Abuse Royal Commission: Mulkearns Death Leaves Pell Isolated
By Tessa Akerman
April 5, 2016
The death of Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, who shifted pedophile priests between western Victorian parishes to conceal their offending, has left George Pell as the standout senior church figure to face the royal commission findings into the Ballarat scandal.
Bishop Mulkearns’s death yesterday morning all but brings to an end the child sex abuse royal commission’s examination of the abuses of hundreds of children committed in the Catholic diocese of Ballarat between the 1960s and 90s.
Bishop Mulkearns, who was 85, living in a nursing home and stricken with cancer, was part-way through his testimony to the royal commission, having run a criminally negligent diocese from 1971 to 1997 with the worst record of Catholic sex abuse in Australia.
Cardinal Pell became embroiled in controversy over his tenure as a priest in the Ballarat diocese under Bishop Mulkearns and has faced intense questioning over what he knew — and when — about offending.