Category Archives: Books

Good literature necessary for restoration of Christianity

Archbishop Viganò on the importance of good literature for the restoration of Christianity

December 1, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has recently written a preface for a book, Gratitude, Contemplation, and the Sacramental Worth of Catholic Literature, a collection of essays written by my husband Dr. Robert Hickson over the course of several decades. Being a distillation of his life work, this new book aims at presenting to the readers a whole set of inspiring books – most of them Catholic – that can help us restore a Catholic memory. That is to say, these books can help us revive a sense of Catholicity that comes to us from time periods and regions where the Catholic faith was an integral part of the state and society, from a lived faith.

We are very grateful to Archbishop Viganò for his preface, which highlights the importance of culture – and importantly, literature – for the revival of Christianity, and therefore we decided to publish it here (see full text below). His comments aim at turning our minds to the future, preparing the ground for a time where Christ again will reign in the heart and minds of man. His preface is therefore a sort of manifesto of faith and hope, and a wonderful instruction for us on how to go about preparing the ground for Christ.

Read the rest here…

The Persecution of George Pell – a Review

Paul Collits, The Freedoms Project, 12 December 2020

There was a pleasant surprise in the mail a few weeks back, when a new book arrived.  It was a book that I had not anticipated, though perhaps I should have.  It is The Persecution of George Pell, by Keith Windschuttle (Quadrant Books, 2020).

Windschuttle, the long-time editor of Quadrant magazine, has written the first pro-Pell book since the Cardinal’s exoneration by the High Court of Australia last April and his release from prison.  He had been held captive for over 400 days.  Against this, the three books about the Pell case already on the shelves remain festering there, all of them written by Pell-hating, leftist feminists, without apology or modification. 

One, indeed, was published after the High Court decision.  This was the book by The Guardian’s Melissa Davey.  Much of it would have been written prior to the High Court case, and no doubt the ending had to be altered, likely through gritted teeth.  Another was written by the (mostly) freelance journalist Lucie Morris Marr, the recipient in February 2016 of the leaked story that VicPol was investigating George Pell for sex abuse.  It is simply called Fallen.  Morris Marr still refers, rather tortuously and maliciously, to Pell as the “former convicted paedophile”.  She just doesn’t want to let go of either the swoon over the Cardinal’s conviction or of her own – at least in her own mind – critical role in the saga.  And the most infamous book of all was the ABC “journalist” Louise Milligan’s Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, originally published in 2017, updated after his conviction yet notably unamended since April.  Milligan’s book has been described, perhaps unkindly, by an American observer as a collection of “semi-literate VicPol talking points”, and by another as simply a book-length character reference for the main Pell complainant. 

Two of the three books should, in conscience, be renamed to reflect the Cardinal’s now established innocence of the crimes for which he was unjustly convicted in 2018.

Massively superior to these Pell-loathing potboilers in its thoroughness, depth, breadth, style, rigour, intellectual heft, restraint, level of analysis and reporting of the truth, The Persecution of George Pell will restore much needed balance to the published output on the Pell case.  The likely emergence of other, similar book-length accounts of the case will only strengthen the sense of restored sense and perspective achieved by Windschuttle’s book, which addresses questions that are core to the case yet studiously, indeed malevolently, ignored by his competitors.  In fact, to compare Windschuttle’s book to the others would be to make a category error.

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A powerful response to Milligan and the mob

Keith Windschuttle, editor of Quadrant Magazine, has written a book that is a must-read for those Australians who fondly think we live in a society unassailably based on the rule of law. Here he gives an account of the focus of his book.

*****

A Kafkaesque Scenario

Keith Windschuttle, Editor, Quadrant Magazine

The case of Cardinal George Pell and child sexual abuse is still not finished. There is the matter now being investigated by the Australian Federal Police about whether Pell’s opponents within the Vatican sent money to Australia to try to influence public opinion and legal proceedings. However, given the enthusiasm to persecute Pell displayed by those arrayed against him in Australian legal and media circles, if such bribery did exist it was probably wasted. As Humbert Wolfe observed long ago, when you see what they will do unbribed, there’s no occasion to.

Moreover, with today’s benefit of hindsight over the competing perspectives that now come into view, the Pell case seems even more important on levels other than the multi-pronged witch hunt by the desperate characters who brought him down. Above all, the case is a demonstration of the fragility of the rule of law and of civilised social and professional relationships. Within the ideological imperatives that prevail today, any one of us could become George Pell. We could be accused by strangers of reprehensible behaviour, and then find the weight of the nation’s structures of law, government and public opinion piled on top of us—a Kafkaesque scenario.

Pell was lucky to be saved at the last minute by his only remaining hope, the judges of the Australian High Court. They retained enough independence and integrity to see the truth of his case as it was. However, these qualities had been beyond the ability of the majority of judges in the Victorian Court of Appeal and beyond the comprehension of the six former judges and legal officials who sat on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, all of whom displayed embarrassing failings in the logic of their findings. There are no guarantees that future members of the High Court will act as creditably as those who acquitted Pell.

In my book published last month, The Persecution of George Pell (Quadrant Books, 408 pages, $39.95), I not only cover the minutiae of police, court and Royal Commission proceedings in what defence counsel Robert Richter accurately described as “Operation Get Pell” from 2013 to 2020, but also place it within the history of the culture wars, political ideology and consequent changes to legal procedures related to sexuality that have accumulated since the 1960s.

Read the rest here…

Reviews of Milligan’s aWard-winning book

Keith Windschuttle’s book, THE PERSECUTION OF GEORGE PELL, has destroyed every aspect of the case against Cardinal Pell for the sexual abuse of two minors. This is a book to be studied over time, and compared with those shoddy one-sided books that played a crucial role in the attempted public lynching of the cardinal. Foremost was ABC employee Louise Milligan’s CARDINAL, a book driven by Milligan’s swirling emotions rather than reason and objective handling of the evidence. Indeed, the rules of reason do not feature in Milligan’s worldview which is neatly divided into those she hates (mostly masculine men) and those she loves with an abundance of smarmy emotion. It is useful to be reminded of Gerard Henderson’s comments on two critical reviews of CARDINAL.

*****

 MEDIA WATCH DOG

ISSUE NO. 365, 16 June 2017

 IN WHICH PETER CRAVEN (FAIRFAX MEDIA) & GERARD WINDSOR (THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN) AGREE THAT LOUISE MILLIGAN’S BOOK CARDINAL IS A PERSONAL “ATTACK” MOTIVATED BY “ANIMUS”

According to MUP chief executive Louise Adler, Louise Milligan’s Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of Cardinal Pell (MUP, 2017) is a work of “forensic and meticulous research” and an “important contribution to the community’s understanding of the Catholic Church’s response to child abuse”.

According to ABC editorial director Alan Sunderland, the public broadcaster stands by the reporting of Cardinal George Pell by Louise Milligan – one of the ABC’s star investigative reporters – on the 7.30 program on 27 July 2016. Much of the material in the 7.30 program appears in Cardinal.

Continue reading Reviews of Milligan’s aWard-winning book

The Catholic Imagination of Christopher Koch

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

Karl Schmude

The Catholic imagination of Christopher Koch, the Australian novelist most remembered for The Year of Living Dangerously (1978), was shaped by two intense experiences.

Continue reading The Catholic Imagination of Christopher Koch

I am back with Goodreads

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 gerard@gerardcharleswilons.com

Ebooks are here to stay – get a device and save money

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.