Category Archives: Catholic Church

The Pell case: Who’s running scared?

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.

* ****

Make no mistake about it: for the army of professional Pell-haters in the Australian media, the allegation that corrupt officials may have opened the Vatican’s coffers in order to ‘help’ the prosecution is more humiliating than even the cardinal’s acquittal. If Perlasca is indeed suggesting that, then at the very least they have been unwittingly manipulated by a gang of rancid old crooks.

I say ‘at the very least’, because for some time I’ve suspected that one or more anti-Pell journalists, very probably not Australian, liaised between the Vatican and Victoria. If so, this bean-spilling season in Rome must be torture for them.

And the season is just beginning, I think. On my Holy Smoke podcast last week, I interviewed CNA’s Dr Ed Condon, the canon lawyer-turned-reporter who has done more than any other English-speaking journalist to expose what he calls Becciu’s ‘byzantine’ financial dealings. I hope you’ll listen to it, because you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of Vatican ‘experts’ prepared to do some digging that might embarrass Pope Francis.

And in Australia, what passes for news about the Church is even more grotesquely unreliable. Sooner rather than later, we may learn more about what that Vatican money was used for during the Pell trial. And I think it’s inevitable that, despite reporting restrictions, we shall discover more about the cardinal’s solitary accuser. God only knows what will happen then.

Vatican money to destroy Cardinal Pell – The story so far

The following details are from media reports this last week:

National Catholic Register 29 September 2020

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].”

LifeSiteNews 3 October 2020

According to Corriere della Sera, Monsignor Alberto Perlasca, who worked with Becciu in the Secretariat of State, started cooperating with Vatican investigators looking into financial misconduct within the Holy See’s institutions.

Perlasca argued, the newspaper wrote, that “Becciu has used some journalists and other sources to discredit his enemies in recent years.”

“And it is precisely in this vein that the payment in Australia would have been made, possibly in connection with Pell’s trial,” Corriere della Sera commented.

The Australian 5 October 2020

The saga of Vatican financial corruption took an extraordinary turn last night, when Italian ­newspaper Il Messaggero quoted the former right-hand man to ­disgraced Cardinal Angelo Becciu claiming a bank transfer of 700,000 euros was made from the Vatican to a bank in Australia.

The article quotes Monsignor Alberto Perlasca as claiming the transfer was made at the same time that the child-abuse case against Cardinal George Pell was developing in Australia.

Monsignor Perlasca worked closely with Cardinal Becciu when the latter was second in charge at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

The Australian 5 October 2020

A senior Catholic cardinal has been accused of using €700,000 ($1.14m) of Vatican funds to bribe witnesses to secure a sex abuse conviction against a rival.

Italian media have reported that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 72, is suspected of wiring the cash to recipients in Australia who helped to ensure hostile testimony in the abuse trial of Cardinal George Pell, who was accused of molesting choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s…

Quoting leaked documents, the Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera reported at the weekend that Vatican investigators suspect that Cardinal Becciu hoped to use the money to definitively derail Cardinal Pell’s transparency program, which threatened to expose Cardinal Becciu’s allegedly corrupt management of Vatican cash.

The Australian 5 October 2020

Cardinal Becciu used “journalists and contacts to discredit his enemies”, according to the Corriere della Sera report.

“It is precisely in this vein that the payment in Australia would have been made, possibly in connection with Pell’s trial,” the article claimed…

The former choirboy who accused George Pell of abusing him in the 1990s has denied knowing anything about Vatican bribes allegedly paid to witnesses against Pell.

The man, known during Pell’s trial as Witness J, spoke out after sensational reports that $1.1 million was sent to Australia to build a case against Pell.

He was one of two choirboys Pell was convicted of sexually assaulting before the convictions were overturned following a High Court appeal.

The reports in Italian newspapers do not name Witness J.

“My client denies any knowledge or receipt of any payments. He won’t be commenting further in response to these allegations,” his lawyer Dr Vivian Waller said today…

News Corp Australia understands that Pell was encouraged to return because of his knowledge of the Vatican’s financial systems, having served as its former Treasurer.

A source close to Cardinal Pell said that the Pope himself had made the request for Pell and that he was expected to be at the Vatican for a lengthy period…

Pell said last week after the Pope sacked Becciu that the pontiff played a “long game.”

“The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances. He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments,” he said.

“I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria.”

The leftist media’s sick obsession with Cdl Pell

They just can’t leave Cardinal Pell alone, can they? With anyone else it would be stalking. Stalking is okay when the leftist media has Cardinal Pell as the victim. The Sydney Morning Herald reported Cardinal Pell had dinner with friends at a Circular Quay restaurant in Sydney. Why? Because it was the opportunity to sneer, ridicule and harass the Cardinal. What a bunch of gutless worms that run The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Well, they have to serve their bigoted constituency, don’t they?

Pell breaks (garlic) bread at Circular Quay Italian diner

Readers will recall Pell spent his first night of freedom upon his release in the Carmelite Monastery in Melbourne’s Kew, before being driven by a friend to the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Homebush. He has spent the bulk of his time in Sydney since his release.

Pell, according to CBD spies, was seated at the middle of a long table, with about a dozen people, and knew some of the guests at smaller tables flanking the high table.

Those inside the restaurant overheard the dinner was held to mark his release from jail.

At one point, Pell – who was dressed in what one observer described as “priestly regalia” – stood to address his friends and gave a short speech and toast.

Apparently Pell was flanked by a number of priests. One guest wore a blazer bearing an Order of Australia gong on their lapel. Representatives for the Catholic Church and Pell did not return calls and emails on Thursday.

The other guests in the restaurant said they had to pinch themselves.

“It was like the last supper,” one onlooker said. “He was sitting in the middle of a long dinner table, and there was no one sitting opposite.”

The Collapse of the Dutch Church

As the novels of my Conciliar series often play out in the Netherlands, the article below is of interest for background information.

‘Great apostasy’: Cardinal analyzes why Netherlands lost Catholic faith in few short decades

Cardinal Willem Eijk’s new book ‘Ferment in the care of souls’ helps answer the question about why the Netherlands has become one of the most secularized countries in the world today.

September 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Why are the tiny Netherlands, whose missionaries represented over 12 percent of Roman Catholic priests and religious bringing the faith to foreign countries around 1960, today one of the most secularized countries in the world? Of all the questions addressed by Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk in his recent book of dialogues with Italian journalist Andrea Galli, this was the one that struck commentators most.

The Cardinal borrowed his answer from a book written in 1947 after a meeting of nine laymen and priests in his own diocese of Utrecht years before a major crisis hit Dutch Catholicism. In Ferment in the care of souls, these concerned Catholics, he said, “saw that the bond between Catholics and the Church was no longer based on the contents of the faith.”

“Membership in the Church was essentially a community factor: one went to Catholic primary school, then to Catholic secondary school, and was a member of Catholic associations, especially in the sports and scouting fields. One was Catholic for reasons of social belonging, because one grew up in Catholic structures, not on the basis of a lived faith,” Cardinal Eijk remarks. It was a faith that “could not withstand such radical culture changes as those of the 1960’s.”

That time of prosperity and growing individualism gradually led to the “hyper-individualism” that Cardinal Eijk has more than once pointed out as being at the root of modern-day Holland’s rejection of God – as in this interview with LifeSite in May 2019, many of whose themes are present in his new book, Dio viva in Olanda (“God lives in Holland”). Revealingly, the subtitle of his book is a quote from Saint Luke: “When the Son of man comes, will He find faith on earth?”

Read the rest here…

Cdl Pell’s Financial regime vindicated

Pell thanks Pope for cleaning Vatican ‘stables’ after cardinal who canceled 2016 audit resigns

Becciu was instrumental in April of 2016 in canceling an external audit of Vatican finances that had been planned by Cardinal Pell.

SYDNEY, Australia, September 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal George Pell, who had been tasked by Pope Francis in 2014 to clean up the Vatican’s finances, thanked the Pope for moving to “clean the stables” of the Vatican by accepting the resignation of a powerful Vatican official who in 2016 single-handedly canceled a planned external audit of Vatican finances. 

“The Holy Father has elected to clean up Vatican finances,” the Australian cardinal wrote in an official statement dated today where he identifies himself as the former Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy in the Vatican. “He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments. I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria.” 

Yesterday the Holy See announced that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciù, 72, had offered Pope Francis his resignation and, very unusually, his rights as a cardinal. The most recent cardinal to be stripped of his rights, but not also expelled from the College of Cardinals, was the late Cardinal Keith O’Brien after being accused of sexual misconduct with priests.    

Read the rest here…

The failure of Victoria’s Court of Appeal – Cardinal Pell

In a previous comment, I wondered what motivated Victoria’s Court of Appeal judges, Anne Ferguson and Chris Maxwell, to reject Cardinal Pell’s appeal. I watched the delivery of the verdict. I was stunned to the point of feeling faint. I could not believe what I was hearing from the smug mouth of Ferguson with her superior ‘Karen’ airs. I asked whether it was incompetence, ideology or spinelessness that was the motivation. Damon Johnston’s article below on the appalling record of the Appeal Court under Maxwell suggests incompetence was the problem.

*****

Victoria’s Court of Appeal savaged in landmark legal study

JULY 23, 2020 The Australian

DAMON JOHNSTON VICTORIAN EDITOR

Victoria’s Court of Appeal has been rocked by a landmark legal study finding that 18 criminal judgments under its president, judge Chris Maxwell, have been overturned by the High Court.

The report, by Victoria’s former chief crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert QC, concluded that during Justice Maxwell’s reign the court had “cast off its near-perfect record”.

“The first 10 years of the Court of Appeal in its criminal jurisdiction saw its judgments affirmed on 10 occasions and reversed twice by the High Court,” Mr Silbert writes in his report, published in the Australian Law Journal.

“The next 14 years (under Justice Maxwell) have seen the Court of Appeal’s judgments reversed 16 times and affirmed on six occasions, with a large number of its decisions criticised, particularly in … sentencing.”

Continue reading The failure of Victoria’s Court of Appeal – Cardinal Pell

An afternoon with Cardinal Pell

Wanda Skowronska, Quadrant, 14 August

It has been four months since Cardinal George Pell was freed from Victoria’s Barwon Prison on April 7, after the High Court unanimously overturned his convictions. During his 400 days in jail many people, myself among them, sent the Cardinal letters and cards of support, hoping and praying he would be soon released. Now, a few months later, I have had the privilege of sitting for over an hour with the Cardinal who had graciously agreed to a meeting.

Before me was someone who had suffered greatly, yet was relaxed, serene, courteous and witty. While we were conversing, I could not help sensing his inner peace, from deep wells of the soul. He clearly has an ongoing lively interest in books which prison did nothing to abate.  Our discussion was mainly about his dear friend Father Paul Stenhouse (right), who died on November 19, 2019, and of whom many tributes have been written.

Cardinal Pell noted the “intellectual qualities” and “very fine Catholic writing” of Fr Stenhouse, saying he was “a deeply faithful priest.” He had heard of the priest-scholar before he met him in the 1990s in Melbourne and from there came a meeting of minds in which many situations in the church and the world were discussed. Fr Stenhouse, being the editor of Annals, the longest-running journal in Australian history, put his knowledge of history and language into this doughty publication from the 1960s. There was much to discuss, the Cardinal chuckling at how his older friend insisted on driving him around Sydney, “even when he was in his 80s!”  Asked his opinion of Fr Stenhouse’s driving, the Cardinal replied calmly that “he did not terrify me.”  He recalled how they would visit friends, go to restaurants and visited Camden, where Fr Stenhouse grew up. Among other subjects, they discussed the situation in the church, how to help those suffering from religious persecution,  and their high regard for Saint John Paul II.

Read the rest here…

Mad Marxist Andrews and his failed state

The Coronavirus: How did Victoria get so much so wrong?

Gerard Henderson, The Sydney Institute, 11 August 2020

Around two months ago I walked up a one-way street in the Sydney CBD. A young man, wearing a mask approached me and asked, firmly but courteously, if I would use the opposite footpath. I did so.

On looking around, I noticed two parked police cars and a bus. After passing the bus I looked back and saw a member of the Australian Defence Force ushering passengers into a hotel. I realised that this was a group of people returning from overseas and going into 14-day quarantine. There was an air of quiet authority about the process.

This contrasts with the apparent mayhem in some of the hotels used for quarantine in Melbourne. For reasons currently unknown, the Victorian Labor government did not put Victoria Police in charge of quarantine and did not accept the commonwealth government’s early offers to provide the ADF’s assistance.

Read the rest here…