Australian cardinal George Pell leaves the Quirinale hotel after meeting members of the Australian group of relatives and victims of priestly sex abuses, in Rome, Thursday, March 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
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Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis' top financial adviser, met Thursday with some of the Australian abuse victims who traveled to Rome to witness his four days of remote, video-link testimony to Australia's Royal Commission.Emerging from the meeting with survivors at a Rome hotel, Pell read a statement pledging to help his hometown of Ballarat recover from scores of suicides of abuse victims. Pell was called to answer questions about his time as a priest in Ballarat, and as an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne.At the same time, Pell denied allegations that he angrily dismissed an allegation against the same cleric made by another schoolboy, or attempted to bribe an abuse victim to stay quiet.Pell said it was a "disastrous coincidence" that five known pedophile Catholic clerics had been operating in Ballarat while he served there as a priest.
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