Two pieces of information from The Age this morning.
Cardinal George Pell may have known about disgraced priest Gerald Ridsdale’s crimes against children years before he faced charges and may have been involved in decisions to move him between parishes, a royal commission has heard.
This particular piece of information is based on the fact that Cardinal Pell was a member of the College of Consultors – a group of priests who advised the Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns who removed paedophile priest Father Gerald Ridsdale from the Parish of Mortlake. Pell will deny that he was present at any meetings where Ridsdale was discussed but can we really believe that these guys never actually talked to each other about what must have been a pretty serious matter.
Father Denis Denehy, a priest appointed to Mortlake parish in 1982 after Ridsdale was removed, previously told a Catholic Church Insurance investigator that he “thought every male child between the ages of 10 years and 16 years who was at the school was molested by Ridsdale,” claimed Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Gail Furness, SC.
And this touching photo of George and Gerald going into court where Ridsdale was facing charges of child abuse.
If Pell was close enough to Ridsdale to be supporting him what he faced charges of child sex abuse, he must have had some idea of the extent of his culpability.
Father Gerald is about to give evidence before the Royal Commission and let’s hope that a number of years in jail, where paedophiles are not treated well, may have led Ridsdale to think it’s about time he dropped a huge bucket-full on George Pell’s head.
And George is safely ensconced in the Vatican where there are no extradition treaties.