April 30, 2013
THE Ballarat Diocese has admitted it destroyed documents detailing accusations of paedophilia and moved offending priests to new parishes despite more than 100 case of sexual abuse, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry has heard.
Former Ballarat bishop Peter Connors said the church had effectively facilitated sexual offences against children by placing one of Australia’s worst child predators, Gerald Ridsdale, in positions that enabled him to abuse.
The inquiry heard that evidence of Ridsdale’s offences first surfaced in 1975 yet he continued to be protected by the church.
Deputy chairman of the Victorian inquiry, MP Frank McGuire, asked the Bishop of Ballarat, Paul Bird, why Ridsdale wasn’t reported to police.
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