By investigative reporter Louise Milligan
Cardinal George Pell and other senior officials failed to exercise proper care for children in a Melbourne parish by not acting on information of sexual misconduct by a paedophile priest, according to final submissions to the royal commission into child abuse.
In her submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC also stated she believed the evidence of a number of witnesses in the Ballarat and Melbourne dioceses instead of Cardinal Pell’s in relation to the Cardinal being told by children and adults of inappropriate clerical conduct towards children in the 1970s and 1980s.
Counsel Assisting has found that Cardinal Pell, along with a number of other priestly consultors to Bishop Ronald Mulkearns of the Ballarat diocese, knew notorious serial paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale was being moved from parish to parish because he was sexually abusing children, despite the Cardinal’s strong denials.
Allegations about Ridsdale’s behaviour were never sent to police.
The report has been released less than a week after Victoria Police confirmed three of its Taskforce SANO detectives had flown to Rome to interview the Cardinal separately about historic child abuse allegations, which he has strongly denied.
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