A father laid his naked daughter on a church altar where she was abused by Australia’s worst paedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale, a court has heard.
The former Catholic priest has pleaded guilty to sex crimes against another 12 children, one as young as six, during the three decades he abused children throughout western Victoria.
Ridsdale told one altar boy the abuse was “part of God’s work”, the Victorian County Court heard on Tuesday.
Many in the courtroom were moved to tears as Crown prosecutor Jeremy McWilliams described how a man twice woke his young daughter to take her to a Catholic Church in Ballarat where Ridsdale abused her.
“(Her) father carried her to the confessional booth and took her clothes off her, then carried her to the altar and lay her down,” Mr McWilliams said of the second occasion, in 1974.
Ridsdale then indecently assaulted her.
“Ridsdale told her: ’Jesus died for our sins so we could be forgiven and if I confess to this sin I might be forgiven’.
“Then he kissed her on the cheek.”
The woman still suffers crippling flashbacks, the court heard.