Broken Rites has been researching the Father Mulvale matter since 1993.
Normally Broken Rites does not reveal the real names of church-victims; we usually make up a new name for each victim. However, in 2017, Eileen Piper is allowing the media to publish her real name and also Stephanie’s name, and therefore Broken Rites is following Eileen’s example.
Father Gerard Joseph Mulvale (born in Western Australia on 17 July 1948) was a member of the small Pallottine order of Catholic priests, which is based in Western Australia. The Pallottines also have a small presence in Melbourne, providing priests for one of the Melbourne archdiocese’s parishes — St Christopher’s at Syndal, near Glen Waverley, in Melbourne’s east.
Mulvale was a trainee priest in Melbourne for the Pallottines from 1975 (when he was 27). He ran a youth group at St Christopher’s parish, consisting of boys and girls about 14 or 15. After being ordained on 18 August 1979, he ministered at St Christopher’s parish until 1981.
According to evidence, Mulvale took a sexual interest in both males and females. He had an invasive hands-on approach to both sexes.
In early December 1994, Mulvale (then aged 46) was arrested in Western Australia, where he was a chaplain at St John of God Hospital, Murdoch. Extradited to Victoria, he was charged in the Melbourne Magistrates Court with 120 offences against four teenagers from Mulvale’s youth group at St Christopher’s – two males (let’s call them”Mick” and “Graeme”) and two females (Stephanie Piper and “Diana”).
A Broken Rites researcher was in court during the proceedings and has examined court documents.
Mulvale was eventually convicted of indecently assaulting the two males.
The charges regarding the two females did not proceed.
- DIANA: For family reasons (as explained later in this article), “Diana” exercised her right to withdraw from the case.
- STEPHANIE: In the lead-up to the court proceedings, the church authorities harassed Stephanie, seeking to destroy her evidence. This resulted in Stephanie dying by suicide before the court case began, and therefore, with Stephanie no longer alive to give evidence in court, the prosecutors were forced to drop Stephanie’s case.