Pell: nothing to see here, look over there

29 Jul

Pell on sexual abuse


Cardinal George Pell has, in the face of fresh allegations of sexual abuse of children aired by ABC TV’s 7.30 Report this week, demanded a “probe” into what he perceives to be a conspiracy between the Victoria Police and the ABC to “pervert the course of justice” using a “trial by media” to establish his guilt before the matters are afforded due process.

I’m calling bollocks. Everything aired thus far by ABC TV has come directly from the complainants, Pell’s alleged victims. We have watched them give excruciating accounts of their experiences, and the effects those experiences have had on their lives. There are no police “leaks” in these first-hand accounts.

Anyone is at liberty to speak about his or her experiences at the hands of another, and we have defamation laws that deal with false claims.

There is no indication that Victoria Police have provided the ABC with information other than that they are pursuing their inquiries into the allegations, and that the matters have been referred to the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions where it will be decided whether or not charges are to be brought against the cardinal.

There is no legal requirement to protect Pell from identification. There are no minors involved in the complaints: they are historical. The ABC has offered Pell every opportunity to respond, and have published his responses on their website.

As long as the law permits the identification of alleged perpetrators, media outlets are at liberty to name them. This may or may not be fair: it is legal.

Pell’s position is no different from that of any other alleged perpetrator of historical sexual crimes against children in this country. Such people are identified in the media, and their alleged victims are frequently interviewed by the media. Police announce that they are pursuing lines of inquiry, and charges may or may not be brought. The Cardinal isn’t being granted, and should not be granted, any special favours or protections, neither is he being unfairly pursued.

The fact is, people continue to make complaints about Pell, and these complaints have to be investigated. Our justice system does not require the complaints be kept secret until they are proven or dismissed.

Like any other alleged perpetrator, Pell has to endure public curiosity and judgement, not because of any conspiracy, but because that is how our society works.

There are no doubt many benefits that go with being a prince of the catholic church. There are also responsibilities and intense scrutiny. The Vatican has deep pockets and should Pell choose to bring a defamation action against his accusers, lack of money will be no barrier to that pursuit. The Cardinal has on more than one occasion threatened legal action of this nature. It is still an option open to him if he feels himself to be a victim.













47 Responses to “Pell: nothing to see here, look over there”

  1. doug quixote July 29, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    Just so. Well put, Jennifer.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. peartonblog July 29, 2016 at 8:43 am #

    The Cardinal sees a level playing field as being as being uphill. Too much privilege can never be enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • frontad84 July 31, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

      There’s an evil Cardinal named Pell
      Who’d up to now hidden the smell
      Of those filthy beasts
      Known as Paedophile Priests
      May he burn in the fires of Hell


  3. Hypo July 29, 2016 at 8:43 am #

    The biggest anomaly is the silence of the flock.The apathy in the ranks of the parishioners.How there has not been a mass walkout should frighten people outside the church.It demonstrates the ‘value of children’ as compared to the power of the clergy.

    The denial from Pell approaches delusion.

    (The caption in the image of Saint Pell matches what Scullion said about child torture >>now being sub carpet swept,under the NT smokescreen just called.

    I wonder if the accusers will fade away this time?

    Liked by 2 people

    • peartonblog July 29, 2016 at 9:20 am #

      Yes, the complicity of the parishioners, many of them must have known, is sickening. I guess we could see the flock as victims too?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson July 29, 2016 at 10:30 am #

      I’ve often railed about just that, Hypo. The silence of the flock. It’s hard to accept.


    • Arthur Baker July 30, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

      I think the parishioners are in denial, Hypo. My good lady and I have a long-standing friend who’s a Catholic (we’re talking almost 40 years friendship, so we really can talk frankly despite being atheists ourselves), and a while back I asked her how she could bring herself to stick with her church in the face of such widespread evil.

      Her reply was that the church had such a lot of people who were the very opposite of evil and delivered a cartload of good in the world. Which is true, of course, but if I were her I’d sure as hell be feeling somewhat uneasy (at least) about my church’s record, both individually and as an organisation.

      For most parishioners, I imagine, the act of deserting what is probably the mainstay of their being and their belief system would be just too hard to contemplate.


      • Hypo July 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

        In the face of barrages of generational child molestation by church employees,and cover ups ,transfers and denials > right to the top, I would question whether people denying or defending the church are fit and proper to be parents, given the absence of sound judgement.
        In the case of Pell he is in firmly the camp of impacting on children’s well being past present [and with climate change denial,] their future.How you could call such mindsets ‘loving’ or ‘scared’ or ‘holy’ shows how delusional religion is and how desperately naive and obedient the sheeples really are.
        The decades of parish silence is a record of each and every said parishioners complicity IMHO.

        Looks like they got the church they prayed for.


        • Hypo July 30, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

          Edit “‘scared” = sacred


      • doug quixote July 30, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

        Some dyed in the wool RCs I know argue “others are doing it too!” as if that excuses their adherence to this weird sect.

        If I rolled my eyes any further they might not come back.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. helvityni July 29, 2016 at 9:25 am #

    When meeting George for the first time (not in flesh), I remember thinking, here’s a hard man; not an iota of godliness, empathy or kindness in this man of church.

    There he was all to too sick and old to come to court to face the abused; now he’s all full of oomph.

    ( I have a dear friend called George, I’m telling him to change his name, as it also belongs to men like Pell, Brandis and Christensen….)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hypo July 29, 2016 at 9:42 am #

      Maybe change it to Jorg (as pronounced Yorg) by deed poll?

      Keep the meaning,lose the association?


      • helvityni July 29, 2016 at 10:08 am #

        …or just drop the ‘e’ at the end, like Georg Jensen, our famed silversmith, did…

        or have your pick:
        Gjergj (Albanian), Georgios, Georgius (Ancient Greek), Gevorg, Kevork (Armenian), Gorka (Basque), Georgi (Bulgarian), Jordi (Catalan), Jory (Cornish), Đuro, Juraj, Đurađ, Jure, Jurica, Juro (Croatian), Jiří (Czech), Georg, Jørgen, Jørg, Jørn (Danish), Joeri, Joris, Jurgen, Jurriaan, Sjors (Dutch), George, Geordie, Georgie (English), Georgo (Esperanto), Georg (Estonian), Jyri, Jyrki, Yrjänä, Yrjö (Finnish), Georges (French), Joris (Frisian), Xurxo (Galician), Giorgi, Iuri, Goga (Georgian), Georgios, Giorgos, Yiorgos, Yorgos (Greek), György, Gyuri (Hungarian), Georg (Icelandic), Seoirse (Irish), Giorgio, Gino, Giorgino (Italian), Georgijs, Georgs, Juris (Latvian), Jurgis (Lithuanian), Gjorgji, Gorgi (Macedonian), Geevarghese, Varghese (Malayalam), Jurian (Medieval German), Yrian (Medieval Scandinavian), Georg, Gøran, Jørgen, Ørjan, Jørg, Jørn (Norwegian), Jerzy, Jurek (Polish), Jorge, Jorginho (Portuguese), Gheorghe, George (Romanian), Georgiy, Georgy, Yuri, Yuriy, Yegor, Yura (Russian), Deòrsa, Seòras (Scottish), Djordje, Djuro, Đorđe, Đuro, Djuradj, Đurađ (Serbian), Juraj (Slovak), Jurij, Jure, Jurica (Slovene), Jurij (Sorbian), Jorge (Spanish), Georg, Göran, Jörgen, Örjan, Jöran (Swedish), Yuri, Yuriy, Yura (Ukrainian), Siôr, Siors, Siorus (Welsh)


        • Hypo July 29, 2016 at 10:22 am #

          Or think of nice Georges>
          George Harrison….


          • Hypo July 29, 2016 at 10:50 am #



    • Jennifer Wilson July 29, 2016 at 10:31 am #

      Oh dear, and isn’t it the name of one of the little British princes?


    • frontad84 July 31, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

      What a cowardly beast is George Pell
      Who should really be locked in a cell
      Supposed to be an agent of God
      Not a paedophile priest loving sod
      Who was obviously spawned in Hell.


  5. paul walter July 29, 2016 at 10:10 am #

    If there is a facet of this that has caused real irritation, it is not so much squalid Pell himself hanging around swimming pool change rooms, unable to come to terms with himself and what constitutes him.

    We know enough of human nature to guess his problem and we already know about organisations like religious groupings as breeding grounds for the strange and destructive tendencies of the misfits who gravitate to them. We also understand that the Church has been around for a long time, going its own way against all advice from educated laypeople, extant within a curious bucolic Aristotelian timelessness where antics derive of scenes from the Decameron or Canterbury Tales from the Dark Ages and are shrugged off with wordly, ennui-driven shrugs of the shoulders…definitely no place for plebeian sheep, we gather.

    No, for me the worst aspect almost has been the interference from someone who should know infinitely better, Prof. Greg Craven, Vice Chancellor of the Australia Catholic University. It is impossible to find a right aspect of Prof. Craven’s craven remarks re the ABC and Victoria police and the sense is magnified when you realise Craven would be seen as a credible commenter rather than some silly denialist from a church, something Craven would himself be well aware of.

    I can’t help feeling that as a Catholic he should be appalled at the bad behaviour of clerics toward little children and more to the point, as an Academic he would understand that clumsily presented suppression, lies and distortion go against the most sacred tenets of the logical thinker and educator’s vocation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson July 29, 2016 at 10:28 am #

      Absolutely agree with this assessment of Craven’s comments, PW. Inexplicably ignorant, prejudiced and shameful.


    • Hypo July 29, 2016 at 10:28 am #

      “I can’t help feeling that as a Catholic he should be appalled”

      Meh PW.

      That particular stereotype would battle to fill a phone box.

      Expressing outrage ‘as a Catholic’ seems to be reliant on a direct edict from the Vatican.

      Obviously, lost in the mail.


  6. townsvilleblog July 29, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Reblogged this on Townsville Blog. and commented:
    Fascinating subject

    Liked by 1 person

  7. townsvilleblog July 29, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    Jennifer, He may be a paedophile however he’s not silly. He understands perfectly that his accusers can say what they like, but there is no photo, no video, no evidence, only hearsay, their word against his. That being the case unless or until someone can produce evidence we are all pissing into the wind. Shaun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote July 29, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

      But the sheer number prepared to give evidence can add up to proof.

      Rolf Harris was carefully stalked by the police in Britain for many months, his word against his no-name accusers. Until they found several people prepared to give evidence. And once it finally goes public, dozens may come forward.

      All those kiddies in the Ballarat of the 1970s are now in their fifties. They will add corroboration, even if short of proof.

      Let’s wait a while for that – the floodgates may open.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Moz of Yarramulla July 29, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

        > the floodgates may open.

        Yeah, about that… after the first few hundred, or thousand, testimonials it all gets a bit tedious. We’re long past the point where piling a few more up is going to have any effect.

        You have to remember that the Catholic Chruch worship a strict hierarchy: god appoint the pope who appoints the cardinals. To question even the least of the cardinals is to challenge god. And the argument from evil has been around long before the systematic sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Chruch.

        If there existed a Catholic who would change their position on this issue, the block will not be because there are insufficient numbers of victims coming forward. I think it will take a pope who is a follower of the teachings of Christ. I can’t imagine that ever happening.


        • Hypo July 29, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

          “I think it will take a pope who is a follower of the teachings of Christ. I can’t imagine that ever happening.”

          Agree.Powerful cult.Long tentacles.Unlikely to ever reform.

          With a very obliging and obedient flock feathering the nest till hell freezes over..

          Liked by 2 people

        • doug quixote July 29, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

          “We’re long past the point . . . ” – Who is the “we”, Moz?

          The Roman Catholic Church is not the relevant authority here, and Pell’s extradition may eventually be sought, and unless he wants to hide in the Vatican, a la Assange, he may have to stand trial.

          Interestingly, from 2 years ago –


          • Moz of Yarramulla July 29, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

            So who do you think is the relevant authority? Australia has already let him go, and shows no sign of demanding he return. He is already hiding in the Vatican, unless you have information that he has left. If you think God should judge, I suggest you send Pell to him poste haste, lest your argument be indistinguishable from “he should not be punished”.

            The Australian and Vatican Catholic Chruch argue vigorously that they are both above secular law, and that defending paedophiles is required by their religion. If either was false this situation would be different.

            “we” in this case is everyone who is in a position to change their mind on the issue. I admit that it would take a great deal of evidence to convince me to change my mind, and I think that evidence of sustained, aggressive action by Pell to bring Catholic paedophiles before the courts is unlikely to emerge. But should it appear, I would change my mind.

            On the other side, there appear to be a great number of Catholics who are unwilling to put their formal religious beliefs to one side and apply conventional moral or legal standards to officials in the Catholic Chruch. Or even Christian ones, for that matter, unless you accept the Catholic position (some Christians think paedophilia is an extremely serious offence, suggesting that the argument is not as simple as Pell would have us believe).

            If someone asked me to attend or support the local NAMBLA chapter or UPF group I would be appalled, and refuse. Yet people still support the Catholic Chruch.


            • Hypo July 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

              “The Australian and Vatican Catholic Chruch argue vigorously that they are both above secular law” Which is evident by the influence on our govt and many more, and their assault on the control of our policies while they avoid paying tax and get free kicks, while crossing the so called constitutional speration.

              Missionary in every way.>Go where no-one elseis permitted to , go beneath a flag claiming to be messengers of of god, and taking what they want where, for where/whom they want.Then commerce moves in and finishes off whatever the remnants of culture remain.

              The Vatican has many a Trojan horse in the peoples house.Thus has it always been.Parliament these days is an extension of and conduit for religious empowerment, via policy or vote on policy.

              Liked by 1 person

            • doug quixote July 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm #

              The relevant legislation is the Crimes Act of Victoria, to be enforced by the Courts of Victoria.

              The prosecutors can seek to extradite the perpetrator.

              What else?


              • Hypo July 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

                Does not apply to ‘the untouchable’ one/s.


  8. Hypo July 29, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

    …and ‘yet’ Rudd is not suitable for the UN?

    Oh the ice cold,razor sharp irony.


    • doug quixote July 30, 2016 at 9:43 am #

      I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather inflict on the UN. 🙂

      BTW, a country’s endorsement is of doubtful value – the Security Council do their own thing, selecting based on the merits (as they see them!) and then the General Assembly agrees.

      Rudd’s candidacy is not affected one way or the other by this small-minded snub.


      • Hypo July 30, 2016 at 9:58 am #

        The points:
        Rudd has more moral fibre.And is not restricted by asylum.
        It is just double standards and shows how low the right will stoop and how ‘owned’ by religion parliament is.

        Where’s Tony Abbott ???
        Vow of silence?


  9. paul walter July 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm #


    • doug quixote July 30, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

      And that is exactly Jennifer’s point, in the headline to the lead article.


  10. Hypo July 29, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

    Has Labor been taken by aliens?
    Is Shorten dead?
    Do we actually have TWO major parties?
    What a crock.
    Not a peep on anything meaningful since Shortens election charade.

    Where TF are the greens?????
    Testing testing 1 2 3

    The sound of slurping in dark corners abounds.


    • doug quixote July 29, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

      Holidays? After 7 weeks of constant shitfight, I know I’d be zonked.


  11. paul walter July 29, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

    hypo, Shorten can’t get a word in edgeways and beside, following normal practice, he only has to shut his mouth and the idiot tories will do for him what he couldn’t accomplish for himself and ALP supporters without lifting a finger.

    As for the Greens, they are busy feuding amongst themselves, with it possibly heading to a Democrats type denouement.

    The good news for me is that, after Brown’s attack on Rhiannon, I no longer have to carry the burden of a long held respect for the man, for reasons anyone with the slightest grasp of pol economics could understand.

    In the end, a paper tiger, like all the rest.


    • Hypo July 30, 2016 at 10:13 am #

      With a script and a good memory of said script Shorten has it made.
      Right now he has nothing to say,no reason to say and no permission to do so.

      Back in the day Labor had leaders,vision and credibility.

      I guess the burden of the greens is a self inflicted backwards to extinction decision to replace the core environment policy with trendy social issues.Once upon a time the destruction of 10 of 17 habitat trees of the critically endangered swift parrot would have got the greens seething, and perhaps Brown back on his soap box.But he is too busy trying to apologise for the failure the greens have become.Sad really.There’s no-one left of centre any more, and the LNP and ALP fight for rights to the right .

      And here we are in New South Africa counting our blessings.
      And by this time next year we will have more US troops on our soil than we have an entire military, such is our commitment to neutrality and the Asian alliance.

      Happy days


      • paul walter July 30, 2016 at 1:54 pm #



  12. diannaart July 30, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    What are the stats on innocents blaming the messenger compared to guilty blaming the messenger?…….


    • paul walter July 30, 2016 at 1:55 pm #

      Overwhelmingly, the latter…


    • doug quixote July 30, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

      Good question, Dianna. Messenger shooting is an ancient sport.


  13. Hypo August 1, 2016 at 10:00 am #

    Prayer answered
    God has spoketh.

    Look away now.

    The Royal Commission was a mirage?.


    The truth is irrelevant when the powerbase is this massive.


  14. Hypo August 10, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    Andrew Denton cuts through the bullshit.
    (The kind that runs our govt by trashing our constitution, and where religious RWNJs like the ACL etc sleaze their way into policy and bully their way into our lives.)

    If you are a social media active person and support his views,chip into the dialogue.Sure as hell the ‘god squad’ will send out their f/tard trolls to crush him at every turn


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