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PREMIER Daniel Andrews wants to see Cardinal George Pell voluntarily front the royal commission into clergy abuse to show that the Catholic Church takes child sexual abuse seriously.

Australian Cardinal George PellTHE premier says church leaders should not wait for a request to attend, and people are sick of the church acting like an insurance company that’s denying claims.

“They should be there and they should do everything they can to show the compassion and contrition that is absolutely required,” Mr Andrews told 3AW radio on Thursday.

Cardinal Pell, who is in Rome, has said he will give evidence to the royal commission if requested. But the premier says the church should take more initiative.

“The time has come for an acknowledgment that the wrong thing was done and the response to it was just as evil,” said Mr Andrews.

The church was almost having to be dragged in to deal with horrific accounts of clergy sexual abuse, he said. This was causing people to lose confidence in its ability to stop abuse or prevent it from happening again, the premier said.

“Many people who live with the trauma, the pain, and the anguish of this abuse don’t have any confidence that they’ve been taken seriously.” Mr Andrews says religious leaders need to remove child abusers from within their midst. “For some of these predators to still be members of religious orders is, I think, just wrong.”

“They don’t represent any reasonable belief system that any reasonable person would sign up to.”