FORMER Ballarat Bishop secretary Monsignor Glynn Murphy says despite having knowledge of mounting allegations of sexual abuse against children he never went to police.
Australian army chaplain Monsignor Murphy dealt with sexual abuse allegations from 1993 to 1997 as the special issues committee convenor. He told the inquiry he “implicitly” trusted Bishop Ronald Mulkearns to pass complaints onto police.
“Did I have faith and trust that the Bishop would follow through with information I gave him, yes I did,” he said. "There was no indication to me that he was not passing on any material that he should pass on."
The inquiry also heard there was a Ballarat policeman on the church committee but no abuse claims were reported to authorties.
The culture of secrecy and concealment of child sex crimes was further exposed at the inquiry with Monsignor Murphy admitting Bishop Mulkearns kept locked files on priests and did not disclose information to other clergy.
The Diocese of Ballarat also went to extreme lengths to defend litigation against paedophile priests and dissuade victims from pursuing legal action, the inquiry heard.
Monsignor Murphy was accused of giving solicitors acting for victim, Paul Levey "the run- around" as he pursued charges for the sadistic sexual abuse he endured at the hands of paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.
Documents showed Monsignor Murphy responded to a writ from Mr Levey’s lawyers, which he claimed was sent to the wrong office in a bid to make the lawyers “chase around a bit more.”
Mr Levery was forced to live with Ridsdale after his parents separated in 1982. Mr Levey told the inquiry since the ordeal he’d suffered severe depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and physiological trauma.
Senior counsel assisting the commission Angus Stewart accused Monsignor Murphy of taking “joy in the frustration” of delaying Mr Levey’s legal pursuit Ridsdale.
“What this shows is that you were being unhelpful and getting some pleasure from delaying someone who was seeking to seek legal redress against the diocese of Ballarat,” Mr Stewart said.
The allegation was disputed by Monsignor Murphy who said he was only suggesting the letter should go through the proper legal channels. The inquiry also heard Monsignor Murphy, requested disgraced priest Paul Ryan be "removed immediately” after he heard allegations that the priest had invited a 12-year-old boy to have a bath with him. However, the inquiry heard Bishop Mulkearns delayed removing Ryan for a number of weeks to protect the reputation of the church.