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’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
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.”
I recently completed an update of TONY ABBOTT AND THE TIMES OF REVOLUTION. I did a bit of polishing and added an index of names. An index of names was an important upgrade. I should perhaps have done that in the beginning. The book also has a new and more attractive cover. The photo is of the entrance to Sydney University where all the action took place.
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
Ben Shapiro is an American/Jewish conservative commentator. I make the point that he is a Jew because he boldly presents himself as an orthodox Jew. His youtube video’s are well-known to conservatives around the world.
To those not familiar with the name I strongly recommend you have a look at a selection of his videos. To those who think Jews are naturally the propagators of left-wing theories, I more strongly recommend you listen to Shapiro in full flight. His thinking processes are razor sharp and lightning quick – and they defend a conservative view of the world.
An indication of his wide appeal to natural law conservatives is an article on the (deeply conservative Catholic LifeSiteNews channel summarising Shapiro’s arguments against abortion.
Ben Shapiro smashes pro-abortion arguments at March for Life podcast
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Festivities for the 2019 March for Life kicked off Friday with a live broadcast of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” which the popular conservative commentator devoted to an overview of the case against abortion and common “pro-choice” arguments.
After taking the stage to enthusiastic cheers, Shapiro noted that this was the first time both at the March and doing a full hour themed around a specific issue, then quoted several pro-abortion statements from former President Barack Obama, including that God should “bless” Planned Parenthood.Continue reading Ben Shapiro smashes pro-abortion arguments
It reminds me of the liar who precipitated one the worst episodes of injustice in Australia’s history. False accusations that are taken up by the mob.
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.
My Time in Prison
George Cardinal Pell, First Things, August 2020
There is a lot of goodness in prisons. At times, I am sure, prisons may be hell on earth. I was fortunate to be kept safe and treated well. I was impressed by the professionalism of the warders, the faith of the prisoners, and the existence of a moral sense even in the darkest places.
I was in solitary confinement for thirteen months, ten at the Melbourne Assessment Prison and three at Barwon Prison. In Melbourne the prison uniform was a green tracksuit, but in Barwon I was issued the bright red colors of a cardinal. I had been convicted in December 2018 of historical sexual offenses against children, despite my innocence, and despite the incoherence of the Crown Prosecutor’s case against me. Eventually (in April of this year) the High Court of Australia was to quash my convictions in a unanimous ruling. In the meantime, I began to serve my sentence of six years.
In Melbourne, I lived in Cell 11, Unit 8, on the fifth floor. My cell was seven or eight meters long and about two meters wide, just enough for my bed, which had a firm base, a not-too-thick mattress, and two blankets. On the left as you entered were low shelves with a kettle, television, and eating space. Across the narrow aisle was a basin with hot and cold water and a shower recess with good hot water. Unlike in many posh hotels, an efficient reading lamp was in the wall above the bed. Since both my knees had been replaced a couple of months before entering prison, I used a walking stick initially and was given a higher hospital chair, which was a blessing. Health regulations require each prisoner to have an hour outside each day, and so I was allowed to take two half-hours in Melbourne. Nowhere in Unit 8 was there clear glass, so I could recognize day from night, but not much more, from my cell. I never saw the eleven other prisoners.