A Ballarat bishop did not think it was his job to tell police about Australia’s worst paedophile priest, Gerald Francis Ridsdale.
Ridsdale is believed to have abused every boy aged between 10 and 16 at the school in Mortlake, a town in southern Victoria, the royal commission looking into abuse by clergy and other members of the Catholic Church in the Ballarat diocese has heard.
Senior counsel assisting the commission Gail Furness SC said Ridsdale was a prolific offender while parish priest in Mortlake from January 1981.
‘There will be evidence that his behaviour around boys was no secret in Mortlake,’ Ms Furness said on Tuesday.
Ms Furness said it was not until June 1988 that Ridsdale was suspended for 12 months, 13 years after the Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns first knew that he was sexually abusing boys he met during his work as a priest.
Ridsdale had been at nine parishes and other church locations during that time and abused more than 50 children, she said.
Ridsdale remains behind bars after his arrest in 1990