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HomeNewsGeorge Pell funeral: Police seek court order to stop LGBTQIA+ protest

George Pell funeral: Police seek court order to stop LGBTQIA+ protest

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Police are seeking to block activists from protesting outside the funeral for controversial high-ranking Catholic George Pell.

Australia’s most senior Catholic will be laid to rest in a service on Thursday at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney’s CBD after he died suddenly last month.

Almost 400 people are due to attend the protest titled “Pell Go To Hell” at Hyde Park North organised by the Community Action for Rainbow Rights.

In a post to the Facebook event page the group said they want to send a “strong message” that they “reject George Pell and everything he stood for”.

The activists will stand in protest of Pell’s public opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion rights, as well as a child sexual abuse conviction – which he was ultimately cleared of.

NSW Police have confirmed they will seek a court order to block the protest citing “safety concerns”.

“Despite attempted negotiations with organisers, safety concerns associated with their proposed assembly cannot be adequately mitigated without amendments to the proposal,” a police spokesman said.

The protest group are expected to hold placards and banners before marching around the Cathedral’s vicinity.

NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb will apply to the NSW Supreme Court to prohibit the assembly.

“[Police] recognise and support the rights of individuals and groups to exercise their rights of free speech and peaceful assembly, however, the first priority is always the safety of the wider community,” the police spokesman said.

The funeral will be attended by conservative figures from right across the country including leaders of the Catholic Church and Coalition leader Peter Dutton.

The 81-year-old died in Rome in January after complications following a hip replacement surgery.

He spent 406 days of his six year sentence in jail over child sexual abuse allegations but always maintained his innocence.

The High Court overturned the decision in 2020.

Ballarat child abuse survivor Paul Auchettl has organised a silent protest at the St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt on Wednesday morning as George Pell’s body lays in state inside.

Protesters will tie coloured ribbons to the fencing around the church to “amplify the voices of survivors & victims of child sexual abuse”.

NCA newswire has contacted Community Action for Rainbow Rights for comment.

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