As long as Pell is protected by the Pope no one can trust the catholic church

7 Feb


Cardinal Pell comments on being told of incidents of child sexual abuse by priests.

Cardinal Pell, on being told of incidents of child sexual abuse by priests.


The Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, this morning expressed his horror and outrage at the latest report from the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse on the extent of that abuse within his church.

The Archbishop was at pains to reassure listeners that after years of intense and ongoing scrutiny (thanks to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard ordering the Royal Commission which catholic MP Tony Abbott and his catholic henchman did everything possible to sabotage) catholic schools are by now among the safest possible places for your child to be.

While he might have a point he is missing the point: the former head of the church in Australia, Cardinal George Pell, is himself under investigation both for alleged child sexual abuse, and for his role in covering up the offences of other priests.

Cardinal Pell is currently in Rome, in a position that keeps him very close to Pope Francis. Victorian Police yesterday submitted a second brief of evidence against the Cardinal to the DPP. The Vatican is a sovereign state from which Pell cannot be extradited. When last required to appear before the Royal Commission, Pell pleaded a heart condition that left him unfit to fly long distances. He gave evidence via video link.

I would like to ask Archbishop Coleridge how anyone can trust the catholic church in Australia when its former head is under the protection of the Pope. I’m struggling to imagine this situation in a secular organisation in which 7% of employees were guilty of sexually abusing children, and 4,400 alleged cases of child sexual abuse had been brought against it.

Both these figures are conservative: how many victims have not made complaints? How many have suicided? How many made complaints that were mishandled by the church, or dismissed?

As a fish rots from the head, so has the catholic church. I’m neither heartened nor impressed by various catholic clergy and lay commentators wringing their hands at the awfulness of it all. Had it not been for an atheist ordering an investigation, this would still be hidden, and the perpetrators still protected.

I’m willing to bet a great deal that no one, but no one inside the church would have taken action to prevent the sexual abuse of children, or to instigate useful investigations that resulted in prosecutions, and demands for moral accountability.

This will not be over until those at the highest level are held accountable, including the Pope. Until churchmen and catholic commentators are willing to acknowledge that accountability starts at the head, nobody is safe in the catholic system, and the fish continues to stink.


37 Responses to “As long as Pell is protected by the Pope no one can trust the catholic church”

  1. John Samuel February 7, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

    Well said. The Catholic Church can be trusted when Pell stands before a court and not before.

    Liked by 4 people

    • helvityni February 9, 2017 at 11:55 am #

      Yes, well said, Jennifer, but what contemptible words from our Cardinal George Pell:

      “It’s a sad STORY and wasn’t much interest to me.”

      Children abused by men of Church is a mere STORY for Pell…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. townsvilleblog February 7, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    Being a Victorian copper must be a frustrating exercise when applied to Pell, it seems as though unless they can produce some direct evidence to nail him, the Pope and others will protect this paedo til he dies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 7, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

      I hope their second brief to DPP is strong, Shaun. They are doing their best to have him charged I think.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. townsvilleblog February 7, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

    I retain an interest in many subjects, but I’m passionate concerning two subjects, homelessness and paedophilia both of which can have long lasting effects on a person’s mental state.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm #

      Yes, and they are connected as well, Shaun, in that many victims of paedophiles find their lives in turmoil for a long long time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. paul walter. February 7, 2017 at 5:36 pm #


    But Jesus said, “Suffer the little children and forbid them not to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of heaven”

    Math.18.1.6 “But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones…it would be better that a millstone were hanged round his neck and that he were drowned a the bottom of the sea”.

    Now, what is the God’s servants on earth do not
    get about what is placed quite straight forwardly in the instruction manual?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Fiona February 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

      Possibly those servants on earth focus more on the current – main – meaning of “suffer”, rather than than that of the early 17th century.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter. February 8, 2017 at 12:57 am #

        Yes, Fiona. I pondered on that whilst writing the post..quite right if you take a fundamentalist/ literalist reading. Personally, I am happy with my reading of those scriptures, particularly involving millstones and deep oceans. If normal people are repelled by cruelty to children in our time, why not back then?

        I find the Scomo/ Bernardi/Pat Robertson types weirdly fascinating in their tortured prostitution of their intellects and spirit to arrive at excuses for cruelty, corruption and control freakery.

        After all, Socrates is said to have said that it far harder to wrong then do right and my experience of life is the same..sometimes better to leave some things alone for the relief of a clear conscience.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Jennifer Wilson February 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

          Oh, I’d forgotten that quote, how wonderful it is, why don’t we listen to these words instead of all the claptrap

          Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson February 8, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

        Oh, well said, Fiona. Suffer used to be used as permit, allow, let. No longer.


    • FigMince February 8, 2017 at 9:42 am #

      Indeed. Maybe Matt.19.14 has been revised in the ‘The Idiot’s Abridged Guide To Priesthood For Dummies’ manual as: “Sufferise the little children by coming unto them”. And I might claim the copyright on that new verb.

      Liked by 1 person

      • helvityni February 8, 2017 at 10:07 am #

        “I sufferise nigerian newspapers when muslim brothers all over the country come out in mass to commensorate the mytredom of Imam hussain (as) No any paper.”

        Uncle Google gave me the above, and there’s more… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson February 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

          Oh, have I got a nigerian troll?


          • paul walter. February 8, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

            Remember to share the loot . Remember, all you have to do is send them your bank details..

            Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter. February 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

        Fig Mince..Gee that is risky, is that what little rectums and fannies are designed for?


        • paul walter. February 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

          Wait a minute.. then there are the Fundies in the USA uncomfortable with the orthodox NT trying to rewrite the thing flitering out the altruistic bits.

          Just again thinking of Trumble, Morrison and co with after reading of the continued attack on welfare in the SMH.

          Bte, Fig Mince reminds me of times at my aunts place at Thornbury in Melbourne as alittle kid, where a huge fig tree grew.

          Aunt had somehow mastered the art of preparing really beaut fig and ginger jam, which you then head on a slice of bread with a big dollop of cream. Wow!

          Liked by 2 people

          • helvityni February 8, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

            …we had two fig trees on our hobby farm, I made sure I got the fruit, the birds could feast on the sour plums….

            Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson February 8, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

        That neologism is horribly appropriate, FigMince.


    • Jennifer Wilson February 8, 2017 at 2:53 pm #

      PW, I have so often wondered the same thing.
      It’s not rocket surgery


  5. paul walter. February 7, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

    sorry, that, not the.


  6. doug quixote February 7, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

    Recent revelations include that John Paul II knew plenty about sex abuse in the Church and helped bury it. They’ll soon make him a saint; they may even make Pell the next Pope, Pope Sanctimonious I.

    I may even hope they do; as I almost wish Trump on the Yanks.

    A pity the world will get caught in the backwash.

    We may note misbehaviour by the Israelis, stealing lands which they agreed are Palestinian lands. This goes beyond their previous misbehaviours.

    It suits the RWNJ and RW Christian Nutters, which believe that the apocryphal and apocalyptic destruction of Israel by the rest of the world will foreshadow the Second Coming. Cory’ll be right at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. FigMince February 8, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

    I’m not intentionally making an anti-Catholic statement here. Child sexual abuse is bigger than that, and will always be hidden from view. But in the case of Catholicism, the root problem is a circular one, perhaps not often recognised.

    Catholic-educated people are arguably (and deliberately?) less-broadly equipped for life (unless things have changed in Catholic schools over the past few decades). My Catholic-educated (in the 1960s), ex-Catholic partner was stunned as an adult to discover the existence of humanist writers and philosophers she’d never heard of in high school – they were rigidly excluded from the curriculum because they were atheists, Protestants (or even worse then, ‘Communists’) who challenged the one-and-only doctrine. (There wasn’t even mention of the French Revolution in her History lessons, presumably because of the Catholic Church’s culpability in its fermentation.)

    And of course, this kind of broader depth of humanist understanding would have already been missing from the educations of those who taught her and her female and male contemporaries – and consequently missing from the educations of any future teachers from her generation. And so the circle of only half-understanding reality was continued.

    Then there’s the probability that to deliberately choose – or accept being manoeuvred into – an adult life of relative social isolation and sexual abstinence, many aspirant priests and nuns must be vaguely disturbed at some level or another, which makes the emotional maturity of Catholic authority figures fairly suspect. Many of them surely have to be denying something when they make such a ‘career’ decision – not the most appropriate basis for being put in charge of impressionable children whose parents, themselves pre-indocrinated, would have already convinced them that priests and nuns were holier-than-anyone people they could/should trust.

    In my opinion, all religions are a threat to balanced understanding of the human condition and reality, and it seems that none of them has come out of this Royal Commission looking good. But more so than others, the Catholic Church is nothing more than a multinational corporation in which fat-salaried executives exploit a poorly-paid workforce in factories turning out products that will constantly return tax-free income, and its boardroom and branch offices will always try to ensure that nothing upsets its carefully-designed marketing structure. And, regardless of the predictable ‘shocked and sorry and it won’t happen again’ spin we’ll now get, it’ll go on doing whatever’s necessary for damage control in order to maintain its customer loyalty program and keep its cash flow ticking over.

    Which will include its CEO hiding George Pell somewhere down in the Vatican catacombs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 8, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

      In my opinion, Fig Mince, religion is a scourge. Which is not to say I haven’t met some people of faith with whom I’ve had friendships and intelligent conversations, but as you point out, their faith is restrictive, they cannot move beyond it intellectually, indeed, don’t want to.
      I have no experience with catholic schools, but your comments sound spot on.


      • paul walter. February 9, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

        Perhaps Karl Marx was right about it being the opiate of the people.

        Would Trump have ever got his finger over the red button if not for millions of brainwashed, fatalist cranks in the US Red States?

        Here is another nutbag to get promoted to government in the USA. His name is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, 70 y.o. junior senator from the state of Alabama, the new US Attorney General. With his pixie-sh face and dimpled chin, he has has exerted a nightmarish grip on this writer’s imagination for some months, particularly given his resemblance to the equally macabre looking Pat Robertson.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson February 9, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

          Yes, Sessions is a charmer.
          It’s lucky we don’t have nuclear weapons. I can see Barnaby when he’s acting PM after a long lunch….


      • paul walter. February 12, 2017 at 6:58 am #

        Suddenly reminded of a early novel, a Miles Franklin winner, by celebrated Australian Thomas Kenneally, part autobiographical, about the sort of culture figmince discusses above, from my high school days.

        “Three Cheers for the Paraclete” dealt with the disillusioning of a young seminarian eventually deciding to leave the place on recognition of the sterile culture and false consciousness inculcated into trainee priests, with this fellow’s main antagonist an ambitious cleric vigorously climbing the ladder to higher rank within the Church. The location apparently resembled the seminary Abbott studied at, but you wonder at who the rising Paraclete or high ranking cleric, could be…I couldn’t possibly surmise.

        Kenneally is of course better known for the filmed novels “The Devil’s Playground” and “Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith”, also “Schindler’s List”, but many would remember his numerous media appearance to discuss current affairs and religion on teev..

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

      He doesn’t give up, does he.
      If there’s nothing to hide, why doesn’t he just come back and lay the issue to rest.


      • paul walter. February 9, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

        The thing is these cranks WANT a war..all about End of Days, Armageddon and Israel.


        • paul walter. February 9, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

          Wrong slot..

          Pell? Gutlessness?


  8. paul walter. February 10, 2017 at 12:15 am #

    BTW, still off topic, but more on Sessions and Elizabeth Warren…not my idea of Xtian to kill the truth,


  9. joan maxwell February 12, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

    An absolutely disgusting outcome 4 all catholics sack him & let him face criminal charges for the destruction of so many innocent precious children

    Liked by 1 person


  1. As long as Pell is protected by the Pope no one can trust the catholic church | THE PUB - February 7, 2017

    […] Guest Author is Jennifer Wilson, with her take on Cardinal Pell and the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse. Thank you, […]


  2. How it’s never Pell’s fault. | No Place For Sheep - February 10, 2017

    […] possible to judge Pell on the question of child sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by him, and currently under consideration by the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions. It is possible, however, to form an opinion of the […]


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