Papal advisor says Vatican made enormous mistakes on child abuse

Cardinal George Pell gave evidence to an Australian committee investigating allegations of abuse

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Australian Cardinal George Pell pictured after he gave evidence from the Vatican to an Australian child abuse committee, via videolink (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

One of the Pope's top advisers has said the Catholic Church "made enormous mistakes" in allowing thousands of children to be sexually abused by priests.

Cardinal George Pell testified via video link to an investigative committee in his native Australia.

Two dozen Australian abuse survivors travelled to Rome to see him give evidence.

Cardinal Pell spent four hours answering questions from Sydney yesterday.

He said thousands of children had been raped and molested over the centuries.