21 May 2015, The Tablet

Cardinal Pell denies attempting to bribe alleged abuse victim

The nephew of a paedophile priest has claimed that Cardinal George Pell tried to bribe him not to disclose that his uncle had abused him.

David Ridsdale, nephew of Fr Gerald Ridsdale, told the royal commission investigating child sexual abuse that he told Cardinal Pell in 1993 about the abuse he had suffered. He said that Cardinal Pell, a family friend, replied: “I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet.”

Cardinal Pell, the former Archbishop of Sydney, now prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, was not present at commission hearings in Ballarat but will be asked to respond.

The commission found documents that showed that Cardinal Pell – who was then a senior priest in Ballarat – was present at a meeting in 1982 of the College of Consultors that discussed plans to relocate Ridsdale, though the reasons for moving him are not recorded. Cardinal Pell issued a statement on Wednesday night, denying both claims.

Above: Cardinal Pell. Photo: CNS

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