Curia Cardinal George Pell incriminated his former superior in abuse scandal. He said the then bishop of his home diocese of Ballarat had misled him about the real reasons for the transfer of an abusive priest.
Pell said Tuesday in a videotaped interview by the Australian Abuse Commission. Pell was a priest in 1982 who was part of a group of advisers to the Ballarat diocese, led by Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, on dealing with sexual abuse cases.
Pell not informed
Three out of four members of the group were aware of the allegations against priest Gerald Ridsdale, who was later convicted of abuse, but not himself, Pell said. As a reason for Ridsdale's frequent transfers, the bishop never mentioned allegations of sexual assault, it said. To the objection that allegations against Ridsdale had been circulating since the mid-1970s, Pell said, "I didn't know whether it was common knowledge or not. It's a sad story, and it didn't particularly interest me."
Cardinal admitted "enormous mistakes"
Pell, now head of the Vatican's central financial and economic agency, made his second consecutive day of comments to the abuse commission in Sydney. On Monday night, he had acknowledged "enormous mistakes" by the church and said he had not set out to "defend the indefensible". In view of his state of health, the 74-year-old cardinal was allowed to make his statement by video link from Rome.
The Australian Abuse Commission had been established in 2013 by then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard to investigate the handling of abuse cases by churches, religious communities and secular institutions. Final report expected in December 2017.