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Pell says cover-up accuser has 'false' memory


Sydney's Archbishop George Pell believes David Ridsdale, the man who accused him of covering up sexual abuse on Channel 9's 60 Minutes two weeks ago has a "false" memory.

David Ridsdale told Pell he had been abused by his uncle, then a Catholic priest, Gerald Ridsdale. David Ridsdale said Dr Pell tried to buy his silence by offering him a house or a car.

In his column in Sydney's Sunday Telegraph yesterday, Dr Pell strongly denies any involvement in paying "hush money" to victims of sexual abuse.

"David Ridsdale was badly abused by his uncle, Gerald Ridsdale (who was) then a Ballarat priest," Dr Pell writes.

"I have always sympathised with his plight and this continues today. But unfortunately he has accused me of saying on February 3, 1993, 'what will it take to keep you quiet?' so that he would not go to the police.

"His memories of what was said and offered and when and why he went to the police vary enormously.

"His memory has played him false."

LINKS
Pell defends handling of abuse cases (The Age)
When the saints get their marching orders (Terry Lane, The Sunday Age)
Crisis of faith (feature, The Age)
Schools for scandal (SMH feature, payment required)

SOURCE
Herald-Sun

17 Jun 2002