Abuse victims criticise Pell apology

Cardinal George Pell has given evidence at the royal commission into child sexual abuse in Sydney. (AAP)

A group representing victims of sex abuse by clergy are unhappy with Cardinal George Pell's apology.

Cardinal George Pell's apology to victims of sexual abuse by priests and others within the Catholic church have been labelled hypocritical by an advocacy group.

Dr Pell will leave Australia for the Vatican on Monday to take up a new post as chief of the Holy See's finances after 13-years as the eighth Archbishop of Sydney.

He used his farewell sermon at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney on Thursday night to "apologise once again to the victims and their families for the terrible suffering that has been brought to bear by these crimes".

The apology came just hours after Dr Pell appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and read out a statement to "publicly to say sorry" to former alter boy John Ellis who was abused by a priest.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) leader, Nicky Davis, said both apologies were "completely hypocritical".

Ms Davis, who was in the commission's public gallery when he read out his statement, described the cardinal as showing "no emotion".

"His tone was completely flat, there was no emotion, no humanity there," she told AAP on Friday.

"He deliberately didn't look at John and then he walked out right past John ... and still looked away and didn't look at him. That's not how you apologise to someone.

"That's a slap in the face."

The Archdiocese of Sydney said Dr Pell had spoken to Mr Ellis, a lawyer, and his wife during the hearings.

"When leaving the hearing room ... he again made contact and shook hands with Mrs Ellis before leaving," it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ms David said SNAP representatives weren't allowed by security guards to enter St Mary's to hear Dr Pell's sermon.

"We're the victims and we were left out there in the rain," she said.

"Surely, at the very time when they're apologising to us they would have invited us in."

Ms Davis urged the Catholic church to provide more assistance to victims of sexual abuse.

Source AAP

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