Feelings around the legacy of Ballarat born Cardinal George Pell have come to a head on the day of his Australian farewell.
Reports to Radio Ballarat this morning say people have been spotted REMOVING ribbons tied to the ‘loud fence’ at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, placed in support of survivors of child sexual abuse at the hands of members of the Catholic Church.
It comes on the day of Cardinal Pell’s Sydney funeral; he died last month in Rome, where he had ascended to be the highest ranking Australian in the Vatican.
Child abuse charges against Pell were withdrawn after he’d spent more than a year in prison but he was never formally acquitted.
Additionally, a 2020 Royal Commission into church abuse revealed Pell knew of child sex offences being committed in Ballarat by the church, and was instrumental in helping to relocate perpetrators to other diocese.
The ribbons for survivors have adorned the gates of the Ballarat cathedral for years, with the movement catching on elsewhere – including the site of today’s service at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.
Reports have been emerging in the last week of commemorative ribbons at that site also being removed.
It’s been confirmed an activist rally WILL go ahead today near the service after the route was altered following a compromise between NSW police and LGBTQIA+ activists. On Wednesday it had been revealed Sydney police were trying to ban protestors from taking to the streets during the clergyman’s requiem mass.