Cardinal George Pell says Gerald Francis Ridsdale’s sexual abuse of children at a Victorian parish in the 1970’s was a ‘sad story’ that ‘wasn’t of much interest to me’ and that he was not told the priest was being moved because he was a pedophile.
Cardinal Pell, who was then a Ballarat priest, says he did not know that Ridsdale’s offending was common knowledge in the Victorian parish of Inglewood in 1975 and did not know about the allegations.
‘It’s a sad story and it wasn’t of much interest to me,’ he told the child abuse royal commission from Rome on Tuesday.
His comment drew gasps from some observers in the room, many of whom were victims of child abuse who had travelled to Rome to hear his testimony.
‘The suffering, of course, was real and I very much regret that, but I had no reason to turn my mind to the extent of the evils that Ridsdale had perpetrated,’ he later continued.
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