Category Archives: Religion

Julia Yost’s review of ‘Cardinal’

Julia Yost’s excellent 2017 review of Louise Milligan’s book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell is worth another look.

Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell
louise milligan
melbourne, 277 pages, $11.21

George Cardinal Pell was charged last week with multiple counts of sexual abuse of children. He currently resides in Rome, tasked with cleaning up the Vatican finances. In the coming weeks he will fly to his native Australia, where he vows to fight all charges. His successor in the see of Sydney, Archbishop Anthony Fisher, advises letting the justice system take its course.

Australian civil authorities have yet to announce the number and nature of the offenses with which Pell is charged. But allegations against Pell have been accumulating for years. He stands publicly accused of complicity in a sex abuse coverup in the diocese of Ballarat in the 1970s and early 1980s; complicity in a sex abuse coverup in the archdiocese of Melbourne in the late 1980s and 1990s; and various counts of child molestation, assault, and indecent exposure, from 1961 through 1997.

Read on…

A vicious hack closed my website

Four days ago, coincidentally after I had posted a series of critical and mocking tweets about the appalling result of Cardinal Pell’s appeal, my website suddenly turned crimson, warning about the dangers to be met within. Nobody could access it.

However, due to the actions of a very clever son, the corrupted files were found and annihilated. The website is now back online as safe as it could be.

The absurdity of the case against Cardinal Pell

There have been many articles and videos demonstrating the absurdity (and injustice) of Cardinal Pell’s conviction, but none encapsulates that absurdity more succinctly than that by veteran journalist John Sylvester in Melbourne’s Age.

‘Pell was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt on the uncorroborated evidence of one witness, without forensic evidence, a pattern of behaviour or a confession.

‘It is a matter of public record that it is rare to run a case on the word of one witness, let alone gain a conviction.’

The facts about homosexuality and Catholic priests

Fr D. Paul Sullins of The Ruth Institute, The Catholic University of America, reported the findings of his research into the issue of homosexuality and Catholic priests in America.

IS CATHOLIC CLERGY SEX ABUSE RELATED TO HOMOSEXUAL PRIESTS?

Executive Summary

This report compares previously unexamined measures of the share of homosexual Catholic priests and the incidence and victim gender of minor sex abuse by Catholic priests from 1950 to 2001 to see if the these matters are related. New data from the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report are also examined.

Key points:

  1. Clergy sexual abuse is still a problem. Since peaking 35 years ago, it has declined much less than commonly thought. The decline is consistent with an overall drop in sexual assault in American society.
  2. Since 2002 abuse has been rising amid signs of complacency by Church leaders, and today is comparable to the early 1970s.
  3. The share of homosexual men in the priesthood rose from twice that of the general population in the 1950s to eight times the general population in the 1980s. This trend was strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.
  4. A quarter of priests ordained in the late 1960s report the existence of a homosexual subculture in their seminary, rising to over half of priests ordained in the 1980s. This trend was also strongly correlated with increasing child sex abuse.
  5. Four out of five victims over age 7 were boys; only one in five were girls. Ease of access to boys relative to girls accounts for about one fifth of this disparity. The number of homosexual priests accounts for the remaining four fifths.
  6. Estimates from these findings predict that, had the proportion of homosexual priests remained at the 1950s level, at least 12,000 fewer children, mostly boys, would have suffered abuse.

Read on…

George Pell – Australia’s first Catholic martyr

If you were in a Catholic school in the 1950s, you would have been taught about the heroic saints, men and women, who preferred death to the denial of their faith. Indeed, the examples of the saints and martyrs were a primary vehicle for teaching pupils what their faith was really about. You have to be moved to the core to prefer to die rather than give up what you believe in. The saints and martyrs were moved to the core because they accepted the revelation that Jesus Christ was God-made-Man, ‘the way, the truth and the life’. They accepted St Peter’s declaration that Jesus was ‘the Christ, son of the living God’ (Matt. 16:16).

The first martyrs were those of the Roman persecutions, people of faith who submitted to the tearing jaws of wild beasts rather than carry out the act of offering a small sacrifice to the multitude of Roman Gods. Centuries later, much closer to Australian society, were the martyrs of the English Reformation who submitted to the barbaric penalty of hanging, drawing and quartering rather than condone Henry VIII’s trashing of key elements of Catholic teaching.

Continue reading George Pell – Australia’s first Catholic martyr

Pell case reaction: a veneer of civilisation

Human rights lawyer Greg Barnes warns of where Australian society is heading in, THE CARDINAL PELL CASE: TRIUMPHALISM OVER PELL VERDICT SHOWS CIVILISATION JUST A VENEER.

Most of those supporting Cardinal Pell and condemning the guilty verdict have focused on the problems of evidence. Just as worrying as the failure of Victoria’s legal system which is supposedly based on the application of reason to the concrete evidence, is the mob mentality of those wildly rejoicing over the Cardinal’s dramatic demise. That rejoicing was a sign of civilisational decay. Barnes:

‘Reaction to the … case against Cardinal George Pell was characterised by frightening ignorance on the part of many about how our legal system works, an awful sense of triumphalism on the part of some media who have pursued Cardinal Pell for some years, and above all the spectacle of a lynch mob literally screaming at the guilty man out the front of Melbourne’s County Court.

Continue reading Pell case reaction: a veneer of civilisation

The left: Morally right defeats factually right

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a Democrat member of the US House of Representatives. She has achieved a deserved notoriety for her unblushing Green-Left views. Recently she was reported as saying, ‘I think there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.’

Whether AOC (as she is referred to) was correctly quoted or not is not my concern here. The declaration certainly belongs to the AOC drift of mind. No, whoever said it, it is a recognizable emanation of the Green-Left mind. Being morally right for this mind, is being in line with Green-left dogma.

One does not arrive at Green-Left dogma by way of the operations of reason. Green-Left dogma is handed down from on high, where the swirling emotions of the Green-Left elite make the dogmatic declarations.

Continue reading The left: Morally right defeats factually right

‘Between coincidence and imitation: what would the Pell jurors have made of this?’

The Australian’s Cut and Paste rubric (11 April 2019) ran the following reports and comments together. I suggest the scrutiny of the Pell conviction has only just begun.

Keith Windschuttle in Quadrant magazine on the George Pell child sex abuse case, April 7:

… what is the probability that the evidence given in Australia was not an authentic account of what happened in Melbourne but, rather, a copy of a story that had already been aired in print and online? Here are the similarities between the American (2011 Engelhardt case) and the Australian allegations: Both cases of sexual abuse occurred in the sacristy after Sunday Mass. In both cases, the victims had been drinking wine they found in the sacristy … Both boys were made to kneel before the priest. Both boys were made to perform fellatio on the priest. Both the alleged victims were the only witnesses who testified for the prosecution in court … This does not mean the (Pell) accuser (Victim J) was deliberately making it up. He might have come to persuade himself the events actually happened, or some therapist might have helped him “recover” his memory.

The 2011 claim by a former Philadelphia altar boy, “Billy Doe”, may have been a fabrication, Ralph Cipriano, Newsweek, January 20, 2016:

Catholic Guilt? The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind a Lurid Rape Case

Priests, altar boys and wine — could this be a meme? CatholiCity review of the 2008 film Doubt, February 20, 2009:

The drama focuses on the question of whether Father Flynn (Philip Seymour 

Hoffman) is worthy of the admiration so easily extended to him by the altar boys … or is guilty, as suspected by Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep), of being the worst type of predator … (It turns on) circumstantial evidence: Fr Flynn’s calling the young Donald Muller one day … to come to the rectory; the boy’s returning to class looking upset and with alcohol on his breath … When they confront Fr Flynn, the priest first expresses his indignation … and then gives a partial explanation. He called Donald over to speak about the young boy’s having drunk some of the altar wine earlier in the sacristy. He didn’t inform the sisters because he knew it would result in his being expelled from the altar serving corps.

There’s a long history of anti-Catholic stories about depraved priests and altar boys. American Greatness, Michael Walsh, August 15, 2018:

The priapic cleric has been a staple of creative pornography since Rabelais and de Sade, and the list of sins attributable to the popes alone would make a harlot blush.

But such stories may sometimes (or often?) be a reliable guide to an evil reality. RTE news, June 24, 2013:

A former Catholic priest, who confessed to sexually assaulting two altar boys in the sacristy of a Co Cork church over 20 years ago, has been imprisoned for 12 months.

Unanimous jury verdict in Pell’s case, December 11 last year:

Guilty.

‘Catholic Guilt? The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind a Lurid Rape Case’

The above is the heading to a Newsweek report about a sexual abuse case in the US. It is reminiscent of several in Australia. The report by Ralph Cipriano should be read carefully, mindful of possible parallels with cases in Australia.

On October 9, 2015, a former Philadelphia altar boy reported to the office of Dr. Stephen Mechanick to undergo a court-ordered forensic psychiatric evaluation. It took nearly three hours because the two men had a lot of ground to cover. Daniel Gallagher is a slender 27-year-old with a wispy beard who is better known as “Billy Doe.” Under that pseudonym, he made national headlines in 2011 when he claimed to have been serially raped as a fifth- and sixth-grader at St. Jerome’s parish by two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher.

Gallagher subsequently became the Philadelphia district attorney’s star witness at two historic criminal trials. His graphic testimony helped convict three alleged assailants, as well as Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s former secretary for clergy, who was found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child. The monsignor became the first Catholic administrator in the country to go to jail for failing to adequately supervise a sexually abusive priest.

The Billy Doe rape story was so sensational it attracted the attention of crusadingRolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely. She described Billy Doe in a 2011 story, “The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex-Crime Files,” as a “sweet, gentle kid with boyish good looks” who had been callously “passed around” from predator to predator. According to the charges recounted by Erdely, two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher “raped and sodomized the 10-year-old, sometimes making him perform stripteases or getting him drunk on sacramental wine after Mass.”

Read on…

The Borrowed Testimony that Convicted George Pell

Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant, 8 April 2019

“Billy” was a 10-year-old student at St. Jerome School in 1998, and an altar boy just like his older brother before him. A sweet, gentle kid with boyish good looks, Billy was outgoing and well-liked. One morning, after serving Mass, Rev. Charles Engelhardt caught Billy in the church sacristy sipping leftover wine. Rather than get mad, however, the priest poured Billy more wine. According to the grand jury, he also showed him some pornographic magazines, asking the boy how the pictures made him feel and whether he preferred the images of naked men or women. He told Billy it was time to become a man and that they would soon begin their “sessions.” A week later, Billy learned what Engelhardt meant. After Mass, the priest allegedly fondled the boy, sucked his penis and ordered Billy to kneel and fellate him – calling him “son” while instructing him to move his head faster or slower – until Engelhardt ejaculated. The priest later suggested another “session,” but Billy refused and Engelhardt let him be.
                              
— Sabrina Rubin Erdely, “The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex-Crime Files”,
                                                                                   Rolling Stone, 15 September 2011

What is the difference between this account of child sex abuse in a Catholic church in Philadelphia and the evidence given by the sole accuser in the Victorian court case that convicted Cardinal George Pell of sexually abusing a thirteen-year-old choir boy at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, in 1996? Not much…

Read on…