Australia's most senior Catholic showed a "sociopathic lack of empathy" in dealing with victims who were raped by clergy, an inquiry has heard.
Cardinal George Pell, current Archbishop of Sydney, had tried to compel victims into silence when confronted with evidence of wrongdoing by parish priests, the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse was told on Friday.
Anthony Foster recalled meeting Cardinal Pell to discuss a priest who had repeatedly raped two of his daughters when they were at primary school.
He told the inquiry that Cardinal Pell, then the Archbishop of Melbourne, had told him, "If you don't like what we're doing, take us to court," and did not appear to be distressed by the incidents.
"In our interactions with the now-Cardinal Archbishop Pell, we experienced a sociopathic lack of empathy, typifying the attitude and responses of the church hierarchy," Mr Foster said.
Mr Foster's daughters, Emma and Katie, were repeatedly raped by the late Father Kevin O'Donnell in the 1980s and 1990s when they were at Sacred Heart Primary School in Oakleigh.
But the church was already aware that O'Donnell had been abusing children in 1946, 1958 and 1984 and failed to take any action, he said.