Case Study 28: Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat

The public hearing inquired into the response of the Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat to allegations of child sexual abuse.

  • Stage 1: Public hearing at Ballarat Magistrates Court from Tuesday 19 to Friday 29 May 2015.
  • Stage 2: Public hearing at the County Court of Victoria from Monday 7 to Wednesday 16 December 2015.
  • Directions hearing to consider Cardinal George Pell’s and Bishop Ronald Mulkearns’ capacity to attend the third part of the public hearing in Ballarat, in Sydney on Friday 5 and Monday 8 February 2016.
  • Stage 3: Public hearing at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on 22 February 2016.
  • Cardinal George Pell gave evidence from 29 February 2016 by video link from Rome. The Royal Commission sat in Sydney and, in accordance with a request from Cardinal Pell, the hearing commenced at 08:00am AEDT. The Trench Room at Ballarat Town Hall was made available for members of the community during the public hearing, including Cardinal Pell’s evidence.
  • The Directions hearing held in Sydney on Wednesday 13 April 2016 addressed a number of outstanding matters in relation to Bishop Mulkearns’ evidence and setting a timetable for written submissions.

For more information on each stage, please see the documents and transcripts below.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing was to inquire into:

  1. The response of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat and other Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat to allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy or religious.
  2. The response of the Congregation of the Christian Brothers in St Patrick’s Province, Australia, to allegations of child sexual abuse against Christian Brothers.
  3. Any related matters.
See all exhibits for this case study

The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference required that its work did not prejudice current or future criminal or civil proceedings. For this reason, the Commissioners delivered an un-redacted and a redacted version of this report and recommended that the un-redacted report should be tabled and published at the conclusion of the relevant criminal proceedings. Both versions of the report can now be found below:



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