In his last words at the child sex abuse Royal Commission, Cardinal George Pell apologised to the lawyer John Ellis for "the hurt caused him by the mistakes made, admitted by me and my Archdiocesan personnel".
But he could not bring himself to look at the frail, exhausted Ellis, who sat three metres away.
On Monday the Cardinal takes up a new position in charge of Vatican finances in Rome. He went from the commission to speak to the faithful at Mass at St Mary's Cathedral. So this was, in its way, a farewell to the Australian public.
But Cardinal Pell's request to make a statement from the witness box in the final moments of the twelfth day of the hearing on Mr Ellis' tragic case - "Might I say a few words in conclusion, have permission to, please?" - was refused by the Royal Commission chair, Justice Peter McClellan.
"I mean no disrespect, Cardinal, but everyone should be treated the same in giving evidence before the Commission", said Justice McClellan. Some in the public gallery responded "hear, hear".
The evidence has been that the Church's handling of Mr Ellis' complaint about the abuse he suffered from a priest in the Sydney Archdiocese as an altar boy aged 13 for years into adulthood caused him harm and suffering and left him broken mentally and financially. He had been a partner with Baker and McKenzie on $300,000 a year when his life began to unravel as he faced the reality of his experience.
Mr Ellis' counsel Maria Gerace had earlier in the afternoon put it to Cardinal Pell that Mr Ellis had still been a devout Catholic attending weekly Mass when he approached the church with his complaint in 2002. It was important to him that the Church believed him, she said. Instead the church knocked back his repeated offers to settle and chose to dispute in court whether the abuse had occurred, even though its own assessment was that it had.
It was decided the Cardinal could say his bit if he was asked a specific question by the Catholic Church's legal counsel Peter Gray SC. So the Cardinal said he wanted to acknowledge to Mr Ellis that "we failed him in many ways", in "our moral and pastoral responsibilities to him".
"As then the Archbishop I have to take ultimate responsibility and this I do."
It was, as the Cardinal said, "the end of this gruelling appearance for both of us".
Before letting him go Justice McClellan checked that he would make himself available for further hearings of the Royal Commission into the Melbourne Response he set up in 1996 to deal with victims. He replied that he would do his best to co-operate.
As he left the witness box, the Cardinal walked within arm's length of Mr Ellis sitting in the front row of the public gallery. He did not look at him. Members of the public called and pointed: "He's over here!" "Give him a look!"
Mr Ellis declined to speak to the media immediately after the hearing. He had to rush off to prepare for a Friday mediation on behalf of a client. His job is as a lawyer for victims of sexual abuse.