Let’s talk: can we ever rebuild trust for the Catholic Church? 11



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Overnight, Cardinal George Pell has released a personal statement in response to the claims by the Royal Commission that he helped relocate disgraced paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale between parishes and tried to pay one of his victims to remain silent.

“Like everyone who has been following the Royal Commission’s hearings in Ballarat this week, I have been horrified once again by survivors’ accounts of the abuse they have suffered. Also the terrible impact it has had on their lives and families and the Catholic community of Ballarat. The suicide of so many victims is an enormous tragedy. The crimes committed against them by priests and brothers are profoundly evil and completely repugnant to me”, says Cardinal Pell.

“I never moved Ridsadale out of Mortlake parish, I never moved him anywhere. I would never have condoned or participated in a decision to transfer Ridsdale in the knowledge he had abused children”.

Pell goes on to say he had no authority over the priests in Ballarat and that no concerns had been raised in his presence.

Cardinal Pell also denies ignoring another victim’s claim that a now-convicted sex offender was abusing children at St Patrick’s College in Ballarat after being told of the abuse. “I have no recollection of a conversation with Mr Green 40 years ago in 1974. To the best of my beliefs this conversation did not happen”.

Finally, the most chilling accusation of all: that he tried to keep David Ridsdale quiet in 1993, after he learned about the abuse he suffered from his uncle.

Mr Ridsdale told the Royal Commission Cardinal Pell said, “I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet”.

Cardinal Pell’s response: “I was and remain extremely sympathetic to David Ridsdale who because of his uncle suffered horrible abuse. I continue to regret the misunderstanding between us. At no time did I attempt to bribe David Ridsdale or his family or offer any financial inducements for him to be silent”.

For those who have lived through the decades of abuse and cover-up, there’s a feeling of extreme shock and dismay that the head of the Catholic Church in Australia has become embroiled (once again) in the scandal in Ballarat.

Let’s talk about this: has your trust in the Catholic Church been shaken to the core? How do we know who to trust? And, finally, can the Catholic Church ever recover from the taint of child sex abuse? 

You can read Cardinal Pell’s full statement here.


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  1. Pell is an evil man living high on the hog on the Vatican’s largesse. In an ideal world he should be stood down and returned ton Australia to face his accusers and look them in the eye and repeat his ever increasing denials. The Sergeant Shulz defence (I know nottink) is sounding more and more shrill as more and more accusations are leveled against George Pell.


  3. Disgraceful man. What really annoys me is the smug look on his face, like he’s above reproach.

  4. I will never again have anything to do with the catholic church. I’d be very careful of ever sending a child to one of their schools, knowing how they deal with these vile happenings.

  5. The hypocrisy of the Catholic Church is staggering. They must not be given any authority in our society – they have their tax free property and schools but must not be given any airtime on any social or MORAL issues. They have lost all credibility. I would remind NSW readers that our supposedly secular State Government gave, I believe, $80 million towards World Youth Day (2006?) – a marketing event to attract youth to an organisation we know is the world’s largest and most protected pedophile ring. If it wasn’t the Catholic Church it would be closed down for money laundering as well. I don’t understand how people can still give it money, pray themselves if that’s their belief but not support such corruption.

    1 REPLY
    • You make valid points Patricia, but I feel it is hard on the good priests and people of the Catholic Church to tar them all with the same brush.
      Pell, on the other hand has shown nothing but contempt for everyone.

  6. I do not believe him. As far as I’m concerned he is evil personified. I read a story once about Pell. He was conducting mass and passing out the bread, which he gave to this family. The next week the family went back and all had the rainbow colours on for gay rights, he totally by passed them and ignored them. That is a hypocrite.
    How could he live in the same house as Ridsdale and not know what was going on, PLEASE.

  7. The Catholic Church has failed both God & man.
    It has proved to be a “cave of robbers ; full of dead mens bones.”

  8. I don’t know George Pell, but what I’ve seen of him, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

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