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.
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.
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
George Pell, vice and the Vatican
by Paola Totaro, Australian, 28 November 2020
Cardinal George Pell shared his suspicions that up to €100m in unregistered cash owned by the Vatican could be hidden in foreign bank accounts at a secret meeting with Australian bankers in London’s financial district in 2016 — but four years later his questions remain unanswered.
In a new book citing confidential letters, documents and transcripts of private conversations between cardinals, Italian investigative journalist Gian Luigi Nuzzi recounts in detail the campaign of intimidation and psychological warfare unleashed by the Vatican’s old guard against attempts by Pope Francis and his German predecessor Benedict XVI to clean up the finances of the Holy See.
The intimidation included a Watergate-style break-in and the theft of a dossier of documents relating to the 1982 murder of the Vatican banker Roberto Calvi just weeks after Pell’s appointment as financial tsar. This was interpreted internally as a Mafia-style warning to busybody outsiders.
Nuzzi’s 835-page tome, The Vatican’s Black Book, documents more than 50 years of financial skulduggery by sections of the Roman curia to avoid proper scrutiny and accounting for the millions in cash donated by Catholics around the world each year.
I have tried to resist the idea that we have an apostate on the see of Peter. It is such a shocking thought. How could it be? But the evidence piles up. The latest is the news that Marxist ex-priest Leonardo Boff is a particular friend of Pope Francis who reads and re-reads his Marxist scribblings. Edward Pentin, in his article below, quotes Boff’s crass rubbishing of St John Paul II and Cardinal/Pope Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. Is there a clearer sign of this man’s corrupted mind – and of Francis’s apostasy? Once again we are exposed to the deadly fantasies of a man locked away in a dark theoretical nightmare. I think there must be a special place in hell for unhinged theorists.
Liberation Theologian Leonardo Boff is a Keynote Speaker at Vatican’s ‘Economy of Francesco’ Conference
Edward Pentin, NCR, 19 November 2020
The controversial former Franciscan priest was disciplined by the Vatican in the 1980s, for disseminating Marxist-oriented ideas that demonstrated ‘a profound misunderstanding of the Catholic faith.’
VATICAN CITY — The controversial Brazilian liberation theologian Leonardo Boff will be a keynote speaker at the Economy of Francesco, a three-day international Vatican-organized conference that starts tomorrow aimed at making finance inclusive and sustainable.
A former Franciscan priest, Boff will speak on “socio-ecological responsibility: global view, territorial actions” along with Father Vilson Groh, who works with the poor in the favela (slum) of Florianopolis in southern Brazil.
According to the Economy of Francesco organizers, the Nov. 19-21 conference aims to propose ideas that “move and live for a fairer, more fraternal and sustainable economy and give a soul to the economy of tomorrow.”
Some 2,000 economists and entrepreneurs under the age of 35 from around the world will take part in the live-streamed meeting which will include a 24-hour “marathon” of online exchanges on the second day.
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.
* ****Continue reading The Pell case: Who’s running scared?
‘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.Continue reading The best liars are the most convincing liars
‘Amazing allegations’ surface of allegedly corrupt Vatican officials’
The following details are from media reports this last week:
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].”Continue reading Vatican money to destroy Cardinal Pell – The story so far