A former Catholic bishop accused of covering up the sexual abuse of children in Ballarat, Australia between the 1970s and 1990s has died.
Retired bishop Ronald Mulkearns died aged 86, the Catholic Church confirmed.
Last month he was asked once again to testify before a child sex abuse inquest following evidence from Cardinal George Pell.
Cardinal Pell said the bishop deceived him about the activities of notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale.
Ridsdale committed more than 130 offences against young boys while working as a chaplain at Ballarat’s St Alipius school between the 1960s and the 1980s.
“I can’t nominate another bishop whose actions are so grave and inexplicable … His repeated refusal to act is, I think, absolutely extraordinary,” Cardinal Pell said of Bishop Mulkearns in March.
In February, Bishop Mulkearns told the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was sorry for moving paedophile priests.
“I certainly regret that I didn’t deal differently with paedophilia. We had no idea, or I had no idea, of the effects of the incidents that took place,” he said.