Politics with Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Francis Sullivan on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

Politics podcast: Francis Sullivan on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Soaring community outrage over the issue of child sexual abuse was this week fanned by a Tim Minchin song calling for Cardinal George Pell to return home to Australia to give evidence to the royal commission.

Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, tells Michelle Grattan that his organisation supports the crowd-funded push to fly victims to Rome and describes Pell as a lightning rod for discontent.

“It’s a build-up of the angst, the anger, the hurt surrounding the whole issue of child sex abuse and the history of the Catholic Church, which has been a history of cover-up and a history of distrust,” he says.

“In such a short time it’s raised so much money and it shows you the intense concentration in the community not only about this specific issue, but about the broader issue of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.”

Sullivan also criticises the Turnbull government for appearing to wash its hands of a national redress scheme for victims, instead placing it in the hands of the states, territories and major institutions.