By Daniel Fogarty
April 29, 2013
THE former bishop of Ballarat made a “tragic mistake” by not removing one of Australia’s worst pedophiles when he first became aware of sexual abuse allegations against the priest, the current bishop of the diocese admits.
Bishop Ronald Mulkearns knew about child abuse complaints against Father Gerald Ridsdale as early as 1975 but let him remain as a priest and moved him to other parishes, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry has heard.
Church records reveal 67 abuse complaints have been made against Risdale, who is currently in jail for sex offences.
The church admitted on Monday that it effectively facilitated abuse by allowing a known abuser to continue to have access to children.
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