For those who don't know my story here it is. Paul Levey
WARNING THIS MAY BE TRIGGERING!
In the early 80's my family was introduced to Gerald Francis Ridsdale, he was a Catholic priest from the Ballarat Diocese, he was studying at The National Pastoral Institute (Catholic study institute). A nun introduced him to my family.
I was going to St Bedes school Mentone Melbourne. We went on a camping trip to White Cliffs NSW with him and some of his family (Nephews who later I found out he was abusing as well and his brother) and some other adults. This was around 1980. The abuse (sexual and mental) started in the shower block at the local caravan park. This went on for two weeks. We then returned to Melbourne.
Over the next few years he would pick me up from school and abuse me at NPI (National Pastoral Institute a Catholic study institute in Melbourne. A part of Star of the Sea Catholic college) and at home we also went back to White Cliffs several times.
In late 1981 I was asked to leave St Bedes because my behaviour was getting out of hand, I was belted by de la Salle brothers daily.
In early 1982 I was caught not going to school, Ridsdale found out I was wagging so he suggested to my mother who was recently separated from my father that I should come up to Mortlake to live with him (Father Gerald Francis Ridsdale) at the presbytery. My father and he arranged for me to move to Mortlake with him, my mother was struggling with the separation, she was a practicing Catholic as she comes from a very strong Catholic family.
I lived there for approximately 6 months where I was abused on a daily basis. No one was there to help me.
I was a 13 year old in the country town without my family or friends, I got to make some friends in Mortlake and would always try to have them around as Ridsdale would not do anything to me in front of other kids.
I was later to find out he abused most of my young male friends and one girl. This also eats at me as I feel guilty for putting others in harms way with this monster called Father Ridsdale.
My mother hounded the then arch Bishop Ronald Mulkearns of the Ballarat diocese to let me go back to my mother but the bishop continually told her he could do nothing as the agreement about me living at the presbytery with Ridsdale was between him and my father!
Eventually some other parents and teachers (nuns from CRC - Catholic Regional College) from Mortlake went to Mulkearns and complained to him that Ridsdale was acting and doing inappropriate things to their children, so finally I was moved out to a family on a farm in Mortlake.
Later a nun from the Catholic Regional College Noorat rang my father and told him I needed to be picked up and taken back to Melbourne because I was not behaving and I was not in a good environment.
She knew what Ridsdale was doing !!!!!
So I went home to live and Ridsdale was moved to Sydney where he kept offending and he was moved to Mexico for help with his so-called homosexuality (pedophilia).
The church called it homosexuality FFS. Over these years Ridsdale kept in contact with my father, he even offered to marry me in the early 90's !!!!
He also gave evidence at my mothers annulment which the church never gave her, she never spoke of this abuse to anyone.
This abuse took place over 3 years; I was an innocent child from a broken family !!!!
Around 1992 when I was 22 years old Derryn Hinch named and shamed Ridsdale on national TV, my father then contacted me and asked what went on with Ridsdale so I told him. I was then marched up to Sunbury police station where I made a formal statement.
My case was then handed over to the Warrnambool police; he was charged with hundreds of counts of sexual abuse to a child under 16 and received 22 years with an 18 year minimum sentence. He has been charged with 100s more and will never get out of jail. His list of victims and survivors continues to grow.
I never spoke of the abuse again until recent years.
I am now 48. Over the years he never hid the fact I was living at the presbytery. Most of the priests and bishops knew I was living at the presbytery; this has been proven at the Royal Commission into institutional Child Abuse. I have given statements at the Commission several times so has my mother.
There was documented proof the Ballarat diocese and Mulkearns and other priests knew I lived in the presbytery.
When the Royal Commission started I was known as "The Boy in the presbytery".
I never spoke to my mother for years as she believed that it should be kept quite as she did not want to hurt the church.
When my children came along my partner Michele East got us speaking again, my mother came to Melbourne to give her statement and to listen to mine and many others who also gave their statement. She stopped going to church at 75 years old as this destroyed here faith as she could not return to church after hearing the priests and bishops lie, she also listened to other survivors and police statements.
All my statements have been proven in two Courts of law so to all of you who question my abuse you can go #^* yourself.
We started a Men's Support Group in Sunbury to give survivors from Salesian support with their emotional turmoil and also give survivors from all childhood abuse that now live in the Sunbury area the real support they need both medically and legally.
After going to Ballarat and the Royal Commission I thought it was all about survivors supporting survivors but I have since learned not all survivors and their supporters think this way !!!!!!
After Rome this was destroyed. I have since seen and experienced the attacks on Social Media towards me. Maybe they need to have a good look at themselves.
No more lives need to be taken away !!!!
I have had numerous attempts to take my own life, sometimes it's been because of what others have said; it's that easy to push someone over the edge and if other survivors and their supporters are attempting to do this it's a disgrace !!!!
Ballarat is not the only place this type of institutional childhood abuse was going on. Some people think Ballarat was the only place this abuse went on, some people need to wake up.
Last of all I do not protect pedophiles nor do I support pedophiles , I think they all deserve to be punished to the full force of the Law.
As for the Catholic survivors they need to remember that Catholic Cannon law protects pedophiles by allowing them to confess their crimes like child abuse in confession and the priest hearing this is not obliged to report it to anyone including the Law of our land !!!!!
I also do not condone what David Ridsdale did to another child abuse survivor! !!
if others are out there they need to come forward and press charges; I know this is not so easy but if you have the right support it can be done. This is not saying all Ballarat survivors are like this but only few.
This is the short version of my story as Paul Levey survivor and founder of The Sunbury Men's Survivors Support Group. Thank you to the survivors that have set the haters and trolls onto me over one comment; you may succeed in killing others but you won't kill me !!!!
If you found this triggering please contact Life Line 13 11 14 CASA 1800 806 292 Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Updated: April 20 2019 22:41:50. AEST
Is it truly plausible that people can be compromised and kept in a perpetual state of fear from early childhood and on through all of adulthood today as a result of childhood indoctrination? Surely their Human Rights will have been breached if that is the case.
John Brown the author and publisher was born in Yea Victoria 3717 on 27 December, 1948. John grew up in Yea, he went to the Catholic school and then a final year at Yea High. He undertook an apprenticeship as a Hand and Machine Compositor/Linotype Mechanic at the local newspaper The Yea Chronicle. He left Yea ...... read more
Human rights for Catholic children exist only if they remain bonded through the abusive practices of a culture with the longest history of war, rape, genocide and child abuse humanity has ever encountered.
Human rights do not exist in the Catholic religion unless the perceived rights of gods, demons, angels, devils, poltergeists and a myriad of other mythical creatures and superstitions are met to the satisfaction of those traumatically bonded to Catholicism through their own abusive childhood experience