Well, now Cardinal Pell, you’re beginning to smell…

19 Feb


Cardinal Pell Three


It’s reported this evening that Cardinal George Pell is the subject of a twelve month investigation by Victoria Police over allegations of child sexual abuse, dating from the time he was a priest to when he became Archbishop of Melbourne.

Pell has issued a furious statement, demanding an investigation into Victoria Police leakages, and denying the allegations. The full transcript of this statement is in the above link.

In his statement Pell refers to an allegation of sexual molestation made against him in 2002, referred to as the Philip Island allegation. This series of alleged incidents with one complainant was the subject of a church inquiry, headed by retired Victorian Supreme Court Judge A.J. Southwell, who was selected and paid by the church to conduct the inquiry, within terms of reference set by the church. Southwell found that both Pell and the complainant appeared to be speaking the truth, and he could not find substantial grounds to proceed with the complaint.

Pell claims to have been “exonerated” by this inquiry, however a Sydney Morning Herald editorial saw it otherwise:

Mr Southwell’s conclusion is exquisitely balanced. He accepts “that the complainant, when giving evidence of molesting, gave the impression that he was speaking honestly from an actual recollection”. However, he says Dr Pell “also gave me the impression he was speaking the truth”. A significant part of Mr Southwell’s report concerns the standard of proof; because he considered what was alleged against Dr Pell as serious, he was inclined to apply a strict burden, akin to the “beyond reasonable doubt” of criminal proceedings. That helped Dr Pell. It also made Mr Southwell’s careful conclusion – that he could not be “satisfied that the complaint has been established” – rather less than a complete exoneration.

It’s not known if the allegations currently under investigation by Victoria Police include this one. They are referred to as “numerous” in initial reports, as well as having occurred throughout a considerable time frame, as Pell worked his way up the church hierarchy from priest to Archbishop.

Victoria Police have also issued a statement this evening, saying they do not comment on specific allegations.

In case anyone has forgotten how ruthless Pell has been in his pursuit of child sex abuse survivors who’ve attempted to obtain justice, it’s worth re-reading the John Ellis case in which Pell’s legal team managed to obtain the verdict that victims can’t sue the Catholic church (it doesn’t exist in law) or the trustees (who aren’t responsible for supervising priests) but only the offending priest (dead) or the offending priest’s supervising bishop (also dead). Pell also instructed his lawyers to pursue Ellis for costs.

Pell, confessor and mentor to sacked Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is now safe in the Vatican, beyond the threat of extradition treaties.

I wonder how those who leapt to Pell’s defence after Tim Minchin’s protest song are feeling right now.

Of course we can’t possibly comment on Pell’s guilt or innocence. It is interesting, however, that Victoria Police have seen fit to devote twelve months of their time so far, to investigating complaints.



Thanks to my good Twitter friend Comrade Nick for this image of Anthony Hopkins in the role of Hannibal Lecter. Again, I can’t possibly comment. 


56 Responses to “Well, now Cardinal Pell, you’re beginning to smell…”

  1. gorgeousdunny1 at 12:36 pm #

    Over at Loon Pond, Dorothy Parker has a bit of fun at Prattling Polonius’s (Gerard Henderson’s) expense, especially since he’ll mostly slam anyone but News Ltd.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. diannaart at 2:00 pm #

    I remain a fan of Tim Minchin, however, at first, I was dismayed with some of the words in his song about Pell.

    I considered the years that have passed; while children continued to be molested, the Catholic Church continued to hide from accountability, the frequent arrogance of Pell regarding women’s contribution to the church, though to his denial of knowledge regarding a horror that extended through out the Catholic ministry.

    And now this, accusations of abuse leveled at Pell himself. I don’t know if he, too, is guilty as those men he has protected from the law, but I no longer prevaricate over the description of Pell made by Minchin.

    Pell may think he has the right to judge others (as so many authoritarians do), so too do other people have the right to judge him.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. townsvilleblog at 2:07 pm #

    Well well Georgie boy a suspected pedophile , if it is ‘true’ it would be no wonder he didn’t act against the other pedo he was living with. What a tangled web we weave…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. paul walter at 4:07 pm #

    This is an earnest pursuit, from Dr. Wilson.

    I am put in mind of that Goya sketch, “The Sleep of Reason Brings Forth Scary Monsters” — a picture crosses my mind of Pell fleeing from the Cathedral in the pitch black of night, cloak over head, harrassed by flying dingbats, crows and other clawy, bitey avenging angels.

    For whom the Pell Tolls.

    Why, it tolls for George and NO Cheers for the Paraclete.

    I should say the piece is a reminder of the width, breadth and depth of the sophistries and dissembling; obfuscation, filibustering and prevarications over decades.

    Nothing innocent, rather worldly cunning and deceit to deny justice, of a sort old when the Devil was young.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson at 4:58 pm #

      Yes, I share your image, it’s perfect for Pell.

      And the cunning, deceit & sophistry are present if Pell himself is a pedophile or not. A matter of degrees.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Melly Smuff at 4:33 pm #

    I think people who support the Catholic Church are as morally culpable as the clergy that lead them. It is beyond belief that people still subscribe to an ancient superstition that is demonstrably evil.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson at 5:00 pm #

      I can’t understand why people still have faith in that church, I agree, it’s incredible. I couldn’t actually set foot in one of their churches I don’t think, or give any credibility to their priests.


      • Mary at 6:13 pm #

        Paedophiles have sought out every large organisation and even small ones where they could gain access to children The United Nations peacekeeping force the scouting movement education and medical services have all been exploited by these people
        We still have faith because the Church’s teachings are beautiful offering hope and mercy to all. Our church has lasted for 2000 years in spite of the human failings of its members. The existence od paedophiles hiding within is proof of the frightening power of evil to possess a person’s heart.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson at 6:47 pm #

          Mary, I don’t believe in evil. I think humans can do these things all by ourselves.


        • diannaart at 3:00 pm #

          2000+ years and Christianity still has abusive priests, treats children as toys and women as second class, permits discrimination against minorities who ‘don’t match the faith’…. I can continue…..

          Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote at 10:53 pm #

      My uncle Stanley was fond of Spoonerisms. I often got called a fart smella.

      No religion has any credibility; the Abrahamic faiths are all death cults.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. doug quixote at 7:32 pm #

    We may have the spectacle of Pell holed up in the Vatican, a la Assange. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter at 9:10 pm #

      The difference being there is no US waiting in the background for rendition and water boarding, although Pell may be a more appropriate candidate than Julian Assange.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson at 9:34 pm #

      I think that’s definitely on the cards but his life will be more comfortable than Assange’s


  7. Jennifer’s link to an article on the Ellis case is most illuminating. Although longish, the article really is worth a read.

    There exists a most interesting juxtaposition of views as to Pell’s not being across the tactics and detail of that litigation as perceived by Ellis, with that of the Vatican which has evidently seen fit to subsequently place Pell in charge of the management of Vatican finances, a position one would think requires being across much detail.

    One explanation for the impressions of vagueness that seem to surround Pell’s testimony is that far from being hostage to an organisational machine, he was in fact its master tactician and driver, the vagueness being to conceal that fact, perhaps even from the Church’s own legal team.

    In the light of his present position in charge of Vatican finances, and being 3IC in the Vatican hierarchy, I think the possible significance of his earlier appointment to a Vatican body may have been under-estimated. The Ellis case, far from being a reaction to yet another embarrassing abuse claim, may have been an offensive undertaken from the outset to establish precedents protective of the patrimony of the Holy See throughout the common law countries. Pell’s present position being one of recognition for his efforts, rather than one of sanctuary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote at 9:59 am #

      The Cardinal lies through his teeth to protect his Church and himself. Are we really surprised by this – after all we have seen Pell’s acolyte/protege/catspaw Tony Abbott in action for several years.

      I am amazed only at John Ellis’ naivety in apparently believing Pell at any point. The various judges and commissioners could see what was going on, but the Church, hierarchical and monolithic though it really is, could hide behind the common law and it still can. The ‘Ellis Defence’ is still the law.

      It is evil, it is a death cult, it is a religion.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson at 11:46 am #

        I think Ellis was so traumatised by events at the time he lost his ability to judge who to trust and who to keep clear of.


    • Jennifer Wilson at 11:49 am #

      Forrest, I have always been sceptical of Pell’s claims to forgetfulness, and his penchant for misunderstanding, and I agree with you, it’s a tactic.

      Perhaps his current job is both sanctuary and recognition. They could have given him a much less significant post if it was simply sanctuary, I agree.


      • doug quixote at 5:16 pm #

        Only half jokingly, for many years I have called Pell the next Pope, to be called Pope Sanctimonious.

        Thankfully it now seems rather more remote, unless there are more Cardinals in the paedophile ring than the statistics suggest.

        2% of priests are paedophiles according to the Pope:


        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson at 5:27 pm #

          Well, 2% managed to do an awful lot of damage…


          • doug quixote at 8:23 pm #

            That amounts to over 8,000 RC priests! [2% of the 414,313 RC priests as at 2012]

            One may suppose that the Pope took a conservative estimate rather than a maximum.

            It is horrendous.

            Liked by 1 person

        • Mary at 6:17 pm #

          Two per cent is two per cent too many but this statistic shows so despite the constant attempts to paint the Church as full of child abusing paedophiles it simply is not true.


  8. LSWCHP at 2:17 pm #

    Minchin doesn’t really go far enough. I think that “Scum” is a very mild pejorative to apply to pell. Lower case intended there. I don’t think he even deserves the dignity of capitalisation.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hypo at 10:33 am #

    So now the ABC and police are conspiring against Pell.


    There is a lot at stake here to rival Da Vinci Code, but with real and living victims.

    Victims Vs (it’s a long a powerful list)


    • diannaart at 11:53 am #

      “So now the ABC and police are conspiring against Pell.”

      Pell, missing the point that police action from the two men recounting their childhood memories of Pell was instigated over 12 months ago and was very much part of the push to have Pell return to Ballarat.

      As for comments regarding ABC – AKA shooting the messenger.

      Auntie has not completely folded to the dark side.


      • Hypo at 1:30 pm #

        ““So now the ABC and police are conspiring against Pell.”

        was ^ sarcasm.

        It is a look over there moment.Where’s Tony Abbott??????
        No vocal support for his mentor and friend yet?
        Cat got his tongue?
        Rallying the troops?
        Chatting with Brandis?


        • diannaart at 3:59 pm #

          You meant ““So now the ABC and police are conspiring against Pell” as a dog whistle.

          I understood Pell as looking to cast himself as a victim as he done all along:

          In a statement, Cardinal Pell’s office said he “emphatically and unequivocally rejects any allegations of sexual abuse against him”, and accused the ABC of mounting a smear campaign against him.


          He has always claimed there is a smear campaign against him many times during questioning as part of the RC.


          • Hypo at 4:08 pm #

            The greatest threat to his reputation is himself.


            • diannaart at 4:17 pm #


              As a witness, Pell, is indeed a liability to himself. No wonder his minders ensured he would not appear in Ballarat last year.


              • Hypo at 4:26 pm #

                Only ‘as a witness’ ?


    • paul walter at 1:18 pm #

      He meant a pat on the shoulder, but has poor hand eye/ motor coordination.


    • paul walter at 5:28 pm #

      The link is a beaut. The attempt to silence the media and shut down further investigation is a pathetic attempt to facilitate naked evil.

      What’s nuclear about the report is the fact that an Australian university Vice Chancellor should lend the name of his institution to such a mis guided, dark endeavor.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. doug quixote at 1:13 pm #

    A valiant attempt to defend her Church made by ‘Mary’ above. The Pope’s own figures show at least 8,000 priests are paedophiles. Add in those who “merely” touch up the altar boys and other kiddies – which appears to be Pell’s thing, at least so far – and you do indeed get a Church full of child abusing priests.

    Could be worse? Yes, but not much.


    • Hypo at 1:57 pm #

      “A valiant attempt to defend her Church made by ‘Mary’ ”

      Where to file it?
      Lipstick on a pig or polishing a turd?


      • doug quixote at 2:06 pm #

        Sprinkling a little holy water on the stinking pile of turds and pretending it does not smell, perhaps.


        • Hypo at 4:05 pm #

          As Rocky would say to Bullwinkle,
          “that trick ne-e-e-ever works.”



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