A group of angry Catholics is taking its campaign to have Cardinal George Pell removed from the Catholic church on the road – in a bright red caravan.
The small, as yet un-named group has collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition calling for Pope Francis to sack Cardinal Pell over his response to child abuse within the church in Australia.
The caravan, emblazoned with the words ‘SACK PELL NOW’, will leave Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral on Tuesday and will be driven by volunteers across the state to gather more signatures.
It will return to Melbourne in February, when Cardinal Pell is due to appear before the royal commission into child sex abuse.
Ill health prevented him from travelling from the Vatican City to Melbourne for an expected appearance this week.
‘We disagree with what the institutional church is doing, what Pell is doing, and we want to see justice and compassion for the victims,’ spokeswoman Catherine Dooley told AAP.
‘We want to let victims know that we are angry about what has happened.
‘We were going to park out of the front of the County Court on Friday (when Cardinal Pell had been due to appear) and the caravan could have sat until February but we decided to take it to all the towns in regional Victoria instead.’
Ms Dooley said the caravan would visit most major centres over the summer.
She said the group has campaigned at AFL matches and at Flinders Street railway station and earlier this year spent $4000 to fly a plane over Sydney towing a banner that said: ‘Pope must act, sack Pell now’.
Ms Dooley said the group aimed to keep the pressure on Pope Francis to dismiss Cardinal Pell.