A survivor of clerical sexual abuse has labelled convicted paedophile Cardinal George Pell "arrogant" for allegedly linking his suffering in jail to Jesus Christ in a letter to supporters.
While it has not been confirmed Pell wrote the letter, which was posted on Twitter by 'Cardinal George Pell Supporters' on Friday night, the Department of Justice has opened an investigation.
The Twitter account, including the post, has since been deleted.
"The knowledge that my small suffering can be used for good purposes through being joined to Jesus' suffering gives me purpose and direction," the letter reads.
Stephen Woods, who was abused by three priests while at school in Ballarat, said he was not surprised by "anything other than the level of arrogance" in the letter, which also attacks a South American church policy ahead of an upcoming Amazonian Synod.
"It sounds on the level of craziness of a Monty Python's Flying Circus scene," he said.
"I think that any analysis of him suffering on a par with Jesus is not only cynical and perverse, but it shows the level of arrogance and lack of remorse that he has towards sex crimes.
"Jesus outfully condemned any sort of corruption, whether it be moral or physical or societal."
It is an offence to commission other individuals to post something on social media on behalf of a prisoner, according to a Department of Justice and Community Safety spokesperson.
Any contraventions could lead to disciplinary action.
The Courier does not imply Pell has done this.
Prisoners have a legal right to send letters, and the department can only withhold mail that may be abusive, threatening or harrassing; encourage illegal activities; jeopardises the security of the prison system; or regarded as distressing or traumatic to the victim.
The letter notes the author has received "between 1500 to 2000" letters in prison and intended to reply to all of them.
It concludes with "(y)ou have every right to make your voices heard".
"We need not expect the worst."
The signature on the letter features a distinctive letter G and a cross prefix, and is labelled from the Melbourne Assessment Prison on August 1.
The letter thanks supporters for their "prayers and messages of support".
"These bring immense consolation, humanly and spiritually," the letter reads.
"My faith in the Lord, like yours, is a source of strength."
Pell has maintained he is innocent, and is appealing his six-year jail sentence after he was found guilty by a jury of sexually abusing two choirboys in Melbourne in the 1990s.
Mr Woods said it was important to keep the justice process in mind.
"It's easy to read a lot of things into this, but the reality is, that in spite of some bizarre perspectives, the courts are taking a level-headed, clinical view of his criminality," he said.
"That's what we need to look at and rely on."
If you are affected by this story, help is available.
Lifeline 13 11 14
beyondblue 1300 22 4636
Ballarat Centre Against Sexual Assault 1800 806 292
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