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Australia's most senior Catholic says the royal commission will help determine whether reports about child abuse in the church have been a "significant exaggeration".
"We think it's an opportunity to help the victims. It's an opportunity to clear the air, to separate fact from fiction," Cardinal George Pell told reporters in Sydney.
He said the church had been worked hard to uncover child abuse.
"We are not interested in denying the extent of misdoing in the Catholic Church. We object to it being exaggerated," Cardinal Pell said.
"We object to being described as the only cab on the rank.
"We acknowledge, with shame, the extent of the problem and I want to assure you that we have been serious in attempting to eradicate it and deal with it ...
"This commission will enable those claims to be validated or found to be a significant exaggeration."
Cardinal Pell also questioned whether ongoing "furore in the press" about the alleged abuse was helpful to the victims.
Cardinal Pell says the church will ‘‘cooperate fully’’ and he hopes the commission will bring the victims peace and that they would feel ‘‘that justice is being done’’.
He’s also denied the Catholic Church knowingly transferred priests suspected of child sex abuse to other parishes.
He says it’s completely prohibited to shift priests who have been charged.