Vic abuse inquiry hears from Catholic orders and organisations


Catholic orders and organisations have begun giving evidence at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse. The inquiry has heard of hundreds of cases of abuse against children dating back to the 50s by St John of God brothers and priests from the Salesian order and the Catholic diocese of Ballarat.


TIM PALMER: Representatives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Ballarat, in Western Victoria, have told the State’s Parliamentary Inquiry Into Child Abuse that allowing a known paedophile priest to continue working as a priest was a terrible mistake.

Father Gerald Ridsdale was convicted and jailed for child sexual abuse in 1993 and again in 2006.

The inquiry heard today that by 1975 there was solid evidence of his crimes but he wasn’t removed from his duties and was instead moved onto other parishes.

Today was the first day for Catholic orders and organisations to give evidence at the inquiry and reporter Rachel Carbonell was there.

RACHEL CARBONELL: Representatives from the St John of God Brothers, The Salesian Order and the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat were all questioned at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Child Abuse today.

The inquiry heard that the bishop in charge of the Ballarat diocese during the time that paedophile priest Father Gerald Ridsdale worked there, Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, was not before the inquiry because he had suffered a stroke and now had poor memory.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.