Priest Gerald Ridsdale’s Abuse ‘no Secret’ in Parish

By Tessa Akerman
The Australian
May 20, 2015

Molestation by now notorious pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale was “no secret” in his local parish, with at least two reports flowing to his bishop before a leadership group including current Cardinal George Pell decided to move him.

The royal commission investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse yesterday heard damning claims about the Catholic Church’s behaviour on the first day of hearings in ­Ballarat, where hundreds of children are believed to have ­suffered throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC said evidence would show Ridsdale’s behaviour with boys was common knowledge in the parish of Mortlake and there were at least two reports to Bishop Ronald Mulkearns about Ridsdale’s ­offending in the town.

She said Bishop Mulkearns was recorded telling a Catholic Church Insurance investigator in 1993 that there were complaints of inappropriate behaviour by Ridsdale with young boys from Mortlake “so he was taken out of there”.

Bishop Mulkearns also said he “did not take it as his position to report Ridsdale to police”, Ms Furness said.








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