Elderly mum gets meeting but no apology from archbishop at Royal Commission


A 92-year-old woman fighting for justice over her late daughter's alleged sexual abuse has met with Melbourne's Catholic archbishop but says his sympathies don't cut the mustard.

Eileen Piper says Archbishop Denis Hart gave her a letter and said he would pray for her in a closed-door meeting shortly after he gave evidence at the child abuse royal commission on Thursday.

Ms Piper's lawyer, Judy Courtin, said Archbishop Hart extended his sympathies for what had happened to the widow, whose 32-year-old daughter Stephanie killed herself in 1994, the year after saying she had been raped by Pallottine priest Gerard Mulvale as a teen.

But he did not acknowledge the abuse occurred, Ms Piper said

"I'm sorry to say... nothing has changed," Ms Piper, who travelled from Melbourne, told reporters after the meeting outside the royal commission in Sydney.

"It's not over. I'm not prepared to let that happen."

Mulvale was charged with offences relating to Stephanie but they were dropped after she died.

The Melbourne Archdiocese earlier this month released a statement saying it believed Stephanie's case had been investigated thoroughly and it can't be satisfied on the evidence that the abuse occurred.

It says the claim was twice assessed by Peter O'Callaghan QC, from the Church's Melbourne Response, who came to the same conclusion.

Ms Piper, who arrived to the hearing carrying a box full of 55,000 petition signatures, says she's still optimistic despite the meeting, which was offered to her on the day of the hearing.

"I have an instinctive feeling that sadness I displayed today wouldn't just run off and not be listened to," she said.

"It's just maybe a mother's dream, I don't know."

The current hearing has been in part investigating how the Catholic Church has responded to royal commission findings about its response to child sexual abuse.

The Melbourne archdiocese says it has offered counselling to Ms Piper.

The hearing is expected to continue with the five metropolitan archbishops' evidence on Friday.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, 1800 Respect on 1800 737 732, and Blue Knot Foundation on 1300 657 380.

Source AAP

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