The victims of one of Australia’s worst paedophiles — defrocked Catholic priest Gerald Ridsdale — want him to appear before the royal commission on child sexual abuse.
It’s believed Ridsdale, who was sentenced to a maximum of 25 years, but could be released on parole as early as June, molested at least 40 children over three decades.
The Herald Sun reported he is being urged to reveal how the church helped cover up his illegal activities before the royal commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
“If he started to talk about what he knew, the Catholic church house of cards would come tumbling down,” victim Stephen Woods said.
At Ridsdale’s 1994 plea hearing, witnesses told how he was moved from one parish to another when claims of abuse were raised. He was one of the priests who preyed on children at Ballarat’s St Alipius school.
Gerald Ridsdale was convicted in three court cases and is serving a 19-year jail sentence for offences against 40 children.
His parishes included Warrnambool, Mortlake, Port Fairy, Koroit, Camperdown, Colac, Casterton and Coleraine.
Some of the charges related to his time while serving in the south-west.