NSW Police apply to Supreme Court to stop LGBTQI protest outside George Pell’s Sydney funeral

NSW Police apply to Supreme Court to stop LGBTQI protest outside George Pell’s Sydney funeral

NSW Police will try to block a protest by LGBTQI group Community Action for Rainbow Rights planned for Cardinal George Pell’s funeral in Sydney.

Key points: A group requested that a protest be held in Hyde Park North during Cardinal Pell’s funeral. Police said there were safety concerns that could not be “adequately mitigated”.

The NSW Police Commissioner will ask the NSW Supreme Court to ban the protest, saying in a statement safety concerns for the community must come first.

“Despite attempted negotiations with the organizers, security concerns related to their proposed gathering cannot be adequately alleviated without changes to the proposal,” the statement said.

“NSW Police recognize and support the rights of individuals and groups to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, but the first priority is always the safety of the wider community.”

Cardinal Pell is laid out on Wednesday before his funeral mass on Thursday at St Mary’s Cathedral.

Community Action for Rainbow Rights had requested a protest in Hyde Park opposite the Cathedral on the morning of the funeral.

“We are calling on all LGBTI and women’s rights supporters to join us in a protest outside his memorial service to send a strong message: We reject George Pell and everything he has stood for,” a Facebook post said .

Pell was a staunchly conservative figure at a time when calls were being made for the Catholic Church to take a more progressive stance on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and the ordination of women.

Organizers say the tapes are intended to show solidarity with the victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. (Source: @PPantsdown via Twitter)

A separate silent “special loop event” was also organized for Wednesday in the forecourt of St Mary’s Cathedral, representing victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

Paul Auchettl is among a group of survivors and supporters who tied ribbons to the church fence ahead of Cardinal Pell’s funeral.

“This will be a silent event using tapes to amplify the voices of child sexual abuse survivors and victims, whether from Ballarat, Melbourne, Sydney or elsewhere,” the post reads.

It’s a follow-up to the Loud Fence campaign, which originated in Ballarat, and the Every Ribbon Has A Voice campaign, organizers said.

Mr. Auchetti was a witness at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse who traveled to Rome with a group of survivors to witness Cardinal George Pell testifying before the Royal Commission in 2016.

The five-year royal commission found that Pell was aware of allegations of libel in the diocese of Ballarat as early as 1973, when he was Episcopal Vicar for Education.

Cardinal Pell dismissed the finding.

St Michael’s Church in Belfield called on its members to attend a funeral service for George Pell “to show the world how much Eminence is loved”.

“It is important that we attend in large numbers and drown out them (the protesters). Most importantly, we commend Eminence’s soul to God,” the church said in a Facebook post.

“All our activities MUST be peaceful and prayerful. Spread this message to every group you are in.”

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