome, after Cardinal Pell declined to attend in person in Australia due illness.

Royal Commissioner Justice Peter McClellan told a Ballarat hearing on Monday the request was "reasonable" and the commission was currently trying to confirm a suitable hotel room.

Justice McClellan said if the first room the commission was examining was not suitable, another place would be found.

It follows a crowd funding campaign raising about $200,000 to help the victims attend while Cardinal Pell gives his evidence via video link to the hearing in Australia.

The child abuse survivors would be joined by five support staff, with the team expected to leave for Rome this week.

Cardinal Pell, who now controls the Vatican's finances, had led the Ballart diocese during a period which allegations of child sexual abuse were made against other priests.



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