Media and Communications Office
RONALD MULKEARNS will be the first Ballarat bishop not to be interred in the crypt of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Ballarat.
Ballarat Diocese Vicar-General Justin Driscoll said it was not appropriate in light of the revelations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to grant Bishop Mulkearns a position inside the Cathedral.
“That is correct; he will be the first bishop not to be placed in the crypt. It really is a direct response to the revelations of the Royal Commission. It was not appropriate for the former bishop to be buried there,” he said.
During his time as bishop, numerous paedophile priests were moved across the region while they were abusing children.
Bishop Mulkearns made key testimony in February at the Royal Commission via videolink from the nursing home where he had lived.
His profession that he could not remember much of what had taken place during his time as bishop caused much pain to those hoping for a full and frank exploration into the actions of paedophile members of the Catholic Church.
Peter Blenkiron, a survivor of the abuse perpetrated in Ballarat, said that the decision was obviously a considered response from the church.
“In our communities so many are damaged, dead, upset and angry because of what happened under his watch,” he said. “In the future history will define organisations and individuals who were part of the solution, or those that were part of the horrendous problem.”
Clergy sex abuse survivor Andrew Collins said he was not surprised by the move from the church.
“To their credit they have listened, not only to the Royal Commission but to the survivors in the town,”” he said.
“The fact that he was complicit in the abuse of children and the premature deaths of those abused, I think it is an entirely appropriate move.
“I think it will be fairly well accepted, every one is entitled to a funeral and a final resting place, it is just that he wont be honoured for his work as bishop.
Read the fully story here in the Ballarat Courier