Unpublished findings about Cardinal George Pell’s handling of child sexual abuse complaints have been cleared for release by the Victorian government.
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has advised her federal counterpart Christian Porter that blacked-out sections of two reports from the institutional child abuse royal commission can be released, after the High Court overturned the cardinal’s convictions for child sexual abuse earlier this month.
“The government is not aware of any impediments to the un-redacted versions of these reports being tabled and published at this time,” the government said in a statement on Monday.
The decision to release the findings rests with Mr Porter.
Redacted versions of the royal commission’s reports into the Catholic Church’s handling of child abuse allegations in the Melbourne archdiocese and Ballarat diocese were released in December 2017, just months after Cardinal Pell was charged with child sexual offences.
The findings remained redacted throughout his criminal trials and subsequent appeals.
The inquiry’s findings will not relate to abuse allegations against Cardinal Pell, but rather his knowledge of complaints against pedophile priests during his time in Ballarat and Melbourne, including Gerald Ridsdale.
Cardinal Pell, a former Sydney and Melbourne archbishop, was a priest in Ballarat and auxiliary bishop in Melbourne at the time.