Royal Commission hearings with George Pell, Ronald Mulkearns won’t be in Ballarat

Perth Now

ANGRY victims of some of the country’s most notorious paedophiles have slammed a decision by the Royal Commission not to return to Ballarat.

The child abuse Royal Commission controversially announced yesterday that its planned second hearing into institutional abuse in the regional town would now be held in Melbourne.

Cardinal George Pell and former Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns are expected to attend the hearings in person.

It is understood some victims are considering lobbying the Royal Commission to forced it to return to Ballarat.

Stephen Woods, who was raped and abused by Br Robert Best, Gerald Ridsdale and Ted Dowlan, said he was stunned by the commission’s decision.

“These hearings should be held in Ballarat, its where all the offending happened,” he said.

“Ballarat needs the healing.”

Both Cardinal Pell and Fr Mulkearns have been accused of playing a part in covering-up sexual abuse in the diocese between the 1970s and 1990s.

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