I was looking for a cover of a novel by an Australian Catholic for the banner of a new FB group page THE AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC WRITERS’ FORUM (to be developed). I had a few of Christopher Koch’s novels on hand and chose Highways to a War, the 1996 Miles Franklin Award winner. I then looked around for some information about the now (almost) forgotten Christopher Koch and found this inspiring article by Karl Schmude.
Christopher Koch: A novelist for an age with no answers
In his Spectator article, The sinister Vatican plot against Cardinal Pell, Damian Thompson writes that he and others have always suspected Cardinal Pell’s enemies in the Vatican had something to do with the cardinal’s conviction. Even so, he did not expect a Vatican cardinal to provide evidence to support those suspicions.
He relates, as others have done (see previous posts), the fall of Cardinal Becciu because of delinquency with Vatican funds, highlighting the mysterious transfer of A$1.1 million to an Australian account around the time Cardinal Pell was running the gauntlet of Victoria’s degraded criminal justice system. In the final paragraphs of his article, he raises some interesting points about where to from here. He says the public may learn more about Cardinal Pell’s ‘solitary accuser’. ‘God only knows,’ he adds, ‘what will happen then.’ If I’m right about the choirboy, some journalists will at this moment be running scared. They will be lucky to come off with no more than mere humiliation.
‘The High Court decision did not repudiate the former choirboy, with both Cardinal Pell’s senior counsel, Bret Walker, SC, and Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, QC, agreeing in their submissions to the court that he was a credible, believable witness.’
These are words from a (5 Oct) report by Adam Cooper of Melbourne’s Age newspaper whose delirious anti-Catholic bigotry tops all others.
There are two obvious points to make about Cooper’s claim.
The first is a question of logic. It does not follow that because Bret Walker, SC, and Kerri Judd, QC, agreed that the choirboy was a ‘credible, believable witness’ that the choirboy was not lying. Cooper evidently does not see it.
Nor does it follow from this mutual agreement that the ‘High Court did not repudiate the former choirboy.’ Both assertions or premises are unconnected. This is another example of the sloppy reasoning in a hostile media that runs through all the reporting on the Pell case. Indeed, tight logical reasoning is not a priority of most Age reporters who have their political prejudices to promote.
An important, but not the primary, consequence of the stunning sacking of Cardinal Angelo Becciu is that it completes on the Vatican side what was accomplished by the Australian High Court in April, namely the complete vindication of Cardinal George Pell.
As Cardinal Pell arrives in Rome this week after three years in Australia, the counterpoint between the cardinal’s return and Cardinal Becciu’s fall is worthy of a novel.
“The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances … and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments,” Cardinal Pell stated in reference to his brother cardinal’s dismissal. “I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria [Australia].”
Several years ago, I signed up for the author program on Goodreads. Unfortunately, I could not understand how it worked. It seems I am not the only one. After struggling for some time, and getting nowhere, I deleted my account.
Last week, I came across an FB posting by NYT bestselling author Alessandra Torre offering a webinar for authors on how to use Goodreads effectively. I watched the webinar several times. It was something of an eye-opener. She showed how to make the best of what (on her saying) is a confusing website for authors. So I am now back on Goodreads, confident I can use it, and intending to be more active than the last time.
If you are on Goodreads, be my friend or follower to stay up to date with my books. I have two books to be published before the end of the year.
If you would like to be on my mailing list, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who continue to look down their noses at ebooks risk being left behind. I admit there is nothing like a bundle of pages sewn or pasted together, encased in a stunning cover. I love leaning back at my desk and staring at my bookshelves choc-a-block with books to the ceiling. But it would a self-defeating indulgence if I let those ethereal feelings hide the real advantages of the ebook.
I now buy many of my books in ebook format which I read on my Kindle device. There are several reasons for this. An ebook reader is very portable compared with a 600-page book; it shelve many books; the books are usually well below the hard copy price, especially with specialist books; and, finally, I can adjust the font size.
This last is a real advantage to me. As I get older I find it increasingly difficult to focus on the print size of many books. Novels are not often a problem, but many books on philosophy, politics and religion (my interests) have smaller than usual font sizes to keep the bulk of the book, and thus the price, down.
Take my advice. Get an ebook reader for ease and savings.
Cardinal Angelo Becciu’s unprecedented sacking by Pope Francis has crucial importance for several reasons. Becciu was a second-rank official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State – a position with power. He frustrated and blocked Cardinal Pell’s efforts to sweep the filthy financial stables of the Vatican clean. His sacking vindicates Pell’s efforts as Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy to bring some transparency – and honesty – into Vatican finances.
The prelude to Becciu’s inglorious removal was a string of dodgy, smelly (some stinking) financial dealings. One of those shifty splashings of Vatican cash was a transfer of $800,000 to an account in Australia just when Cardinal Pell was undergoing his ordeal in Victoria’s corrupted legal system and police force. The voices talking about a framing originating in the Vatican are becoming louder. My Becciu file (a tab under Cardinal Pell section) will keep up to date with the Becciu and Pell affair.