David Marr’s Quarterly Essays on Tony Abbott and Cardinal George Pell have been among the most politically damaging of any writing that has come from the left. They have been damaging not because Marr mounts irresistible argument backed by unassailable evidence. No, they were damaging because of Marr’s considerable talent as a writer – a postmodernist writer with the creative power of a skilled novelist. Marr is a writer of ‘faction’ – fiction that is presented as fact. I make my case for Marr’s status as a postmodernist writer of ‘faction’ in chapter 13 of my just released ebook TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION (paperback due February 2019).
Nobody has been more scathing of David Marr’s ‘political analysis’ than Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Institute. Below is his devastating critique in Media Watchdog No. 343 of Marr’s essay on Cardinal Pell.
Continue reading David Marr: The left’s purveyor of calumny par excellence
Philip Wilson’s dead letter day
Fr Frank Brennan in Eureka Street
The show trial of Archbishop Philip Wilson has backfired badly causing hurt to many people, most especially victims of child sexual abuse who thought the law was being rightly applied to put an errant Catholic bishop in the frame.
Wilson was charged under a provision of the New South Wales Crimes Act, section 316, which has hardly ever been used. It’s a provision which was introduced in 1990. It was reviewed by the New South Wales Law Reform Commission in 1999 and comprehensively trashed. Some commissioners thought the provision should be abolished. Others thought it should be retained. Read on…
The following appeared in Gerard Henderson’s popular Media Watch Dog No. 435, 7 December 2018.
HOW THE DRUM REPORTED FR. PHILLIP WILSON’S CONVICTION BUT IGNORED HIS ACQUITTAL
Fr Philip Wilson, the former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, was found guilty by Magistrate Robert Stone in Newcastle Local Court on 3 July 2018 of failing to report a child sex abuse allegation. The prosecution maintained that Fr Wilson had been told that a Catholic priest was a child sex abuser in the mid-1970s and that he had failed to report this matter to NSW Police between April 2004 and January 2006 – as required by Section 316A of the NSW Crimes Act.
That night Julia Baird presented The Drum on ABC TV with a panel that comprised Dee Madigan, Stephen O’Doherty, Megan Motto and Karen Middleton. It was a total pile-on against Fr Wilson. So much so that even Dr Baird declared “there seems to be a consensus on the panel here” – having previously bagged the Catholic Church herself for what she described as “obstructive clericalism”.
The pile-on occurred despite the fact that neither the panellists nor the presenter had read Magistrate Stone’s judgment. Indeed, the judgment is still not readily available –as Fr Frank Brennan documents in his article titled “Philip Wilson’s dead letter day” in today’s edition of Eureka Street.
Yesterday in the Newcastle District Court, Judge Roy Ellis overturned Magistrate Stone’s decision. He found that Fr Wilson should not have been convicted beyond reasonable doubt. Judge Ellis, while believing that the complainant in this case was an honest witness, said that he was not satisfied with the accuracy of some of the complainant’s recollections. He found that Fr Wilson was an honest and forthright witness. Judge Ellis also held that it was possible for entirely honest individuals like the complainant to have false memories.
So what did The Drum do last night with respect to Judge Ellis’ decision? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The case was covered by ABC TV News but ignored by The Drum and 7.30.
When Fr Wilson was convicted by Magistrate Stone, the ABC reported that this was a finding of international significance and discussed the case at length. However, when Fr Wilson was acquitted by Judge Ellis, the matter was not covered by The Drum or 7.30.
The decision in R v Phillip Edward Wilson has been released with certain names redacted.
The shocking accusation by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that Pope Francis helped cover up sexual misconduct — an accusation the Pope has so far declined to answer — as well as the litany of sexual abuse cases among clerics, force any Catholic to ask the question: how could this possibly take place in the moral institution that is the Roman Catholic Church?
One possible — little known, but very important — answer dates back to the Bolsheviks and their Communist leader Joseph Stalin.
Recently, I came across a video on Youtube of a presentation by former Soviet KGB propagandist Yuri Bezmenov, aka Tomas Schuman, who worked for the Soviet Union’s Novosti Press Agency until he defected in 1970. In this 1983 video, he claimed that the West was slowly being subverted into Marxism by the methods of “ideological subversion,” a form of warfare the KGB used against America…read on
A REORGANISATION OF THE WINTERBINE SERIES
My original post was a rather complicated explanation of my proposed reorganisation of the Winterbine series. To keep it simple, I will take the backstory out of The Castle of Heavenly Bliss and In This Vale of Tears as the basis for a new novel.
The new novel will be the first book in the series with In This Vale of Tears the second, and The Castle of Heavenly Bliss the third. The chronological sequence would then be right. The fourth book is still in the planning which makes the series a tetralogy.
Book One will develop the early story of Fr van Engelen, his niece Anneke, and Gerda Vrouwendijk with the location of the story in Holland and England (Middelburg, Amsterdam and London). New characters, some Australian, will appear. The period will be from 1946 to 1972. The social background will be the 1960s student revolution. The themes of Gnosticism and the Goddess will be established. There will be no change to the story although I will make small adjustments in The Castle of Heavenly Bliss. This first book, with the provisional title A Time of Distress (from Luke 21), will provide the groundwork for the following three books.
I will begin developing Book One in January 2019 after I have finished with Tony Abbott: The Times of Revolution. Stay alert for developments.
Until now I have not felt the need to place my fiction writing into any particular genre, happy to let the novels speak for themselves. I adopted this attitude even though the three novels I have written fit into the genre of the Catholic novel.
I did not want to put any limitation on them. I was convinced that the stories’ framework would not inhibit the interest of the discerning reader. I was right about this. A number of readers said that the Catholic characters and circumstances did not prevent them from liking the novel.
I have changed my mind and think it best that I ‘come out’, so to speak.
First, I don’t see myself writing as anything other than a novel in the genre. I have two novels planned, one already at 45,000 words, and they will be in this market. There is no point in hiding the fact. Indeed, it will link me to that market.
Second, there has been such a polarisation in Australian society that I feel I must make an explicit stand on where we are heading. The issues of ‘same-sex’ marriage, the Safe Schools program, and euthanasia are just a few of the issues that have, and will continue to polarise Australian society.
Third, in coming out, I would like to promote the market and encourage readers and writers to have a closer a look at the novels and novelists in the genre of the Catholic novel. To this end, I will make comments and provide links to writers and their works.
What does the genre of the Catholic novel entail? I have devoted a page to explaining what is it and who are its foremost proponents.