Pell claims a “disproportionate attack on the church”

12 Nov

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, today claimed that calls for a royal commission into the sexual abuse of children by priests and brothers  are a “disproportionate attack on the church.”

Pell goes on to claim that the Catholic church is not the only culprit, or the only community producing culprits, and that the sordid history of coverups, removal of offenders from one school, parish, diocese or state to another is no indication of a systemic failing in the church.

If this widespread protection of sexual offenders isn’t an indication of systemic moral and criminal collapse, I’d like to know what is.

There is no doubt that the Catholic church is not the only culprit, and that sexual abuse of children occurs in other institutions and indeed, within families and friendship circles. I fail to see why this tragic reality is an argument for letting the Catholic church off the hook. “He did it too” is hardly a rational justification for avoiding investigation.

The phrase “disproportionate attack” is an apt description not of proposed moves against the Catholic church, but of the crimes perpetrated by its priests and brothers against children. Cardinal Pell continues to confirm suspicions in the wider society that he just doesn’t get it. His priority is his church, not the children who suffered abuse perpetrated by members of the church community.

Given the nature of these attacks, their prevalence, and their disastrous long-term effects on the lives of victims, it is hard to imagine how any “attack” on the Catholic church could be seen as “disproportionate” to the crimes it has allowed to be committed, unchecked, for decades.

Indeed, I would argue the Church is not being “attacked” at all, rather it is being called to account for these crimes. This accounting may well go on for some time, and may well increase in its rigour. However, nothing that is done to the Church or its hierarchy will come anywhere near the damage and havoc created in the lives of victims and their families.

Sexual abuse of a child is a crime. Anyone who sexually abuses a child is a criminal. Anyone who covers up the crime is also a criminal. George Pell continues his efforts to minimise the role of the Church in enabling circumstances in which a network of criminal pedophiles could continue their vile practices for years. He does this because his loyalty is to his church, not to his God, who according to scriptures would see anyone who offends a little one tossed into the sea with a millstone round his neck.

George Pell’s loyalty and devotion is to an institution, an institution that appears increasingly corrupt in its convoluted efforts to avoid legal scrutiny, and increasingly divorced from the passionate ideals of its prophet, Jesus.

As Leonard Cohen puts it: “It was you who built the temple, it was you who covered up my face…”

What is “disproportionate” is the Catholic church’s resistance to a Royal Commission. What is “disproportionate” are protests by the like of Joe Hockey, Bill Shorten and others who attempt to conceal their objections to a royal commission behind a faux concern for the church’s victims. In so doing, they contribute to the repression and suppression that has allowed these crimes to continue, unchecked. Victims of child sexual abuse live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. Silence and denial are not their friends. Transparency  and accountability won’t entirely take away the pain, but they will go a long way towards easing the torments of life after childhood sexual abuse.


146 Responses to “Pell claims a “disproportionate attack on the church””

  1. Mara Miller November 12, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Disappointed at Bill Shorten’s stance. It’s not a great fit with his ministry advocating on behalf of both workers and folk with disabilities. Bizarre.


    • helvityni November 12, 2012 at 9:22 am #

      I’m disappointed in Australia’s stance, after all we are young country and don’t have the heavy historical churchiness of countries like Italy; we have been free to step in and do something about this awful crime many times over, no matter who’s is or has been in power.


      • helvityni November 12, 2012 at 9:23 am #

        a young country


    • Di Pearton November 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

      Bill Shorten went to a Jesuit school, perhaps his loyalties lie in protecting the Church? It is disappointing, but not surprising. The Catholic church seems to be beyond Australian law?


      • Mara Miller November 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

        Ah, might’ve known he’s another RC.


        • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

          I think it is incumbent on those aligned with the church concerned to (A) declare it, and (B) support whatever the community desire is, and say it publicly and loud.
          Otherwise they risk having a very justifiable finger pointed at them.

          The only silence or obstruction is coming from church apologists and political cowards.

          Royal Commission,now.


  2. annodyne November 12, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    I second that Mara above.
    I am gobsmacked by the stunning hypocrisy of Pell’s mob revoking the Papal Knighthood they bestowed on Jim Savile because he is now revealed as a systemic and chronic child abuser … many of the many many people who were aware all along of the man’s crimes, actually thought they were the reason The Vatican gave him the ‘honour’.


  3. hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Pell claims a “disproportionate attack on the church”

    Oh please! That’s the least of the things he claims that aren’t believable.

    You’re right of course to argue that the lady doth protest too much.
    My dear Bishop, what’s that twitch you’ve got going on there. Why! I do believe your tell is showing.

    The pattern of covering up what happened in the past has a consistent history of emerging only when the victims are well into their adult years and their abusers dead or in decline. I don’t know about others but I’m not satisfied that we’d be targeting the right offenders if we simply made a great fuss of locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.

    The largely unbroken pattern over several decades points to the very real likelihood that the abuses are still going on, and still being covered up. There’s every chance that the stable door analogy is only meaningful if it serves as a warning to other stable owners. In this case parents of kids who are today in the care of clergy. Meaning I’m afraid that the kind of Royal Commission we need would have as its most difficult priority weeding out ongoing abuse, and dealing with evidence from younger more recent victims in order to pursue that end.

    Of course the beleaguered targets of any such investigation into a religious organisation are going to play the persecution card, and we need to be clear about why they’re not entitled to do so. One of the things they might say that I’m inclined to agree with is that our society has taken too much permission to hate with respect to sex crimes in particular. Ironically I would tend to blame some of those tensions on unhealthy religious attitudes towards sexuality, but that’s a digression for another time. The point for the moment that whereas the crime of child abuse is by no means proportionally limited to or perhaps even overrepresented in the Catholic church or among religious clergy in general, it is nevertheless nowhere else so evidently and so systematically covered up, harboured and in effect institutionalised as a form of grooming by some of the most irreproachably highly regarded members of our communities.

    We’re talking about having a Royal Commission on a national scale, and I think that’s now clearly the right thing to do. But the real measure of its success depends on resisting the temptation to have an inquisition or a witch hunt that harms more innocents than offenders. And I think that is doubly important when there are innocents involved who may still be at risk, and for whom getting help cannot be less of a priority than simply punishing misdeeds in the distant past no matter how deeply ingrained our distaste for their crimes may be.

    And let’s be clear on one other important distinction that needs to be made. I don’t care if they’re likely to rot in hell or not, that belief is not one that I share. Society should care first for protecting the victims, secondly for preventing any such crime in the future, and last but by no means least for dealing with the offenders and the debt they owe to their victims in this life.


    • Annashi Jayde November 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

      The Church has a history of three popes and various murders too, inquistitions, crusades against infidels . . . the list goes on and on and is disturbing. At various times in it’s history it has also been forced to reform, St Francis is a good example of ethical reform of monastic orders, the Council of Trent in response to the Reformation. There have also been historical relationships between church courts, bad priests etc and the secular courts.

      It’s time to address not just the terrible crimes, but also the response of the church, the police and various politicians. This can only happen with a full Royal Commision which has legal powers to question witness across State boarders.

      A bad history does not denote a bad future.


      • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

        I agree in particular with your closing line, but I would add that the reason for my particular brand of optimism is not founded on any great confidence in religious institutions but rather because I’m persuaded that justice has a civilising influence on societies that are willing to embrace it.


  4. Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Pell = fail.
    Ignorance is no excuse.And his stance goes well beyond ignorance.
    He should be on the front foot FOR victims,not on the back foot for the media.
    Every thing he says/does probably comes from a very strict,very rehearsed script.
    To NOT act to support a RCom,is the predictable Roman Catholic outcome.This paedophilia plague likely plays out internationally.The Vatican will be red hot in campaigning/lobbying/’persuading’ , on this.

    And HG a witch hunt is not a suitable term.
    Innocent women accused of ‘witchery’ were at the root of the term ‘witch hunts’ whereas in this case the perpetrators are neither women nor innocent.
    Notwithstanding the bizarre cult like rituals of the church, which make it hold a similar status to all the mud stained accusations thrown at morphs of modern ‘witchcraft’, (as far as fictional/magic/ceremonies etc.)

    I think lynch mob may be a more suitable term.And the way to avoid them is by law.L A W law.
    Read ‘National Royal Commission’.
    Should one ever be called, the RC church will not doubt engage time wasting tactics, wanting (demanding) to drag as many other orgs in as possible,to delay the inevitable, as is their want.

    Royal Commission now, Cardinal Pell.


    • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      ….will no doubt ….


    • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Oh What? You mean there were no REAL witches?… I’m disappointed I really kinda thought the whole Halloween thing was fun!

      Witch Hunt or Lynch Mob, to me they’ve the same mentality, slightly different victims, and just as little sense of justice.


  5. grumpygrandy November 12, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Re: your last par, Pell thinks there should be no one in hell #lateline. I don’t believe heaven or hell exists but if hell does exist surely these monster paedophiles belong there.


    • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

      As long as you’re condemning these crimes for the victim’s sake, rather than out of the repulsion of something we’re tempted to hate simply because we don’t understand it, then I think we’ll be able to get our priorities straight.

      Unfortunately whereas monsters are exceptionally aberrant creatures this crime appears to be not nearly so rare nor as confined as we’d like it to be. We have, without doubt, to deal with the institutionalised nature of this particular manifestation first, but there’s much more than that to be dealt with if we’re to eradicate child abuse in all its forms to the point where it is as exceptional and therefore perhaps as “monstrous” as we’d like to think it ought to be.


      • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

        I think you keep understating the ‘actual’ level/gravity of betrayal enacted when someone is a SERVANT of GOD,a priest etc, HG.
        These people are at the top of pedestals and are supposed to reflect, exemplify,honour the ‘epitome’ of trust etc.
        ‘Understanding’ paedophilia is a separate issue,IMHO.
        We are dealing with a plague of institutionalised sexual abuse against minors over an extended period by a revered religion,who is a multi-billion dollar industry and powerful political lobby group.And soon, should government sloth kick in,we will be dealing with an election issue.
        I believe, in the end, Gillard (and faux Labor) will be too scared to act,lest the ‘other side’ use your ‘witch hunt’ angle to say ‘Abbott’s beliefs are being attacked for political reasons’.
        It is in fact time Gillard did something, with peoples well being at the forefront of her mind (heart) and let the political implications (and Abbott’s future and ) should be stripped from the agenda totally.Once and for all.

        Prepare to see what this society is made of,is what I would say.
        How our leaders act on this is a reflection of our REAL selves as a collective community.The victims are still shouting for help decades on.
        Which is why I wait for baited breath(and no doubt in vain) for those opportunistic impostors claiming to ‘care for kids’ to step up and speak out.


        • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

          You could outlaw religion and in most cities sex crimes would disappear in a couple of generations. But we don’t have time for rational solutions! …. George Carlin.

          The other problem then is that religions do seem to thrive on persecution, and I guess that’s what’s driving my sense that we need to be a bit more balanced in our approach. But I agree and I’ve signed all the petitions I can find and helped post the links here. Let’s just hope it does actually work though, because if it doesn’t, if they do nothing and get away with it because people are too apathetic to mobilise then what happens?


          • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

            One of things that will likely happen, if this reaches a crescendo and then fails, is the real and present danger of increased rates of victim self harm.
            and I am guessing there is likely to be a rise in those who consider personal payback options, and others again may choose vigilantism,which is why, the broader the tentacles reach, and the more power a RCom has,the better off everyone is.

            As an aside, if Gillard is stupid enough to set up another ‘expert panel’ instead of a national RCom,she will be thrown out within a week of calling it.Either by polls in the single digits or from the ‘real Labor’ people within.The only plus she has is that Abbott and Shorten and Hockey et al, are happy to do diddly, and even the garden slugs know why that is.
            Royal Commission now.


            • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

              Good points well made. I think saying that the danger of existing victims self harming might be somehow balanced against that of new victims being added to the tally represents an unconscionable kind of calculus for anyone to make at this point.

              As I’ve said my signature is on the petitions in spades, I’m just hoping we can convince more people to sign, including Catholics because they’re most at risk, by proposing terms of reference that address the important priorities in a way that doesn’t play into the hands of Bishops like Pell with an apparent persecution complex.


  6. Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    ABC News Online:
    “An online petition has been launched this morning by a group including lawyer Josh Bornstein and retired Catholic priest Father Bob Maguire, calling on Ms Gillard to act on the “irrefutable” evidence of widespread sexual abuse of children within the church”

    Will we see the BACWAS,women and girls ‘money suckers’, ALSO reach for their favourite tactic and raise petitions to assist victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the church,or will they sit on their hands and hope no-one notices them.
    Is it only their cause which matters?
    Things which affect their little nest eggs?

    There are (have been for some time) some very big voices who appear unusually silent on this issue.
    The community (and social media will no doubt report) is watching to see what they say/do.
    My guess is zero,nada,zilch, because this may be a little too challenging to navigate, without treading on certain toes.
    (Can’t have hot=potato burns on them squeaky clean hands.)
    Watch this space.


    • doug quixote November 12, 2012 at 11:31 am #

      WTF does Julia Gillard have to do with it?

      State laws, State governments, State Royal Commissions.


      • helvityni November 12, 2012 at 11:43 am #

        Many think that Juia should fix all the Australia’s problems, all the ones that Howard and other previous leaders were not willing to tackle, education, transport,asylum seekers,climate change, Afghanistan, misogyny…..and now the churches’ sins…
        And to achieve all that with minority government and Opposition that says NO….


        • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 11:59 am #

          C’mon Helvi,

          She wanted the job Helvi.
          Removed an elected PM to get it.
          I think ‘being a leader with Labor values’ is the least she can do.
          I absolutely agree that Abbott and the MSM have damaged the parliament immensely, and made a mockery of governing,but when faced with choices,they rest on HER shoulders.(She rubber stamped our time-frame in Afghanistan etc.)
          Do you think Abbott would set an RCom on the churches crimes?
          This is possibly Gillards moment.We will see.Personally as a political scavenger I think she will choose maintaining the Catholic vote, over justice,closure and compassion.

          As an aside,I think the actual flock of the offending church should walk away from it should the RCom fail to get up.But will they put their God before their church,let alone other peoples lives before their own?


        • Marilyn November 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

          Yeah Helvi, she did a great job on asylum seekers didn’t she? Threw all the decades long laws in the bin and turned parliament into judge, jury and executioner of the innocent.


      • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 11:49 am #

        (Called these alleged IF you must) National cover up,national abuse,national issue,national leader (that would be GILLARD!).
        Pay attention DQ, I think you must be the only person on earth who thinks this is only a state issue.What’s up,
        are you afraid that if (more like when) she refuses, this will snuff her light once and for all?
        Time for her (PM aka National leader) to tell the church they were not democratically elected, to run the show.
        Mind you DQ, that last bit could be a can o worms,in itself.


        • doug quixote November 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

          Constitution Hypo, Consti – fucking – tution.

          Federals do x, y, z and only x, y and z.

          States do everything else.

          Is that clear enough?

          Criminal Offences : State laws. (rare exceptions : corporate crime etc.)

          State criminal law, State Royal fucking Commission.

          Quote me.


          • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

            J U S T I C E
            C O M M U N I T Y L E A D E R S H I P

            Why let doing the right thing get in the way of procedure,eh?
            This can and should happen.The states can assist the C/wealth to make it.
            If not, then the constitution is shit-paper, only less useful.

            Anything to save Gillards critically endangered arse.
            Quote me.


          • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

            As I understand it Royal Commissions don’t level criminal charges they make findings and recommendations as a result of their investigations which they’re afforded special coercive powers and terms of reference to conduct.

            It may well be useful to deal with these matters on a State by State or Diocese by Diocese basis (reflecting the church’s own authority structure), but it has also be remembered that the church hasn’t been above putting people as far from reach as Rome on at least one occasion. So while it doesn’t seem to me that the federal option would be at all unworkable I think it probably is the better option, and it also sends a stronger message.


            • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

              It’s ironic that the Vatican dealt with the ‘whispering butler’, ASAP and yet criminal acts against kids in their care (and covering them up and protecting the offenders) is way too bothersome.


              • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

                That’s not ironic! You of all people ought to realise its just plain hypocritical.


            • doug quixote November 13, 2012 at 12:39 am #

              Interesting that they have announced a national inquiry; a politically desirable thing, no doubt.

              It might work, but it might also be open to challenge.

              I sincerely hope it will work, and survive challenges.


              • hudsongodfrey November 13, 2012 at 10:06 am #

                Thanks for replying Doug. I wanted to ask whether you may know anything about this that I don’t. You see as I understand it the Royal Commission is an investigatory instrument granted wider ranging powers by the parliament to coerce information and evidence that is collected and complied into a report with recommendations for the appropriate authorities to take action.

                Thus it would seem to me that any cases brought against offenders as a result of evidence that comes to light during the Royal Commission would proceed separately on a case by case basis. If I’m reasonably accurate in my understanding then I don’t really see how the Royal Commission would or could provide anything other than an a valuable extra boost to the existing justice system. The Police themselves have now in at least two States, NSW and Victoria, acknowledged they’re not able to make progress in their investigations without something like this.



                • doug quixote November 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

                  It still needs to come under some head of power: see Section 51.

                  The States can “refer” some of their powers to the Commonwealth, that will have to be the way of it.

                  If that does not happen, the Commission may be ultra vires (“beyond powers”) the Commonwealth, and its very proceedings let alone any findings may be struck down.


                  • hudsongodfrey November 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

                    So how do you strike down a finding? What does that even mean? The information and evidence is collected in a report and either passed onto the police in the state with jurisdiction over individual cases or it is made public. Isn’t it?


                    • doug quixote November 13, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

                      I’ll rephrase it : Its proceedings may be stopped by way of an injunction from the High Court.


                    • hudsongodfrey November 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

                      Well I’d like to see them try given that this initiative seems to have around 93% support.

                      If I’m roughly correct that level of support means that more than half of even the of Catholics are behind it. And Pell has pledged cooperation.

                      Early days yet though!


        • Marilyn November 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

          Well she is in the ownership of the christian fundamentalist racists, can’t act against them.


      • Marilyn November 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

        The churches are not state entities, they are global.

        Why the hell would only states have laws to deal with it?

        I bet if it was muslims or some other hated minority you would be screaming out for justice.

        And priests are moved around from parish to parish, state to state.

        Sometimes your blindness to reality leaves us all with a stick in the eye.


        • doug quixote November 13, 2012 at 7:16 am #

          MY blindness to reality? As in Doug Quixote? Ha!

          Don’t shoot the messenger, Marilyn and Hypo.

          “Reality” is that we have a federal system with a defined set of powers for the federal government.

          And wishing will not make it otherwise.


          • Marilyn November 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

            Makes no difference, the churches are not covered by the fucking constitution.


            • doug quixote November 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

              No, they aren’t, thank Christ!


              • Hypocritophobe November 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

                Perhaps they are covered by the Traffic Act, or the Taxi Control Board?

                “We object to being described as the only cab on the rank.”
                Cardinal George Pell on child abuse within the Catholic Church.

                One things for sure ,there aint no short of Catholic Taxis at the rank,if the victims are to be heard over the loud protestations from within the church.

                I envisage a period of word eating in the future.


  7. Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Further I did a search with these key words.See the result.…1747.18459.0.21723.…1c.1.dbYzFdhJHvw&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=78bb6e610acf4cd6&bpcl=38093640&biw=1600&bih=997

    I then did a search at a site (not this one) in that list with the following key words.
    “child sex abuse church”.
    I got this result.
    “No posts found. Try a different search?”

    I also found this;


  8. Ray (Novelactivist) November 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Priests have been abusing children for centuries. Bring on a Royal Commission, but also look at all the physical and psychological abuse as well. All those children terrorised by sadistic clerics.


  9. Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    Before we count any chickens I urge readers to consider these words very carefully, because they may just create the wriggle room the main players require to slip under the RADAR yet again.

    “”Our focus is on institutional responses to child abuse,” Ms Gillard said.

    “We are going to take a consultative approach to the terms of reference.”
    In my experience that last sentence is code for ” we will let the RC church or RC politicians help word the terms of reference.If anything the first sentence above should be given to the High Court, and they should design the ToR.That and the victims and their representatives.
    The Churches etc have NO place in the ToR process.None.If they do have a seat at any table to do so this will be a whitewash, and for that I think it will cost Gillard her tenuous job.
    Abbott is just popping up with extra ideas, so as to delay the entire process.
    I reckon Abbott would love this to be at the hands of a government he leads.Others can decide why that would be.

    I fear already for victims, at some of the mixed signals already being emitted.


    • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      Just saw that come in myself. We won’t know whether its liable to be a whitewash until we find out who’s going to be appointed to conduct it, and as you say what scope they’re given to investigate.


      • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

        “Discussions will also take place with victims’ groups, *******religious leaders******* and community organisations,” she said.
        Haven’t religious leaders been a part of the whole problem?
        How can the govt be sure the input they get from these leaders is not tainted in some way?
        Would they dare to ask Pell?Dare to reject Pell?

        Consider the enquiries back door well and truly ajar until proven otherwise,HG.This could turn out to be a ‘wet lettuce’ day,yet.We will know how long this government has to live when the commissioner and ToR are announced.If both components are not vehemently (genuinely) opposed by the Vatican,Pell and Abbott , then get set for a time wasting white wash, followed by a leadership change in Labor,and/or a call for an immediate election from the Indies on the cross bench..

        And it looks like the Cabinet ignored DQs constitutional advice as well.

        4 seasons in one day.


        • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

          Are you always this optimistic 🙂

          Look I hope it isn’t a wet blanket affair, and I suppose when all’s said and done the end game beyond even getting to the bottom of the abuse and cover-ups is to restore people’s trust in the law and I guess in the clergy if they’re to continue to exist and carry out their former roles in society.

          One of the instigators of the Petition I signed was Fr Bob McGuire (now retired) so I guess there’s at least one person of faith they can reliably consult.

          Somehow I don’t think something that has always been going to be the furtherest thing from an easy one to achieve was ever going to fall reassuringly into place on the first day, after the first announcement.


          • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

            Yep,all that went through my mind before my comment (opinion).
            (But me wishing, won’t change the probabilities, based on the trends, coupled with the hints)
            Gillard has already dropped even more hints.Now it’s about time frames.
            (Obviously something this big should take time to set up properly,BUT as I suggested why not get the High Court Bench onto this ASAP, and they can help, set it up before an election distraction.
            AFAIAC, The church has burnt all its time on evasion tactics.

            Gillard has also apparently already given a heads (met with) up to Pell.

            So here’s the thing HG,in political real-sville (IMO).
            Should the ToR and commissioner not be announced and the RC up and going before the election is called, guess what?
            It will become Abbotts baby,because if this turns out to be another Gillard survival tactic, aka politically motivated decision, which turns into another Labor broken promise, or anti Labor value action,Labor and Gillard are gone.
            That is not my wish,it’s just a cold hard political reality which the idealists and super-optimists can turf away, if they wish.
            My thoughts are with the victims now,and how they now find themselves being drawn into a political vortex.
            Surprise/surprise Abbott is doing his best to deflect blame from the main offenders,as one would expect from an Opus Dei Liberal.Expect a lot more of his parroting about the ToR.
            There are people in high places who would expect such loyalty,no doubt.

            Time to revisit the stat above.1 in 20 or more priests are/were offending.

            Pro-rata, How many other vocations can boast of such numbers?
            And they (other professions) are not servants of god,lecturers of sin,setters of examples,holier than thous, and the most trusted person outside the family circle.

            I can see hear the sound of the paper shredder orchestra.Is it me,or is it getting louder?


            • hudsongodfrey November 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

              Well Hypo, I think Lincoln said it best

              “You can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

              The purpose of this is to respond to public outcry and to victim’s discontentment with their treatment at the hands of mother church. So correct me if I’m wrong, but in the sense that justice has not only to be done but to be seen to be done, if that is not the case then the Royal Commission will fail and drag Gillard’s reputation down with it.

              And if the Royal Commission she (an atheist) sponsors is seen by Catholics as a witch hunt, prejudiced towards persecuting them, then it is also an electoral liability for her.

              So you wanted her to do something right and principled for a change, and this may have been it. Do you really think she’d no alternative including fobbing it off onto the states, where by all accounts O’Farrell would’ve held an inquiry into the police rather than the church?

              The way I see it she may have been under pressure to act but no matter how she does now proceed she won’t be able to please everyone. The only real reason she seems to have to have stepped in may well have been simply because she believed being seen not to care enough for the victims of this was the largest and only liability she wasn’t prepared to swallow.


              • Hypocritophobe November 13, 2012 at 12:21 am #

                Believe me,HG You could, and I hope are,(be) right.
                My cynicism (scepticism?) is a mirror of the recent political and media environment (failures/betrayals) .
                On both sides.
                Were it not for the greens and Indies pressure I ask,what would Gillard have actually done?
                Did you not also see her body language as she delivered the first few snippets, today?

                Tell me, do you think she was comfortable with selling the product we got today?
                or (like me) did you get the ‘feeling’ she ‘has’ read the small print, but was not in a position to deliver that part.She looked pretty uncomfortable to me.
                As I said,I’ll wait, for now. Wait and hope for the victims sake, I am 180 degrees off the mark.I hope the RC is locked in before the election is.For the victims sake and probably for hers,too.
                Who would seriously want her gig, right now.


                • hudsongodfrey November 13, 2012 at 9:20 am #

                  “Who would seriously want her gig, right now?”

                  Well we know who…. And what do you reckon Abbott would’ve done about this?

                  There are times for all her failings when even we old cynics are entitled to be slightly congratulatory as needs must 🙂


            • annodyne November 13, 2012 at 9:30 am #

              Bravo and thanks for saying it for me. Hypocrisy needs to be punished wherever it appears, and Pell is the worst. He and his ego both promoted out of Ballarat let me tell you. Local Courier reported this week that 40 suicides are attributed to the rampant abuse under his nose here. just Google St*Alipius.
              But I waded in to say that wailing for a costly and pointless RC is just wanting to be Nanny-ied.
              It was not Presbyterian children who met Fr. O’Buggery.
              The big fail is by Roman Catholic parishioners who should be Doing It For Themselves – speaking to their local guy and telling him what they refuse to worship. The community united is stronger than any ‘commission’, and think of saving ‘us the government’ the cost of all the related stationery alone.


  10. russell November 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    May I recommend a read or re-read of the post by Dr Wilson of 18 July entitled ‘Pedophile priests make a mockery of confession’? The article and most of the comments seem prescient imo.

    If disproportion in the eyes of the Cardinal equates with his pro-ported influence in our Parliament, it is not only the children that are in strife. The more photos taken of pollies on the steps of a church, the more I wonder what are they hiding behind or attempting to align too. Why do they need the auspice of church to show and tell of their own morality?

    After a RC, asset strip and imprison entrenched perps and those who protect them. That would be a good next step.

    I thank enormously the investigating Inspector. Bravery plus. I hope he doesn’t suffer a whistle blowers retribution.

    The NSW labor right ‘own’ the PM. Ah, the PM has just announced a RC. Tick step one.

    Thank you Dr Wilson et al. It is encouraging that so many others can see and describe entrenched injustice not withstanding society’s masquerade.


    • Di Pearton November 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      Yes, this issue comes around regularly and nothing happens. A royal commission is a start, but it is only a start. We have to keep the pressure on to make any real change. The royal commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody has been totally ineffective.


      • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

        “The royal commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody has been totally ineffective.”
        Correct. Nothing has changed.The ‘converted’ have accepted THEIR responsibility, after the closing speech.

        We may have less hanging deaths but we now have more beating and cooking to death, and more Tasering for sport.
        Indigenous people are targeted more for arrest in the first instance, and then treated like shit.Look no further than WA for mind numbing ideas.
        Despite the value of a car (often insured) being minuscule,the cops choose to say differently.And want car chase laws to suit their end.
        Surely this white cop, black kid scenario and high incarceration rates,deaths in custody etc is all down to police reflecting community values.The DILLIGAF factor for indigenous issues.
        If that was NOT the case,this shit would not be happening.Still.Again.
        The US has similar issues.

        Penis + gun + uniform + racist + bully (-brain – heart ) = ?


      • russell November 13, 2012 at 9:27 am #

        Yes, a woeful result after 20 years. Maybe 5% out of over 20 recommendations partially implemented? must be considered a failure. Bureaucratic ping pong with peoples lives. Surely this RC must have a better chance than that one. Your comment ‘We have to keep the pressure on to make any real change’ rings so true.


      • Hypocritophobe November 13, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

        To Di and Russell,
        This is where we are at in this country.
        Still circa the colonial clean up.


        • Di Pearton November 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

          Oh dear, it’s just so distressing.


    • Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      Speaking of NSW Labor.
      The corruption enquiry into possible favours to ministers mates,in NSW might rattle the federal Labor party to its core.I hope so.I wouldn’t mind a little integrity on at least one side of the chamber in the not too distant future.
      The trouble (again) for Labor is two fold.First, the MSM dig harder on their side of the fence.
      Second when they get a clear shot at the scum on the other side,they fail to land the killer blow.And believe me,if there is any connection to any corrupt NSW pollies and sitting Canberran ones, Abbott and the MSM will disembowel Gillard with it.Abbott wants the focus well off his church.


  11. Hypocritophobe November 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Disproportionate Cardinal?


  12. hudsongodfrey November 13, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    I’m sure polls like this are popping up everywhere today.

    The ABC’s Drum on-line poll has support for the RC at 93% on a smallish sample of under 3,000 at the time when I wrote this. Other political polls claim a 3% error rate on a sample of 1,000. So this is probably a fairly reliable indicator that shows it is little wonder why Gillard went ahead and acted she’d have been taking a fairly isolated stance to have done otherwise!


  13. Hypocritophobe November 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    And so it begins.The evil continues and expands.


  14. Hypocritophobe December 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Eat this Pell.


  15. Hypocritophobe December 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Remind me why the terms of reference are so broad in the short term?



  16. Hypocritophobe January 4, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Catholic Church hopes to provide all requested documents to royal commission

    Updated 1 hour 32 minutes ago

    The layman the Catholic Church has appointed to run it’s engagement with the Royal Commission into child sex abuse, says he ***********hopes********* the Church will release any documents requested, without limitation. Francis Sullivan has left the Australian Medical Association to take up the role of CEO of the Church’s new Truth, Justice and Healing Council. He says the Council’s role is to generate a sense of pastoral healing rather than evasiveness. But he says that doesn’t extend to changes to the confidentiality of the confession box.
    Is that ALL?


  17. Hypocritophobe January 11, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    “Material would be able to be developed by staff in the commission to hand to local police authorities,” she said.

    The royal commission will not have the power to directly prosecute.”

    unless the Commission actually follows up such events,they could (probably will) disappear by way of any already established corrupt avenues, and we are back at square one.This is a gaping hole and escape route.The NSW cop who exposed the corruption has already identified this flaw.The fed cops s should be running it,and the state cops should enact warrants on their behalf.

    Fail.Big fail.Who drew up the TOR?
    The church?


    • hudsongodfrey January 11, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Well not really. I always thought that it would probably work something like that. What I’m really interested in reading about is how far their coercive powers go to making the churches open up and spill the beans.


      • Hypocritophobe January 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

        Well I hope you’re right HG. I can’t see anyone calling a RCom into the reasons why an RCom failed.


      • Hypocritophobe January 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

        HG I’d like some of your views on the TOR if possible.I am yet to read it all and fully digest it

        but my immediate (cursory glance) impression is that the words ‘religion and church’ get off easy.
        We all know which ‘institution’ this will benefit most, and it is hard to NOT consider that was a prerequisite.
        More interesting to me is what discussion took place in designing the TOR, Who was there and what demands the RC church (others) made and or was granted.
        What is the bet we will never know, and in 30 years, that piece of history will ‘conveniently’ not be sitting in the vault with all the other government discussion documents.

        I think Hetty Johnston has seriously jumped the gun.There is not one single outcome yet,let alone any findings to aid any victims.

        ” It’s almost like nirvana for us, reading through it, this is just brilliant, this is fantastic.
        Hetty Johnston”

        Will the ABC (Uhlmann??) ask the obvious questions of the parties who designed and argued/lobbied the terms of reference?

        And I still say the TOR are fine for some victims, but that this will be so winded as to be of little benefit to many.
        The obvious thing would to have openly dealt with the issue of living victims of church abuse first, simply because of the weight of numbers.
        (Which still relieves the RC church of their initial obligations to have ALREADY dealt with their own crimes ..Pell has so obviously failed on that. Big time)
        That is not to say all other matters could not be run parallel,at most times.

        I think as far as the TOR goes the Roman Catholic church has got off very lightly already, by not cracking an official mention.I hope this is not a portent of the way ahead.


        • doug quixote January 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

          Sorry, I didn’t see your reference before posting. The RC Church has always felt itself somewhat of a victim in the English-speaking world, which world was largely controlled by the Protestant establishment from about 1560 to perhaps 1980 or so; the chip on the shoulder is still there. Singling them out, whilst satisfying, would have been just a little oppressive.


          • Hypocritophobe January 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

            When you substitute the word them in your comment;

            “Singling them out, whilst satisfying, would have been just a little oppressive.”

            to apply the the victims, you will see the irony.A pity they did not apply the same standards?
            My take is that the abuse (and its obvious extent, and the obvious cover ups/feet dragging etc) and cover ups are such, that many of the victims growing in years could see justice in their life.I think we have the technoology and personnel to have have dealt simultaeneosl with all issues, and yet expediting the obvious KEY institution.
            The way the pre-amble touches on the word religious once and nowhere else,not even in the definitions, smacks of a favour not earnt, IMHO.
            What say you of the rarity of the words church/religion, and the non mention of Catholic at all?
            Is it denial, deals or favours?


            • Hypocritophobe January 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

              Spellcheck alert.Please feel free to ad lib/adjust.It’s kind of obvious where they are….


        • hudsongodfrey January 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm #


          I don’t much care what Johnston says. She starts with a range of assumptions have gathered her a certain amount of support, probably for all the wrong reasons, and thinks she’s developed some kind of solution that looks for all the world to me like yet another prophylactic to sweep the real psychological issues under the carpet where the smug, the self satisfied and the religious think that they belong.

          As for the Terms of Reference. I think they’re okay even if there is in them a little more hint of reporting than investigating. It may still be possible for an interpretation to emerge that shirks the difficult task of reconciling ourselves to the past, but not I think to avoid the likelihood that mandatory reporting requirements will become more widespread.

          The clear break with the past that it signals is that institutionalised cover ups will no longer be acceptable and non will settling matters privately through some internally managed process such as the Catholic church has used. Nor do I think that it matters that they don’t single out churches much less the Catholics in particular in the terms of reference, because we’re already crystal clear about why this happening. Maybe these terms of reference merely avoid stating the blatantly obvious where the merely obvious will suffice.

          Yes, they’ve left some wriggle room for the church to spin any outcome as voluntarily change. To me that seems less satisfying than a more explicitly stated investigative warrant. But it only really creates a problem if the churches manage to trade off willingness to be cooperative in future for being held fully to account for their past behaviour and cover-ups. No matter how careful the language is to avoid pre-empting any findings there simply can’t be no prosecutions to come out of this.

          I think the panel of commissioners is basically okay, but I think Robert Fitzgerald’s profile looks to me like he might be the church’s man on the inside. Lots of appointments to the Australian Catholic University and what not. The rest seem to have be educated in government schools, and I think, without being completely sure of the woman in question, having a psychologist on the commission seems like a good idea. What I don’t know whether they do have among their number is a good old fashioned lapsed Catholic. Somebody who really knows what they’re dealing with and why it needs doing without having to be told.


          • Hypocritophobe January 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

            To be clear, I am glad it has got this far.But to me it matters how it ends, and whether anyone inside or outside of the RCom spends one microsecond even contemplating flinching or looking away from what it REALLY is, that the community expects (demands) of it.
            There will be no second chance for another similar RCom, or for the victims who need to heal.This is it.The only it.They need to bring this home.Thoroughly.


    • doug quixote January 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      It is not the usual function of any Royal Commission to prosecute, Hypo. They are a fact finding body, with coercive powers, investigators and the power to recommend prosecutions.

      Once started, the government of the day cannot stop it.

      The full terms of reference :


      • hudsongodfrey January 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

        Agreed, and I’m sure we’ve already covered it in the past anyway.

        The one thing I think we can rely upon the RC not tackling head on is the sort of twisted logic that says you’ll receive punishment in some unknowable afterlife for a debt that you incurred to your god rather than to the victims of your crime. A mentality that completely discounts the notion of restitution made to those victims in this life that would be of great value in redressing your sins in the eyes of said heavenly adjudicator. It is completely clear to me from the way they behave that these churchmen cannot really believe in their god.

        The price that they’ll pay in recognition of their abuse of trust and utter faithlessness will be the desertion of their church.

        It’ll not be stated in so many words but the message is nonetheless clear and getting clearer.


        • Hypocritophobe January 11, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

          Bloody Hell HG
          That is probably one of the most accurate and pertinent summaries of the reality of the problem, as is ever likely to be coined, anywhere.And it comes without the compromise of conflict of interest.You have, as many times in the past, nailed it.And as ever from a position of considered and inclusive balance.
          I hope many others get to see the words, because I sincerely think they should.


          • hudsongodfrey January 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

            Thanks it’s always nice to know that it isn’t just oneself who thinks and feels these ways about such a situation. 🙂


  18. paul walter January 11, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

    Three Amigos.
    I didnt understand the point of the gimmick with Macklin, Gillard and Roxon on teev. How does it take three grumpy looking people,to announce some thing that a flak could have done any way,
    You can bet if the inquiry is stilted or limited,much of it will come from pressure from the big soc con Catholic Right voice within the ALP,
    After Hudson, better a weak inquiry than nothing at all, but it will have to watched closely by the public to ensure that the rug isn’t pulled from beneath witnesses in trying to protect various institutions.


    • Hypocritophobe January 12, 2013 at 12:19 am #

      You don’t see the connection to 3 Labor women (females to juxtapose Abbott) announcing this, in the current political atmosphere PW?
      Pure political posturing, and a way to smokescreen Macklin’s inability to ‘feel’

      Fuck them all, bar Roxon
      She is the only person of genuine character in all 3.

      I think you and I can BOTH sense an impending disappointment (aka monumental) in this.There is a lot of premature euphoria AFAI am concerned.Results will tell. But the official RCom words I have read so far are not that encouraging.
      Labor have used the announcement in the same way Abbott used fire fighting.That makes them cheap and nasty and FUCKING pathetic hypocrites.

      The victims,their families and their advocates- praising the RCom so far – will need thick skins and a forgiving nature, I feel.
      So far all there is is a baited hook, and no-one will be eating any fish, any time soon.And I suspect more will get away,than will get landed.
      And on that score I'll wager that 'if' there are escapees from facing the music, most (pro-rata) will come from 'you know where'.


    • Hypocritophobe January 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      If Abbott was using his role as a firey as a media stunt then
      Gillard may as well have been wearing Abbott’s yellow fire suit.

      Same opportunistic political exploitation.
      No doubt, however, that some will see this with eyes which have adjustable spectrums.


      • AnnODyne January 13, 2013 at 7:58 am #

        she would be criticised if she didn’t acknowledge them, surely?
        whereas with Mr Firey, it is not that he donned suit and took part, it is that his office alerted the photographers to record his activity.

        My heart goes out to all in NSW having such a bad time at the moment. I’m sure it would pour with rain on the fires if everybody across the whole state just put all their bedding out on the clotheslines . Hang out your best suits and scream defiantly at Hughie to ‘send her down’.


        • Mara Miller January 13, 2013 at 8:20 am #

          Smiling at your post re doonas etc on the line inviting precipitation. First part of post = tick also.


        • Hypocritophobe January 13, 2013 at 11:22 am #

          You are way to generous.
          The following day she holds a gathering for the victims at Kirribilli.
          If she did NOT invite the press I would say she was a walking, talking human.But she did, and she milked it for all it was worth.With her prepared weeks in advance insincerity.Her media appetite will soon be insatiable as she tries to out tea-party the tea-party.Get a bigger purse, Anne.You’ll be needing for the handouts.The dole will go up as soon as the polls go down.
          Blinkers dear,blinkers.


  19. doug quixote January 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    To announce the Royal Commission : The Prime Minister, the Attorney General and the Minister with responsibility for Families and Community Services.

    Who the fuck else should announce the Royal Commission, Hypo?



    • Hypocritophobe January 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

      Well I guess it’s not who it’s how.Macklin is just like Wong/Garret and Ferguson, out of their leagues.

      You could ask the same question about Abbott wearing his firefighting uniform.What else would a fire fighter wear.
      I am talking about the spinning and exploitation of either victims or volunteers in this instance.Macklin’s words were nothing close to an apology.The *first* thing she should have done was show real remorse,not go for glory.
      Did she actually say she should not have said what she said?Did she apologise for leaving her low arse snide remarks from her legal record?
      Over to you.

      Julia is just in election mode,just like Abbott,but she holds the cheque book.She may as well the kitty completely, she won’t get a second chance.


    • paul walter January 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Doug, I said it first. I reached a stage of intolerance toward these idiot “presentationary” moves during the Howard era. Am tired of “symbolism” and “appearance”; “memes” and “narratives”, when these things always reduce to sales pitches and misinformation, rather than substantial comments on a given issue.
      Hypo described what I’m talking about, very well commenting on why it takes twenty Hippies to change a light bulb, so to speak.
      Its not just the replacement, it’s the “experiencing”.


      • doug quixote January 13, 2013 at 12:34 am #

        “I said it first” – do you want a prize? It’s pretty fucking obvious, is it not?

        I would imagine that these three ministers have pored over the terms of reference with their senior staff and agonized over the words to be used and the terms to be set for days on end.

        Macklin is not flavour of the month at the moment, but she was pushed into a corner :

        Q : “Could you live on the dole?”

        [Thought processes :

        God that’s a curly one I could say no, and then he’ll say well
        why don’t you increase it – can’t do that, Wayne and Julia
        would kill me;

        I could wobble around like Tony Abbott for 72 seconds – no,
        not an option;

        I could say yes, then he’d go away and I’ll back away like
        Abbott would, next day. Yes that might work ]

        A : ” I could”

        And so it went.

        To return to the theme –

        They were all entitled to be present and required to be present to answer questions on specific terms of reference.


        • paul walter January 13, 2013 at 1:26 am #

          Well, fmd, why of all of things, welfare bashing from them?
          There are about 5 million things they could trim or completely exercise from the government books before they kicked some of the least well off people in our society in the guts.
          They are supposed to be Labor, not Tory!!!


          • Anonymous January 13, 2013 at 7:48 am #

            “There are about 5 million things they could trim or completely excise from the government books before they kicked some of the least-well-off people in our society in the guts.” precisely and Hear! Hear!


            • Hypocritophobe January 13, 2013 at 11:36 am #

              I can guarantee one thing.People are going to be sick to death of hearing about the Ejookayshn Revarlooshn soon, as she pounds our ears around the clock.

              There certainly are plenty of places to ‘claw back’ cash and the big end of town is the obvious place.But they won’t.Because Tories, like faux-Labor, are sponsored by the very same mob.Big polluters being compensated, while our power bills red-line?Give me a break.

              (sort of)
              Utility price rises could be the lesser of our list of issues,going fwd.
              If Australia’s rate of bushfires continue we will soon have water shortages. (Which will have all sorts of repercussions, including price rises, and possibly a few new inappropriate dams etc) The only reason water is not such a big deal for this outbreak is the previous wet weather cycle.This won’t always be the case.Fires like this in a drought year would be cataclysmic.And there are those who deny, or want no action on climate change.


              • paul walter January 13, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

                Interesting watching just how high some of the temps are getting, inland. From Oodnadatta and Moomba in SA, Bourke in NSW and Birdsville are reported temps of 48 or 49 and mean monthly averages in the mid forties so things will dry incredibly quickly and the two greener years we have will just become a memory again,


                • Hypocritophobe January 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

                  I have led us off topic I know, but you’re right.
                  And the hotter it gets around our unique flora,the more flammable vapour they give off.The more they burn the more fire dependent species evolve/reproduce.
                  Mother Nature has it all sown up.It would be in our best interest to snap out of this love affair the media has with irrelevant bullshit, or start building a subterranean Plan B.
                  A pity the public broadcaster likes to perpetuate the myth and spinology of the deniers, all over the blogs.They even seemed to have given the ex-boss, Maurice Newman a free kick.
                  I wouldn’t give as much a toss if this climate switch was not effecting the vulnerable as per usual.
                  Weak,old,poor,dis-empowered and the voiceless biota.None of whom get to choose.I believe even Pell is in climate change denial.Is that a pattern thing?

                  And like a precision instrument back on topic…..


  20. Hypocritophobe January 23, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    This confirms what everyone suspects, and reiterates why the ACL and other religions have no right to policy design.That Gillard would even ‘conside’r a deal for votes, should be her political death knell.


  21. Hypocritophobe February 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Well well!
    The Pope is
    Could the Royal Commission be rattling a few skeletons in the closet?


    Or is it just Ratzinger,s abandoning a sinking ship?
    Watch this space.


    • hudsongodfrey February 12, 2013 at 12:08 am #

      Well I’ll be damned (which I probably will according to them…), but that’s never happened before!


      • Poirot February 12, 2013 at 12:10 am #

        My 11 year-old son (who’s good with dates and such things) just informed me a Pope hasn’t resigned since 1415…but they always had the option of doing so.


        • hudsongodfrey February 12, 2013 at 12:14 am #

          Yeah I thought so, that was when they had three Popes!


          • Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 12:40 am #

            They normally ALWAYS die at the wheel.
            I smell a Rat-zinger.

            I hope we get allocate gas masks.
            I reckon the smokescreens might be just around the corner.


  22. doug quixote February 12, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    Pope announces : I trust that the College of Cardinals will elect my good friend and disciple Georgius Pellius, a distinguished churchman who as Sanctimonious I will take the Church to new nadirs of respect and credibility.”

    “In Nomine Patris et filli et Sanctimonii, Amen”


    • Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 1:35 am #

      Or as they say in every corner of the ‘real’ world ;

      Dare non potui pingui mures inclusi essent asinus.

      Thousands of victims of sexual abuse will be happy to see him squirming his way back to the Rat(zinger) Cave.


  23. Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Fish anyone?


    • paul walter February 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      Ha! An old mate of mine from Glasgow always described fish as “catholic steak”, regarding it as being a poor substitute for what he himself, as a heretic, enjoyed on Friday nights as the “.real” deal.
      Paradoxically, he was happy to eat fish’n chips anytime EXCEPT Friday nights.


  24. paul walter February 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I feel less rancorous about the Pope resigning.
    Is it a message to the rest of the Church that it must relinquish obsolete rituals and traditions, by extension,thinking, in favour of a new adjustment to reality?
    All the pontiffs since the late nineteenth century, have been geriatric or near geriatric- age has been confused for wisdom, but collectively they have fought a Lear-like rear guard action against changing times based on any number of dubious assumptions concerning scripture, through a growing intellectual failure through advancing age. This often, when concerning doctrine and dogma and how it applies to how Christians should respond to real life situations, as with contraception, has seemed more and more out of touch with reality and much of the New Testament itself, as to compassion and imagination.
    It could just be that Benedict has realised the Church has gone up a one way street and now is the time, for the first time in living memory, to admit things- anythings- could change, starting with the example of this significant break with tradition, in a modern era where the brain can often give out before the body.
    My hope is that the Pope if subtly suggesting that old assumptions need to be questioned on this, perhaps other things set in concrete, by deduction, also need at least the dignity of a rethink..
    It may be the most rational decision of his papacy and the most significant within the Catholic church since Pope John (how many numbers?) tried reform back in the early 1960’s.
    Hope he enjoys his retirement, on the basis of this decision.


    • Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      It must be great to be the head of a male domintaed cult.The Popettes will be lining up, no doubt to apply for their rings to be kissed.
      I’ll take some convincing to believe this is just an old bloke saying he aint up to it.
      None of the others were too bothered about snatching it.


      • paul walter February 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

        And for generations this has failed, making the Catholic church a laughing stock.
        It’s not so hard to believe that the last and perhaps most significant intellectually of the old guard, Benedict, should with hindsight not available to his predecessors, such as that dogmatic old goat John Paul 2, realise that the Church’s game since the Enlightenment, is up.
        It has lacked empathy, insight and compassion, was ultimately self defeating, marginalising the Church into a sort of intellectual backwater for reaction that has unnecessarily held up global reform of the exact type that Jesus advocated in the Beatitudes and Parables, as to the poor and oppressed.


        • Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

          I’ll be dead before I can think of a good reason to defend most religions.
          Catholic included.There is nothing in the good work religions do,that any other group can do.But they (religious groups) are empowered by laws enshrined by co-operative, sympathetic govts, and loyal followers in political roles.
          It’s a cult as far as I am concerned..The missionaries just paved the way for genocide and mass exploitations of civilisations.In name of their god,or so they say.
          Going to have to leave you to vote for Pope of the century.Paul.I am out on all counts.


          • paul walter February 12, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

            Am just trying to make sense of it.
            I could never see why people of that age should remain in a position that has great influence on others lives, when they were “past it”. If someone sees the light of day on an issue that has defeated less capable people, can I not be a little optimistic, if this a breakthrough?
            Don’t forget, all the efforts to turn Xtianity into a state religion have been ultimately defeated by the New Testament teachings themselves, which are reformist and anti authoritarian. The contradictions have been too obvious, as you point out hypo.
            The paradigm example would be the celebrated debate between the conservative theologian Sepulveda and the priestly Indian advocate, Bartholome De las Casas, circa 1550, concerning the colonising , enslavement and genocide in South America by the Spanish. Sepulveda;s arguments were so “rightist” that the Spanish monarchy had to distance itself from his thesis.
            Despite all the attempts at spin, over centuries, the Church in the real world has been at odds with its own teachings since Xtianity stopped being a People’s movement and became part of the apparatus of state.


            • Hypocritophobe February 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

              If you are arguing that people should step down for the greater good,I think I have a resume here, which says I’m with you all the way.
              I hope whatever the lightning strike did at Vatican central, has the same impact and outcome at our PMs residence.
              Now if someone could just arrange a thunderstorm.


  25. hudsongodfrey February 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Sell the Vatican and feed the world!


  26. Hypocritophobe February 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Pope snatches it.
    2 days later

    Do any dots need joining here?


  27. Hypocritophobe February 24, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    The plot thickens;

    Maybe there’s hope for Pell,yet?
    More rancid egg on the faces of the flock who believe in this cult.


  28. Hypocritophobe February 25, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Sounds a lot like the Slipper Ashby-gate thing

    “One priest claimed he received unwanted attention from the cardinal after a late-night drinking session. Another alleged that Cardinal O’Brien used night prayers as cover for inappropriate contact, according to the paper.”
    “It [the church] tends to cover up and protect the system at all costs,” said one of the complainants, according to quotes published by the Observer.

    “The church is beautiful, but it has a dark side and that has to do with accountability. If the system is to be improved, maybe it needs to be dismantled a bit.”


  29. Hypocritophobe February 25, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Another one bites the dust
    Another one bites the dust
    And another one gone, and another one gone
    Another one bites the dust
    Hey, I’m gonna get you too
    Another one bites the dust


  30. Hypocritophobe February 27, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    And this is why if the Scientology Church is considered cult,then so should the Catholic church.
    Will the real Nick Xenophon stand up?

    It also why the current Royal Commission should have dealt with Catholic sex abuse first.Because it is quite obviously a plague.The breadth of the TOR will be a handy escape clause for many.


    • hudsongodfrey February 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      I don’t quite know why Nick Xenephon’s always expected to do all the heavy lifting, but granted that what Patrick Wall says in that interview does ring true, I think he comes to vastly different conclusions about the way forward than you would.


      • Hypocritophobe February 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

        The reason there is a connect with Xenophon on this issue is simply this.He made song and dance and big noted himself about dragging Scientology over hot coals on alleged and actual offences.
        He did this while there was clear evidence in the public realm about Catholic Church sexual abuse.
        Now forgive me, but I see that what he applied to the Scientology is equally(or more) applicable to the RC church.
        It’s not so much heavy lifting as equal weight distribution.Or priorities.Or double standards.Frame it how you want.
        Nick seems to have his focus gland out of whack if you ask me.Perhaps a little too off target.
        And while there is much to reform in Malaysia, I think he has just scuttled any attempt to gain traction there too.

        Something about our own backyard goes in here………………


        • hudsongodfrey February 27, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

          Ah yes I see the connection you’re making now between Nick Xenophpn and Scientology. I guess I’m just not just as sure that you’ve made the case for a cult of Christianity as opposed to a great scandal of moral corruption among the ranks of its clergy.

          There may be good reasons to independently dislike both organisations. I’m just not convinced that they are at root the same kinds of problems.


          • Hypocritophobe February 27, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

            I’d say a track record of harvesting minors for sex, going back as long as alleged is pretty close to cult status.


            • hudsongodfrey February 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

              Depends on how you define a cult. The Scientologists for example allegedly engage in a kind of abuse relating primarily to excessive indoctrination. Whereas this whole milieu of clerical child abuse seems to be a different phenomenon hardly limited to any one faith but usually associated with some specific traits among its practitioners, of which cloistered celibacy seems to be a prime common factor. Not only with the Catholics but among other Christian Churches and even Buddhist monks.

              Its an observation I’m making not a solution I’m offering beyond saying that here as in America we need to make these crimes reportable.

              The notion that we could ever simply ban religion however has the obvious problem I’ve often mentioned before, that you create a persecution complex which tends to strengthen rather than undermine a certain kind of faith. And I think that’s already very obvious with the Scientologists, and a little so with Catholics as well.


              • Hypocritophobe February 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

                Banning religion could be a worthy aspiration.In the mean time if molestation is so rife that your org risked pariah status and revulsion by the mainstream, I think you may have to accept that what is going on is beyond a religion.
                If the level of harm is so acute,even if not performed by the majority, it still reflects the total of the org, IMHO.Not because of anything else,other than the 3 things which followed the abuse.Denial,diversion and cover ups.
                The big 3 are obviously still there or we would not be seeing sex abuse scandals at the Archbishop scale on a daily basis.And now we here they even abused each other.Where does it all end?


                • hudsongodfrey February 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

                  I think where it may end is in the recognition that on the one hand we have the basic human rights of the victims of any kind of abusive organisation to consider ahead of sorting out what to do with the perpetrators.

                  Beyond that that we have a crime here that is placed into a very egregious category primarily, I think, because we don’t understand it. What we don’t understand we fear, and what we fear we often take permission to hate.

                  I met one man who was wounded in love.
                  I met another man who was wounded in hatred.



  31. Hypocritophobe February 28, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    George as his usual cheerful self


  32. Hypocritophobe February 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    Well,well if it’s not a cult, it certainly has all the hallmarks of one.And perhaps, a clever and devious one.


    • Di Pearton March 1, 2013 at 8:04 am #

      I don’t think ‘cult’ goes anywhere near describing the Catholic Church. It clearly believes that it is the government, the justice system, and the only way to heaven?? I don’t think it should be paying tax. We should all have to pay tax to it.


      • paul walter March 1, 2013 at 11:43 am #

        It has been. It was the force responsible for lifting Europe out of the Dark Ages, because it was the only institution of any size to hold on to literacy and was the inheritor of the philosophies and philosophical method of antiquity, later reinforced from fresh in feed s from Islam when it was at its peak.. Technology has rendered it increasingly irrelevant since the Medieval period as science and modernism shattered the mystical side of it.
        All it had left was a coherent philosophy couched in theological terms, but the modern age has distilled the ethical elements into liberalism and socialism and it never recovered from the shock of the Enlightenment, going into denial, which is why it is in trouble now.
        In its funk, It kept the superstition part but, in crabby denial, forgot the useful half, the philosophy and NT ethics and thus its own ability to connect with and interpret (everyday) reality and share it with others.


        • helvityni March 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

          I watched Jane Hutcheon on ABC24 last night, it was about the cardinals saying their good byes to the Pope. I find Jane such a charming interviewer that I would prefer her to take over from Leigh Sales….maybe she is too nice, still, Leigh could learn a lesson or two from Jane…


          • paul walter March 1, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

            she’s excellent.


  33. Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    Are the political institutions of NSW all actually a man made Hell?



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