On ‘My Books‘ page I have posted a short synopsis of the first book in the Winterbine Tetralogy. I am more than halfway through the writing and am confident of a release date in December 2019.
IN TIMES OF DISTRESS Book One of the Winterbine Tetralogy. Fr Jos van Engelen, a Dutch missionary priest stationed in New Guinea, is recalled to Holland in March 1940 to help the Superior-General in combating suspected subversion within the order. At the German invasion of Holland, he is drawn into dangerous covert operations against the Nazis which results in the execution of close collaborators. While in Amsterdam, he saves a young woman and her baby from being crushed in a stampede. It’s the start of a relationship with the young woman and a deadly tussle with her occultist husband. At the same time, he enters into a running conflict with the same subversive elements within his order. The conflict comes to a head during the Second Vatican Council, the result of which is his expulsion to Binawarra, a small country town in Australia. In a parallel plot, Anneke van Engelen, the priest’s niece, goes astray during the student radicalism of the 1960s with disastrous consequences. Fr van Engelen and Anneke van Engelen feature in THE CASTLE OF HEAVENLY BLISS, book three of the Winterbine tetralogy.
The ‘Goddess’, neo-paganism, the occult and Gnosticism are introduced as the themes of the Winterbine series. The ideological conflicts of the 1960s and 1970s form the background. Publication December 2019 More information HERE.
In my post Police interview shows accusations nutty and impossible, I describe what Cardinal Pell had to do to carry out the action the complainant accused him of. It was impossible. Peter Wales in his Quadrant article When a jury get it ludicrously wrong described the layers of garments to reach a similar conclusion. Today Quadrant Online follows up with a video for a visual demonstration of how nutty the complainant’s claims are. The video can be found on youtube under ‘The vesting of the Bishop for Pontifical Mass’. Here it is:
Madame Defarge is implacable. While a heart beats in that cell, the knitting needles won’t be put away. They will be put away only when dripping with blood.
Talk of a lynch mob reminded me of Edmund Burke’s description of the mob that led the captured French King and Queen into Paris ‘amidst the horrid yells, and shrilling screams, and frantic dances, and infamous contumelies, and all the unutterable abominations of the furies of hell in the abused shape of the vilest of women.’ (Reflections on the Revolution in France.)
Certainly, many taking part in the destruction of George Pell will end up rotting in hell. But Australia’s first Catholic martyr won’t be there with them.
The sentence of Cardinal Pell has, as expected, sent Australia’s media sewer rats scurrying from their dark infectious holes, crawling over each other to repeat Judge Kidd’s most inflammatory comments.
But it is all a farce.
For one thing, the inflammatory comments are based on a conviction vigorously disputed by appalled legal people around the world. What sort of a dodgy legal system does Australia have?
I wonder how Judge Kidd felt while he was uttering his comments, knowing that Cardinal Pell’s conviction rested on the most flimsy evidence, that he was sentencing an innocent man to jail, perhaps to die in jail, and he was giving support to Australia’s implacable religious and political bigots.
This most egregious miscarriage of justice has not finished by a long shot. Indeed, it is a major event in Australian history and will be examined ceaselessly.
When all the stakeholders are gone and balanced historians examine the evidence, the real scoundrels will appear to take their place in nation’s rogues gallery.
Cardinal Pell is being held in a prison in Melbourne, Australia. He awaits his sentence on March 13. He has appealed against his conviction on five counts of sexual abuse, allegedly for acts committed in 1996 or 1997. What has happened has shocked and hurt many people, especially Catholics. The general feeling is one of disbelief and surprise.
Nine months ago I had lunch with Cardinal Pell in a simple restaurant near his home in Sydney. From what I have read these days in the press, I realize now that he was already aware of the accusations formulated by the former choir member of Melbourne Cathedral. At lunch we talked, among other things, about the reason for his return to Australia; he told me that he wanted the truth to come to light, as he has repeated many times. And the truth, as he has also repeated on countless occasions, is that those events never took place. During that meal I realized that he was already prepared to suffer what is now a reality.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported (5 March) that Cardinal Pell’s experienced and highly successful barrister Robert Richter will not be part of the team acting on behalf of the Cardinal in the appeal against his conviction. Richter is quoted as saying he does not have ‘sufficient objectivity at this stage’.
‘I am very angry about the verdict,’ he told The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, ‘because [the jury’s decision] was perverse’. He went on to say, ‘I think the man is an innocent man and he’s been convicted. It’s not a common experience.’
It was rare show of public emotion from one of Australia’s leading criminal lawyers, who usually comes across as unflappable in his devastating defence of his clients.
Robert Richter’s reaction says much about the process of Cardinal Pell’s conviction.
With the exception of Alan Jones, 2GB’s presenters have been disappointing in their commentary on the Pell conviction about which I will have more to say in subsequent comments. Jones’s comment made on his Sky News program is brilliant for its succinct coverage of the main points of Cardinal Pell’s defence.