Australia's worst pedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale told one of his victims the abuse was "part of God's work", a court has heard.
A father laid his naked daughter on a church altar where she was abused by Australia's worst pedophile 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.
"I feel like a piece of meat handed around for anyone to take a bite of," she said in a statement.
"There is no closure. It can never be undone."
Ridsdale told a nine-year-old altar boy "God will forgive all of your sins" as he raped him, Mr McWilliams said.
Afterwards he told the sobbing boy to pray for forgiveness.
"He also told (him) that if he ever told anyone, God would punish his family," Mr McWilliams said.
The man said he had been warned by older boys at the Mortlake Catholic school not to get caught alone by Ridsdale, but had no idea why until he was himself abused.
"I am in my 36th year of a sentence for a crime I did not commit," the man told the court.
"My sentence is for life.
"My abuse and that of so many others need not and should not have happened and could have and should have been prevented," he said.
Judge Irene Lawson broke down as she told the man that as a nine-year-old he was in no way responsible for what happened.
Ridsdale used his position as a parish priest to befriend the children and their devout Catholic families in parishes in western Victoria, telling some of his victims "it's our little secret".
Defence counsel Tim Marsh said Ridsdale knew what he was doing was wrong and took advantage of the venerated position clergy were held in at the time.
Mr Marsh said Ridsdale "is clearly a repugnant figure to many", who would welcome the prospect of the 83-year-old dying in jail.
But he called on Judge Lawson not to change Ridsdale's current earliest possible parole date of April 2019 when she sentences him for the 23 charges of abusing 11 boys and one girl between 1962 and 1988.
Ridsdale has previously been convicted for sexually abusing 53 children, although his true number of victims is believed to be in the hundreds.
The court heard Ridsdale fainted after a fall on his way to court on Tuesday but insisted on being there for his plea hearing, which will finish on Wednesday.