Catholic Church Failed to Curb Pedophile Ridsdale’s Offending

By Tessa Akerman
The Australian
May 29, 2015

The Catholic church in NSW failed to stop notorious pedophile Gerald Ridsdale offending in the 1980s despite the then Archbishop of Sydney believing he had “done enough” to prevent further abuse.

Ridsdale was removed from Mortlake, in southwestern Victoria, to the Catholic Enquiry Centre in Sydney in 1982.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday heard Ridsdale give evidence via video link from prison of his offending while he was based in Sydney.

Ridsdale said he could not recall the Bishop of Ballarat, Ronald Mulkearns, who was aware of his offending and arranged the transfer, or anyone else involved with the church imposing “restrictions or limitations or conditions” on what he could do while working in Sydney.

In evidence from 1993 tendered to the commission, the late cardinal Edward Clancy advised that Ridsdale’s initial transfer to Sydney was arranged between Clancy’s predecessor, cardinal James Freeman, and Bishop Mulkearns. Clancy said Bishop Mulkearns spoke to him at a conference in 1983 and explained ­“Father Ridsdale had certain sexual problems, was under professional treatment”.








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