Category Archives: Religion

False charges, unjust sentence and solitary confinement – Australia’s shame

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.

Read the rest here…

Cdl Pell and the tower of Pisa commission

The Royal Commission into institutional child sex abuse leant so far leftwards that it threatened to fall over. Like the Tower of Pisa, the Commission needs some remedial work to prop it up. Chris Friel probes the Get Pell fiasco.

The Royal Commission as a Weapon

Chris S Friel

The Get Pell shot-gun has two barrels, Operation Tethering, the fishing expedition that looked for abuses that the Cardinal himself had committed and, set up at roughly the same time, the Victorian and then Royal Commissions into institutional child sex abuse that focussed on places where Pell lived, Ballarat and Melbourne. This essay will take a look at one aspect of a report on the latter.

The Cardinal was acquitted by the High Court of Australia last month and so the Royal Commission released its previously unredacted sections.i These include references to Pell in “Case 35”on the Archdiocese of Melbourne that among other things relate how he handled Peter Searson when in1989 he received a delegation from concerned teachers. My focus will be the way the commissioners tried to support their findings in the light of the evidence. I will explore the question of whether that evidence was weaponised as part of the Get Pell project.

Reading through the report there is no doubt that it is Archbishop Little who is damned for his abject failure to protect children. But as the Twittersphere was quick to point out, the then Auxiliary Bishop was criticised too. One example suffices to make the point:

This is KEY. The commission found “It was incumbent on Pell … with responsibilities for the welfare of the children … to take such action that [pedophile] Father Searson be removed or, at least, a thorough investigation be undertaken.” Searson died in 2009 without facing charges.i

In response, Pell made a statement that included the following:

As an Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne 1987-96, Bishop Pell met with a delegation from Doveton Parish in 1989 which did not mention sexual assaults and did not ask for Searson’s removal. Appointed Archbishop of Melbourne on 16 August 1996, Archbishop Pell placed Fr Searson on administrative leave in March 1997 and removed him from the parish on 15 May 1997. iii 

Pell expressed surprise at the findings, but in truth they were eagerly awaited by his opponents who correctly sensed that the unredacted version was like Hamlet without the prince. Thus, Louise Milligan had a couple of chapters on the episode in her book, and she was ready with a thread when the full version was finally released.iv

Read the rest here…

Cardinal Pell’s prison journal

Cardinal Pell’s prison journal is around 1000 pages. Ignatius Press will publish it in three or four volumes.

Fr Joseph Fessio, editor of Ignatius Press, is appealing for donations to pay an advance to the cardinal to help him defray the enormous legal costs his defence incurred. Go here to donate to Cardinal Pell’s cause.

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Cardinal Pell’s prison journal will be ‘spiritual classic,’ publisher says.

CNA Staff, Jun 20, 2020

(CNA).- The publisher of the prison diary of Cardinal George Pell said the text reveals the courage, conviction, and Christian charity of the cardinal.

“This journal reveals the Cardinal Pell I know and that every faithful Catholic should get to know,” Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ, of Ignatius Press told CNA June 20.

Pell “proclaimed Christ and the Church’s moral teachings without fear and with full knowledge of what the cost would be. And he paid the price with good humor and, like Christ, a love of his enemies,” Fessio added.

Read the rest here…

Cardinal Pell and Suffering

Cardinal talks of ordeal to students

By Staff Writers  Catholic Weekly-June 15, 2020

Christianity “helped me to survive” says Cardinal Pell

Cardinal George Pell has urged university students from across Australia to reflect on the Christian teaching on suffering, offering advice for those experiencing what he called “moments of extremity”.

Patron of the Australian Catholic Students’ Association for close to 20 years, the Cardinal addressed the students at an online retreat held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Referring to his own 13 months imprisonment, he said there is a lot of goodness in prisons and many others go through much greater suffering than what he experienced.

Read the rest here…

Is the Catholic Church still a missionary Church?

One of Archbishop Vigano’s most pointed criticisms in his condemnation of Vatican II (see previous post) was about ecumenism. The liberal-left and dissident factions of the Council hammered the (alleged) need for the Church to become more ‘ecumenical and pastoral’ in its orientation. In his criticism, the archbishop focused on one of the most controversial sentences in all of the Council documents: ‘Ecclesia Christi subsistit in Ecclesia Catholica‘ – the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church.

I have been rather cavalier in presenting my view on this sentence. I understood it to mean (uncontroversially, I thought) that ‘the Church of Christ’ referred to the Church in its pristine purity (the substance) and the Catholic Church to include the fallibility of the human person (the accidents). And if elements of the pristine Church were to be found in other churches, then they were at a stage on the way to the one true Church. Missionary work was required to bring those with a deficient understanding to the full faith.

For example, Dr Taylor Marshall (see previous posts) started out as a fervent baptist. Reflection on his faith brought him to the Episcopal Church in which he became an episcopal priest. The journey of faith continued until he saw the full faith in the Catholic Church. He is now in full missionary mode as a philosopher and theologian. I strongly recommend his youtube videos.

Archbishop Vigano points out how the Second Vatican Council’s documents on ecumenism led to the opposite of this process of conversion. Indeed, conversion was now deemed no longer necessary. One of the (German) bishops at the recent Amazonia Synod was heard to boast that he had not converted anyone in fifty years. Archbishop Vigano:

Together with numerous Council Fathers, we thought of ecumenism as a process, an invitation that calls dissidents to the one Church of Christ, idolaters and pagans to the one True God, and the Jewish people to the promised Messiah. But from the moment it was theorized in the conciliar commissions, ecumenism was configured in a way that was in direct opposition to the doctrine previously expressed by the Magisterium…

Numerous practicing Catholics, and perhaps also a majority of Catholic clergy, are today convinced that the Catholic Faith is no longer necessary for eternal salvation; they believe that the One and Triune God revealed to our fathers is the same as the god of Mohammed…

Thus “Ecclesia Christi subsistit in Ecclesia Catholica” does not specify the identity of the two, but the subsistence of one in the other and, for consistency, also in other churches: here is the opening to interconfessional celebrations, ecumenical prayers, and the inevitable end of any need for the Church in the order of salvation, in her unicity, and in her missionary nature.

What does the Gospels say? The Gospel for Trinity Sunday (2 weeks ago) has the crucial passage:

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days, even to the consummation of the world. Matt: 28, 18-20

This is one of those scriptural passages that could hardly be clearer. It renders those promoting an interpretation of ecumenism based on the so-called ‘spirit’ rank heretics.

The Catholic Church is prescriptively a missionary Church.

The Conciliar Series

I have begun a series of novels that has as its background the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s (1965-1975). The Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council was part of this cultural revolution. The bishops in St Peter’s of Rome (1962-1965) had imbibed from the same cup of radical anti-Catholic, anti-Christian civilization philosophies driving the mob in Paris in 1968.

The location of the stories in the Conciliar Series will mostly be in Holland and Australia. The first book in the series TIMES OF DISTRESS plays out in Holland, Australia, and New Guinea.

Meaning of Trump’s tweet to Archbishop Vigano

Donald Trump tweeted a reply to Archbishop Vigano’s open letter to him. It was praise and acknowledgment of the Archbishop and the content of the letter. The tweet:

Dr Taylor Marshall follows his post explicating Archbishop Vigano’s Open Letter with what he considers Trump’s tweet means. He makes six points and explains the reason for them. Again, he highlights the significance of  the Latin phrase: Solve et Coagula. I cannot stress enough the importance of Marshall’s three videos on Archbishop Vigano’s Open Letter to President Trump. The third is to come.

Go to: Left-leaning Catholics furious over Trump tweeting Archbishop Viganò’s letter

Cardinal Pell’s Inquisition

Peter Westmore attended the Rome interrogation by the Royal Commission’s shameless lawyer who took on the self-appointed role of prosecutor. Like many he was disgusted by the cardinal’s treatment. In the comment below, he refutes the claim by the Pell lynch mob that Fr Pell, as he was in the 1970s, knew and covered up clerical sexual abuse. He makes the obvious point, as others have done, that if Fr Pell in his position knew about the abuse, then so did others.

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ROYAL COMMISSION
Hatchet job on Cardinal Pell breached basic principle of fairness

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, May 16, 2020

Findings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Cardinal George Pell covered up allegations of child abuse in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s are totally unsupported by the evidence, and constitute an abuse of power by the Commission. They could more accurately be described as accusations.

Nevertheless, the ABC and other sections of the media that for years have been running a vendetta against Cardinal Pell and were clearly unhappy that his conviction for child sex abuse had been overturned in a unanimous judgement of the High Court of Australia, reported the sensational claims at great length.

In doing so, they further trashed the reputation of the first Australian church leader seriously to deal with the problem of child sexual abuse, and the first to set up a redress scheme for victims over 20 years before the Royal Commission recommended such a body.

Read the rest here…

The need to investigate the ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

The Cardinal Pell Affair has not finished by a long shot. There is much still to be said about the legal fiasco of Cardinal Pell’s trials – about the shocking perversion of Victoria’s legal system. There are other matters that also need investigation. For example, a formal body should investigate websites like Broken Rites and groups like the Ballarat Survivors Group. To what extent did these activists contribute to the undermining of Victoria’s legal system? Victoria’s police force is also screaming out for investigation.

At the top of my list for investigation, though, is The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which in a way could be called The Royal Inquisition into the Catholic Church through the Figure of Cardinal George Pell. I’m not the only one to say it. The bias and unseemly aggression with which Cardinal Pell was interrogated belongs to something from the files of Germany’s Gestapo.

Gerard Henderson in his unmissable Media Watch Dog blog made many criticisms of the proceedings of the Royal Commission. Below is one made three years ago which brings into focus the curious case of former priest and leftist scribbler Paul Bongiorno who shared accommodation with Fr Gerald Ridsdale, the worst of the clerical abusers.

Continue reading The need to investigate the ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

The Pell lynch mob is off Rumbling again

The news reports of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse gave me the impression it was a Royal Commission into George Pell who they all knew was as guilty as hell of covering up all the sexual abuse cases from the colonial period to his disgusting neglect and cover-up in the Ballarat diocese. That Cardinal Pell was a mere assistant priest at the time has nothing to do with it.

Witnessing the naked aggression with which Cardinal Pell was interrogated was eye-popping. I wonder now why the interrogators did not put the cardinal under a spotlight borrowed from the MCG to squeeze the guilt out if him.

The interrogations provided a wonderful time for Pell-haters watching with their crisps and gin tonics the prolonged torture of that hateful bit of Catholic rubbish.

Louise Milligan and her feminist cronies at your ABC awaited the unredacted papers papers of the Royal Commission with slavering anticipation. The High Court unjust verdict declaring Cardinal Pell innocent would be overturned. And so they saw it happen. They could not contain themselves writhing with pleasure and blowing their tops in the media bubble they inhabit. Monica Doumit of the Catholic Weekly provides some perspective for those who have not lost their minds

Monica Doumit: Misplaced blame for horrific abuse

By Monica Doumit -May 7, 2020

Look closer, the cardinal’s actions speak for themselves

The long-awaited unredacted Royal Commission reports for the Diocese of Ballarat and the Archdiocese of Melbourne were released today.

The abuse that occurred in Victoria is horrific, and the damage done in Ballarat simply criminal.  Nothing can detract from that.

But again, it seems that there is a desire to blame it all on one man.  Although the unredacted portions dealt with a number of people, the media focus has been exclusively, and unsurprisingly, on Cardinal George Pell.  The banner across the ABC report has labelled them “the Pell Papers.”

Despite the media interest that will develop over the next couple of days, the reports – which together comprise some 800 pages – tell us very little that we did not already know.  In this piece, I’d like to break down the key findings as they relate to Cardinal Pell and provide just a little bit of commentary on each.

Read the rest here…