Category Archives: Religion

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.

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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.

The best liars are the most convincing liars

‘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.

The reasonable judgment is that because the High Court Justices did roundly uphold Cardinal Pell’s appeal 7-nil, they did in fact repudiate the former choirboy. Indeed, we can take it that behind their hands they laughed the preposterous Crown case out of court, and the choirboy with it.

Second, Cooper’s pathetic attempt, like many others, to discredit, or even nullify, the High Court decision in the minds of the public, actually works against the conclusion he wants. The more he emphasizes the ‘credibility’ of the choirboy in the face of the overwhelming evidence against his uncorroborated accusation, and in the face of the many harsh expert commentaries about the case and Victoria’s legal system around the world, the more the picture of a cunning conniving liar appears.

The best liars are the most convincing liars. Con men succeed because of their talent at projecting a trustworthy appearance. The choirboy is an outstanding liar with a proficiency and daring one cannot help finding impressive.

The problem for the choirboy is that the more outrageous the lie, the more vulnerable the liar is, and the higher the stakes become. There is a good reason he is lying low behind the protection of the Andrews’ government, and the cohort of bigots at the ABC, the Guardian, the Nine newspapers, and a dozen other struggling leftist rags.

With the news of possible bribery by Cardinal Pell’s enemies in the Vatican, our accomplished liar must now have the feeling his preposterous creation is beginning to close in on him. Nothing is surer than that in time the curtain will be drawn away to reveal who and what he really is, and what his motivations were. If I was him, I would start thinking about ways to minimize the eventual damage.

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…

Remembering the Martyrs in the Colesseum

The death of Christians in the Roman Colesseum, torn apart by wild animals or quartered by Roman gladiators, was part of the cultural narrative in the 1950s. That has changed. Not only does mention of the Christian martyrs risks cancelling, but the more zealous of the left are asserting it never happened. It is just Christian propaganda. Contradicting long held facts about the past is a common strategy of the Marxists when something does not fit their agenda.

Well-known Italian historian, Roberto de Mattei, has an excellent essay about the Christian martyrs in the latest edition of Remnant Newspaper. Bringing the Christian martyrs back into the frame is long overdue.

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Martyrs of the Colosseum Assist Us in Battle

Written by  Roberto de Mattei | Remnant Columnist

persecution

THERE IS NO place in the world that expresses the redemptive power of the Cross like the Colosseum, where the Christian martyrs triumphed over the Roman Empire by their deaths. It should not surprise us therefore that anti-Christian hatred, which is renewed throughout the ages, has come today to the point of denying that the blood of the martyrs was ever shed at the Colosseum at all.

The Flavian Amphitheater, or the Colosseum as it was called in the Middle Ages and later because of the greatness of its size, is the work of the Flavian emperors. The construction was begun by the Emperor Vespasian and inaugurated by his son Titus in the year A.D. 80; later work was carried out by Domitian, the younger brother of Titus and the last emperor of the Flavian dynasty. The amphitheater was built for the gladiatorial games, in which the pagan world reached the peak of supreme cruelty. However, beginning with the edict of Nero in A.D. 67, Christianity was proscribed by the Empire, and three centuries of bloody persecutions began, which concluded only with Constantine’s Edict of Milan in 313. Domitian was, after Nero, the first great persecutor, and under his reign the Colosseum began to be the scene of the martyrdom of Christians.

Read the rest here…

Promoting Catholic Fiction

I have heard complaints that not enough Catholic writers are producing novels or books dealing with religious and moral issues . It used not to be like that. My reply is that some of us who toil away writing novels and non-fiction works receive little support from those in a position to provide encouragement and promotion. I acknowledge that News Weekly and AD2000 reviewed my books, as did the Annals. So it is with delight and congratulations that I provide a link to Brisbane’s Catholic Leader who reviewed a new novel by a Catholic writer.

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Canberra author uses fiction to evangelise Church’s teaching on marriage

THERE was a time Catholic fiction novels ruled library shelves, and Canberra author Veronica Smallhorn believes it’s time for a renaissance.

The mum of three has released her first novel, A Channel of Your Peace, which tells the story of a young woman whose life turns upside down when her fiancé of five years confesses to having an affair with a co-worker.

Published by an American company that promotes “Theology of the Body fiction”, A Channel of Your Peace is Ms Smallhorn’s attempt to write fiction novels for young women with a central Catholic storyline.

Read the rest here…

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…