Background article by a Broken Rites researcher, updated 15 August 2017
The remainder of this Broken Rites article gives the full background of the church's Ridsdale cover-up.
By 1982, Father Ridsdale had been committing child-sex crimes in Victorian parishes for 20 years while his colleagues and superiors took no notice. In 1982, a clergy committee (of which Father George Pell was a member) noted in its minutes that Ridsdale was being evacuated to New South Wales. According to Broken Rites research, Ridsdale continued to commit child-sex crimes in NSW. In the early 1990s, some of Ridsdale's Victorian victims began to report his crimes to the Victoria Police. So, in 1993, Victorian detectives laid the first charges against Ridsdale in the Melbourne Magistrates Court. He was accompanied to court by his support person, George Pell, who had become an assistant bishop in Melbourne. However, no bishop accompanied the victims. Encouraged by Broken Rites, more victims spoke to the detectives between 1993 and 2017.