Greg says paedophile priest Michael McArdle’s offending was known to the church.

A former altar boy who was allegedly sexually abused by a serial paedophile priest says he could have been spared if the Catholic Church enforced mandatory reporting of crimes admitted in the confessional.

By the time Father Michael McArdle allegedly targeted the then-12-year-old for oral sex, he had already been molesting children for a decade.

The abuse lasted for several months at the sacristy and presbytery of the Holy Rosary Church in Bundaberg, as well as during an overnight school camp, legal documents allege.

“It’s always in the back of your mind,” Greg* said.

“A couple of years ago I had a mental breakdown, I wanted to kill myself.
“But I’ve come through it — I think.”

Greg launched legal action in August against the Diocese of Rockhampton for the mental toll the abuse has taken on him, with his lawyers lodging a notice of claim for the civil suit.

Maurice Blackburn lawyer Jed McNamara, who is representing Greg, said an affidavit filed by McArdle in 2004 revealed he confessed 1,500 times to 30 different priests over a 25-year period.
McArdle, who resigned from the priesthood in 2000, was jailed in 2004 for six years for 62 indecent dealing charges against 14 boys and two girls over a 22-year period from 1965 in regional Catholic parishes across Queensland.

PHOTO Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge says lifting the confessional seal would do little to save young people.


Mr McNamara said his client would be seeking to negotiate a settlement of the case for the psychological injury he suffered.

“If there were not recommendations (from the royal commission) for reporting of abuse then that enabled that abuse to reoccur and reoccur and reoccur — case in point, McArdle,” he said.

“For the better part of a decade before he abused my client … [McArdle] would confess, would be absolved, would go back out, would repeat that offending behaviour, would go back to confession and the cycle continued.”

PHOTO Lawyer Jed McNamara, Queensland head of abuse law at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, is representing a client who has launched legal action against the Diocese of Rockhampton.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recommended mandatory reporting to police of child abuse admitted in the confessional, leading to Queensland’s drafting of the proposed Child Sexual Offences Reform Bill.

It is currently being considered by the state’s Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee before being returned to Parliament for a vote.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has criticised the attempt at reform, saying lifting the confessional seal and enforcing mandatory reporting would do little to save young people.

Greg, however, disagrees.

“If somebody had stepped in way back then and got him out of the system earlier, it would have been a different life and I’m sure it would have been better,” he said.

“These are kids’ lives we’re dealing with and you only get one shot at life and if you can have a good start it makes all the difference.”

At times suffering depression and anxiety, Greg also turned to alcohol to cope.

Jobs have been hard to pin down, so too have romantic relationships.
“If that hadn’t have happened, where would I be now?

“I would be in a better position as far as life goes.”

PHOTO Archbishop Mark Coleridge has criticised the attempt to enforce mandatory reporting by priests.


Archbishop Coleridge is on an overseas holiday and unavailable for comment but his spokesperson directed the ABC to his submission to the committee considering the state legislation.

“The royal commission heard from a panel of six experienced priests with a combined history of more than 150 years as pastors,” Archbishop Coleridge wrote.
“The royal commission asked these priests if they had ever had someone confess a crime during the sacrament of penance.

“They told the royal commission that this had never happened.

“There are publicised examples of convicted priests claiming that they confessed their child abuse regularly.
“However, it must be noted that someone can confess very generally (for instance, ‘I broke the Sixth Commandment’,) without providing further detail.

“Perhaps former priests who have been found guilty of child abuse should not be so readily believed by media when they claim to have confessed their abuse when much of their life has been a lie.”

Queensland’s Transport Minister Mark Bailey tweeted this week over the Archbishop’s stance:

“I’m deeply disturbed the Brisbane Archbishop opposes new laws requiring priests to report child sexual abuse just like doctors/teachers/nurses,” he wrote.

“The secrecy, cover-ups, abuse must stop via stronger laws in Qld backing the royal commission recommendations.”
*Name withheld for legal reasons.


Priests are should be forced by civil laws to report child abuse they hear in Confession.

Other people, like doctors and therapists have that duty.

And their patients and clients are told that they have that duty.

A notice can be placed on a Confessional;




Those who disagree argue that a priest is not mandated to report other criminal actions durin they hear in confession.

But there two important points:

1. Child abuse has been a pandemic.

2. The RC church has hidden all these crimes from the civil authorities.

Anyway, most Catholics today dont believe that confession to a priest is vital for God’s forgiveness.

Once we ask God’s forgiveness in prayer we are instantly forgiven.

And the anyway, the RCC used the Confessional to keep us trapped in lifelong guilt.

Having said that, I have had some wonderful experiences in Confession as a confessor and a penitent.


I mentioned Mark ‘Friar Tuck’ Coleridge on a previous blog, along with his unsurprising defence of the so-called ‘Seal of Confession’. This ‘seal’ undoubtedly protects child-abusing Romanist priests, just as did the so-called ‘Privilege of Clergy’, and the so-called ‘Pontifical Secret’. These safeguards, for criminal Romanist clerics of course, suit obese, ‘Friar Tuck’ clergy, like Coleridge, since their first, and only, concern is upholding the public lie of institutional Romanist integtity.
Frankly I’m at a loss to understand why any thinking Catholic would even consider confessing to a Romanist priest.
Does as much moral good as confessing to a radiator. But hey! At least the radiator won’t betray a penitent. 😕


12.43: That HATE BUTTON is well won by now Magna. Always first out of the cesspit of hatred. Late night, early morning drunken rant, a continuation of yesterday. Pat definitely needs you!!Your poisonous crap aside, I believe and have done so, that a priest must honestly cease a confession where child abuse is being confessed, (if ever a paedophile would do that). Secondly if a person confessed abuse by a cleric or any other person, I would accompany that person to the Gardai, with his/her consent. That is my approach in relation to issues of child abuse. Conscience, principle, care for the abused, accountability and justice requires this for me in ministry. In 40 years us of ministry I have never had such an experience but I had a situation where a your person brought to my attention his abuse by a church worker. I imnediately confronted that person, went to the parents of the young man and with their consent reported the case to the local Gardai, Archbishop’s House and removed the abuser from church property. (That was late 70’s). Magna, your hatred solves nothing and your foul, filthy vulgarity not only incites hatred but destroys any decency or humanity in you, which is pretty sparse. There are, thankfully, people with good consciences in priesthood. I agree with Pat, we as priests must and should be mandated to report any suspicion to the civil authorities of an abuse of an individual and the presence of an abuser made known through a confession. My primary care is for the victims and survivors. Always. Magna, get off your high pedestal of crass stupidity and madness. Your crash fall will be catastrophic.




And would you react so… so dutifully and heroically were a penitent to confess a terrorist atrocity? Say, an IRA man’s confessing to multiple murders, as did some of those involved in the 1972 Claudy car-bombing, in which a 9-year-old Protestant girl was murdered? I’ll bet you wouldn’t, priest.

I don’t believe a word you say.

You people have zero credibility.


Father @ 11.57 is it true you kept mum about terrorist atrocities in Ireland? What’s your side of the story Father? Our readers would love to know?


3.03: No it’s not true because I never enciuntered any terrorists in my life. But if I ever had any infirmation about the presence of any criminal activity if any kind I would most certainly inform….I wrote letters to papers, spoke openly against IRA violence and terrorists and all merchants of death – drug lords, drug carriers, clerical abusers…Does that answer your question?


Father @ 4.31, it does answer one aspect of my question.

But would you inform police of any crimes confessed to you under the confessional seal, including terrorist atrocities?

And would you identify the culprits to the police as much as you were able, even if you knew their names and addresses?


5.06: Sun Reporter (Ha, Ha, ha…). Give me your email here and I assure you I have stories to tell that would give you much to write about. I have always kept notes about unusual observations, happenings and experiences and kept an eye on the inner machinations of many a place of work…give me your email through this blog.


Father @ 4.31, why aren’t you answering my questions at 5.06? Our readers will think you’re hiding something. Maybe your answers would shock everyone by proving that you would not report to the police terrorists who confessed to you that they had committed atrocities. Is that the case Father. Would you put at serious risk the lives of others by not reporting on these occasions. That’s the impression our readers may form Father.

We want your side of the story. Defend yourself Father.


So it’s a Saturday morning and the priest is behind the grille in the confessional, a penitent comes in confesses abusing a child, the priest jumps out opens the door on the other side takes a photo with his phone or restrains him locking him in until the police arrive ? Or the penitent is interviewed by the police and admits going to confession and admitting his crime then the priest is called as a witness and admits under oath that five years ago a disembodied voice confessed child abuse or a victim of child abuse alleges that the perpetrator had told them they had been to confession and told the priest and then the priest is arrested later for not declaring the disembodied anonymous voice had admitted child abuse 10 years ago ?


The priest concerned here may well have confessed thousands of time to his abusive crimes against the most innocent, and it is incomprehensible how the priest hearing his confession did not take some form of action, even within the bounds of confessional secrecy, to try and ensure that this matter was attended to, for example by refusing the abusing priest absolution until such time as he told of his crimes outside of confession so that they could be acted on. Although, even in that latter scenario, if he had told his bishop or other clergy openly about what he was doing, could we be confident that they would have done anything about it, given the clerical culture of denial, secrecy, obfuscation, transference, coverup, self-protection, protection of one of the ‘club’, misguided loyalties, and a complete disregard for the wellbeing and safety of the innocent child at the centre of this episode ? It is this situation that makes my blood boil – the arrogance of the clerical class that could look to protect its own while throwing the innocent to the wolves, probably the cases in this example, but we know most definitely in so many clerical abuse cases. In addition, I am sure, even in jurisdictions where there is currently mandatory reporting, that reporting is not done except in the most black and white cases where something is so obvious and clear and probably known by several people, because people prefer not to see, not to report, prefer to ‘mind their own business’. I am sure that there are lots of situations where somebody’s antennae sense something is wrong, but won’t do anything about it, or are constrained not to do something because of power imbalances, implied and implicit threats and consequences. It is this culture, most certainly in the Church, that we need to fix, whereby people have the confidence and the sense of right to make known what they intuit, sense, have a feeling about. It would be nice to have a mandatory reporting system that includes confessional exposure, but even without that I am not sure the system is working properly, and as a consequence clerical abusers are not being brought to book and to justice, and innocent victims continue to suffer. In most cases, somebody other than the victim knows something, has seen something, sensed something, or been told, even second hand, something. They still don’t do anything with that knowledge or suspicion. Sadly.


John Cornwell’s “The Dark Box” demonstrated very clearly that not only did requiring young children to make their confession alone to a priest provide opportunities for abuse to take place, the system facilitated an easy way out for the abuser. Cornwell’s research showed many examples of priests contacting each other even in the middle of the night to exculpate themselves from their guilt. It is beyond doubt that the entire clerical network has been collectively responsible for collusion and enabling these horrible crimes. In the Church we are still in the business of coming to terms with what we have collectively facilitated. I might suggest a parallel with Nazi Germany, where after WWII people were mostly let off the hook of accountability, blaming a few egregious super-Nazis at Nuremberg. Then came the demand from within Germany itself, which unlike the RCC has at least attempted to come to terms with its legacy, that people ask their own communities and families what they did during the war. It might be reasonably argued that many Germans knew without approving, but felt powerless to resist. That can hardly be an excuse however for the clergy and religious, and their lay enablers, who far from being powerless were all too keen to retain their status and privileges. That has not changed even today with bishops such as Nichols and Coleridge continuing to make special pleading. The Church of England is also not so very far behind in guilt and hypocrisy, as its recent absurd pronouncement on sexuality being confined to heterosexual married couples: try telling that to the victims of Bishop Peter Ball and the Rev Jonathan Fletcher. Both clerics were protected not only by the Church but the social establishment for decades.


Just who the hell do these perverted priests and bishops think they are? Abuse of anyone should always be reported. Does this bishop think that canon law over rides civil law. What an absolute balloon. Someone please tell me, explain to me how this is in keeping with Christs teachings. I’m absolutely disgusted and for all you enablers this is not faux outrage. It’s absolute outrage



Yes, they all Do believe that canon law should take precedence over civil law; this is a measure of Romanist arrogance.


Thats about the integrity, and the maturity, of your defence, isn’t it priest? Anyone understandly, and justifiably, outraged at the evil committed by Romanist priests is stapily accused of manufactured anger. Its a cliché now, but none of you has sufficient intelligence to come with anything better.
You parasites have learned nothing, about your total inadequacy, and your utter uselessness as human beings who have wasted their adult lives sponging off others and crushing their hopes and dreams. But then, that’s a parasite for you.
And the defence of evil in your own lives isn’t helping your cause. Not that it amounts to much anyhow.
You don’t care, of couse. But we do. And we will keep calling you out, and calling you to account.
No! Don’t thank us. Please.
The pleasure is all ours.😅


There’s old Magna on the air at 12.43am. While the majority of normal, balanced people are in bed MC is on the keyboard. Such a pity it’s the way he gets his thrills, apart from a bit of solitary self release and artificial satisfaction. I think from now on we will call you The last of the keyboard wankers. Btw I agree with Larneman Liam. I think your resentment is born out of self loathing for some shortcomings in your own behaviours.
Just sayin like!


Yes, you really do come across as ‘normal’ and ‘balanced’, Robert.
Highly intelligent, too. Like your open-about-his-identity hero, ‘Larne “Anonymous” Larry’.


How is it valid to remove the “seal of the confessional” only for child abuse and yet retain it for other crimes? Should murderers, human traffickers, rapists etc etc all go unreported? Where do you draw the line?

Liked by 1 person


Good Post.

It is not valid.

This point has been reached only because the Romanists have been publicly shamed into at least talking about it.

However, they have for years remained quiet about other crimes, like terrorist murder in Northern Ireland, thereby putting the lives of others at serious risk.

In 1972, a priest offered to absolve IRA murderers who detonated a car bomb in the Co Londonderry village of Claudy. Among the dead were a number of children, including a 9-year-old Protestant girl.

These cowards went on to murder again.

The priest, needless to say, did not report Any of them to the police.


You don’t.
Anyone hearing a confession should make it clear to the penitent that there is no Seal of Confession and that the person hearing the confession has the discretion to report any confession of a crime.
Obviously the priest wouldn’t report that the penitent had travelled on a bus without a ticket fifty years back.


Actually I have long felt that the problem is the idea that our actions can be in some way undone or wiped out.
In older religious traditions than the monotheisms, such as Hinduism, and some newer traditions such as neo-paganism, there is a stronger idea that actions in this life will have an effect in the future. I feel that approach is less likely to be abused – because seriously paedophile priests ringing each other in the night for absolution is a total abuse. Why bother!


Anonymous 24th Jan 2020 — 2:31 pm –
“Pat Mullaney is a … ”
Will you take a look at that, please.
Your blog today was, as usual, very sensible and I’d have liked to make my own comment.
But, particularly at weekends, the comments-section here is being drowned by a torrent of mindless rants. Most likely they’re fuelled by drugs and alcohol.
Could you not take a few measures to lessen the problem?


Why are trying to control what is said on the blog, Lolling Joe? Pat doesn’t do censorship.


Isn’t it ironic that the vile, evil, so-called ‘Seal of Confession’ has allowed, by will of Romanist priests, evil not only to exist in our communities, but actually to flourish?

Well, perhaps ‘ironic’ is the wrong word: ‘inevitable’ is more appropriate.

If you ever get the chance, watch the movie, I confess, with Montgomery Clift. He plays a Romanist priest who hears a man confess to murder, but refuses, because of the evil Seal of Confession’, to shop him to the police.

The priest is presented as a constrained hero, stubbornly faithful to the Seal.

In actual fact, he is personally weak, a moral coward. Like all Romanist clerics. 😆


The sacrament of confession, for countless multitudes through the ages, had been a source of light, peace and healing. It is good in itself and a great gift from God.

There are evil people who will try and pervert and subvert those gifts – always have been such people.

As usual “Magna Carta” is spewing its vitriol left, right and centre.

The darkness that motivates this “Magna Carta” entity is similar to the darkness that inhabits those who seek access to the priesthood in order to hurt the young and the vulnerable – drawn from the same source.



Would you ever give up the ghost of victimhood? It’s becoming an unbearable bore.

Answer my point at 3.52. The confessional seal has not only hidden crime from the authorities, but enabled its perpetuation, just as did the Privilege of Clergy, the Secret of the Holy, and the Pontifical Secret.

These canonical devices have all, as we now know, allowed Romanist child-abusers to continue offending with the safeguard that, if any of them ever reoffended, well, he could always pop back for another round of ‘Bless me, Father, for I have sinned’, and then go out and repeat, for the umpteenth time, his history of child-sexual abuse.

This crime isn’t the only one facilitated by the Seal of Confession.

Are you so loyal to the institutional Church, ‘corrupt, and riddled with corruption’, that you would set obedience to it over the welfare of what in life should matter to all Christians first and foremost, people, especially the young and the vulnerable?


5.33: A great succinct comment and very much sums up Magna: A man who inhabits a darkness within himself and is trapped in that wicked, evil darkness that’s daily revealed here. He is a pitiable specimen.



Yes, some truth is very dark indeed. The Romanists will tell you all about it. (Well, they would, if they were honest enough.)

I am happy to expose truth, even if much of it is pitch black through an institution ‘corrupt, and riddled with corruption’.


Pat, shame on you for forfeiting your moral integrity by giving your imprimatur each day to that bo*****s of a hatemonger. How can you in conscience associate yourself with this evil hate invited? And don’t give us your shitty answer that It’s a free world. Yes, it is but that’s no justification for facilitating, encouraging and partaking in hate incitement sentiments. You, Pat, are as culpable as that vile Magna. Get real. Grow up.


Magna darling, I am still disappointed that when we watched that film at the cinema, you didn’t let mummy know that Montgomery Clift… Didn’t like girls. Mummy wasted a lot of time on that pash.


Dearest, you don’t mean, do you?😨 That Montgomery Clift was more a…bend in the road than a straight line?😕
Well I never!😲
He had the right credentials to play the role of a Catholic priest, then, hadn’t he? 😊


6.57: Mumsy, was that the same time you discovered your wee Magser also didn’t like girls? Bet you’re delighted no girl ever sloped with him, though you must be deeply wounded as a mother to find out he loves the “men girlies” – you know those types who crave attention, have loud mouths, are nasty bitches and behave like auld queenies in a drag club…..You poor mumsy. Didn’t Magser let you down? !



I can promise you unconditionally, without the slightest personal or moral reservation, that no girl ever ‘sloped’ with me. 😅


Hi uncle Magna, it’s me, your favourite nephew. Remember when I was fourteen and when you were home from seminary you used to take me camping and fishing? We had such fun didn’t we unkie poos?


7.09: The darkness attributed to you Maggie is a dangerous darkness. This truth is indeed scary and frightening. You are, as a drunkard, in a dark place out of which you explode with pretence outrage and moral indignation. Your darkness of mind and spirit is both perverse and insidious. You are a narcissist with little care, kindness or understanding for others. When any person lives so disconnected from nourishing relationships, the real struggles of everyday life, the absence of fulfilling wirk, inner unresolved psychopathic issues, the end result is the conglomerate of madness, nastiness, insanity, unpleasantness and delusion. This blog may be your only outlet for supposed normality but your hateful words are the measure of who you truly are: a twisted, dysfunctional, crazy man. Get help. The occasional rational comments don’t evoke sympathy as just as quickly you easily moron into pure ugliness..



You might want to rewrite that clumsily composed last sentence of yours; your rage has semantically contorted it to the point of excruciation.

Ask my 14-year-old nephew (above) for help: he sounds just as intelligent as you.


They don’t like it up em, do they? The Cathbots and the priest’s commenting today?

They don’t like the bayonet of home-truth up em. No they don’t.


Howiya “Magna” commenting as Cpl Jones at 8:17pm – you wouldn’t know truth if it rammed itself up your jaxie 😉


Once again it’s interesting how the Cathbots are commenting about Magna.
Anyone would think they were trying to distract attention from the subject of the blog today!

The truth hurts, doesn’t it, ‘Fathers’? And the comments about Magna above are very clearly projection, since there is no suggestion he is drunk or on drugs in his comments.
St Luke’s had better free up some appointments…


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