ACCOUNTABILITY

Top Cardinal Testifies in Abuse Inquiry

Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s financial adviser, admitted that the Catholic Church made “enormous mistakes” in handling sexual-abuse allegations. The cardinal testified late Sunday into early Monday to an Australian inquiry into child sex abuse via video link from Rome. Australia’s most senior Catholic acknowledged that he heard an Catholic school teacher might’ve been involved in “pedophilia activity” during his time as a priest in the 1970s in the Ballarat diocese in southern Australia. However, Pell denied allegations that he ignored warnings and maintained that he wasn'’ aware of the “catastrophe” caused by clergy abuse. Pell also admitted that he made mistakes in believing priests over victims, saying, “if a priest denied such activity, I was very strongly inclined to accept the denial.”