Hundreds of ribbons were tied to the railings outside St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on Wednesday, February 1, for victim-survivors of child sexual abuse ahead of Cardinal George Pell’s funeral on Thursday.
Footage by Sydney-based satirist and activist Pauline Pantsdown shows the colorful ribbons outside the cathedral. Paul Auchettl can be seen at the end of the footage.
According to the ABC, Auchettl was a witness at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse who travelled to Rome with a group of survivors to witness Pell giving evidence to the Royal Commission in 2016.
The commission found Pell knew of allegations of offending in the Ballarat diocese as early as 1973, when he was Episcopal Vicar for Education, which Pell rejected.
Auchettl, who is reportedly a survivor of child sexual abuse, organised the ribbon tying event and said it was not a protest aimed at Pell, but a reminder of the church’s debt to victims and their families, according to the ABC.
“I’ve come to Sydney to tie ribbons for people who are too sick to be here, and who aren’t alive anymore, and for their families who are too angry to be here.”
Pell’s body was lying in state on Wednesday before his funeral mass on Thursday. A separate funeral mass was held for Pell in Rome after he died there in early January aged 81. Credit: Pauline Pantsdown via Storyful