Pell warned on culpability


Cardinal George Pell has faced an ominous warning from the head of the child abuse royal commission, being told he would be culpable if it was found he knew about the acts of a pedophile priest in Ballarat in the 1970s.

Cardinal Pell has told the royal commission he knew nothing of offences committed by pedophile Father Gerald Ridsdale, who was repeatedly moved to new parishes by Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, where he continued abusing children.

Cardinal Pell was a consultor to the bishop but said he was deceived and lied to by the bishop and other priests who knew of complaints against Ridsdale.

Commissioner Peter McClellan said the inquiry had to determine a very serious issue.

“You see, you speak of the bishop’s culpability,” Commissioner McClellan said.

“If we were to come to the view that you did know, you would be culpable too, wouldn’t you?”

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