The Australian Trucking Association says Cardinal George Pell has insulted every truck driver in Australia with the analogy he made to the child abuse royal commission.
Cardinal Pell told the commission on Thursday the Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company that employs a driver who molests women.
Trucking association chair Noelene Watson hit back at Cardinal Pell in a statement on Friday.
"There are more than 170,000 professional truck drivers in Australia. They have families and children. Cardinal Pell's analogy is a deep insult to every one of them," Mrs Watson said.
"These comments are a desperate attempt to deflect attention from the royal commission being faced by the Catholic Church and other institutions that deal with children.
"Cardinal Pell must realise that he cannot solve these problems by insulting Australia's hardworking truck drivers, who deliver the goods we use every day."
The families of child abuse victims have already slammed Cardinal Pell's "ludicrous" comparison.
"The truck driver analogy was just absurd, ludicrous, and it was nowhere near a proper analogy to the Catholic Church," said Anthony Foster, the father of two girls raped by a paedophile priest.
During the hearing on Thursday, Cardinal Pell accepted the church has a moral obligation to victims, but when it comes to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests are not necessarily its fault.
"If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible," Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome.
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said priests got access to children with the parents' consent, unlike truck drivers.
"The relationship between the priest and a child is quite different to that between the truck driver and the casual passenger, isn't it?" he asked Cardinal Pell.
"Yes, I would certainly concede that," Cardinal Pell responded.