Category Archives: The Left

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.

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Probing Victoria Police and the Royal Commission

Douglas Drummond, former Queensland Special Prosecutor and a judge on the Federal Court of Australia, has written a powerful piece, fearlessly probing the record of Victoria Police (in particular about the Pell jailing) and the Royal Commission into institutional child sexual abuse. He is to be commended.

The frightening bias of VicPol and the commission continues to unfold. Australia needs a thorough investigation into the background of the country’s worst ever miscarriage of justice. What happened to Cardinal Pell could happen to anyone.

I have added a tab on Victoria Police to the Cardinal Pell section of my website.

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The Unexplored Shame of Victoria Police

by Douglas Drummond, Quadrant, 3 July 2020

The Catholic Church and its bishops have been subjected to a lot of deserved criticism by the Royal Commission, the media, survivors and others for their failures to deal with the sexual abuse of children by priests, particularly over the decades from the 1960s to the 1990s. Victoria Police has largely escaped criticism, though it made similar failures during this same period.

At the first public session of the Commission in August 2015, it said that, as well as religious institutions, were police force were one of the types of institutions it would be investigating.

Catholic Diocese of Ballarat

In its Final Report in Case Study 28, the Royal Commission said: “The scope and purpose of Part Two of that case study involving the Ballarat Diocese was to inquire into:

1. the response of the Diocese and of other Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat to allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy or religious

2. the response of Victoria Police to allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy or religious which took place within the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat”.

The Commission made a full inquiry into the first item. But its inquiry into the second item was in a number of respects surprisingly deficient.

Gerald Ridsdale

Ridsdale (right) was probably the worst of the many paedophile priests in Victoria, if not Australia. Much of his offending took place in parishes in the Ballarat Diocese. The Commission noted Ridsdale was convicted in 1993, and later, of sexual offences against a total of 65 children as young as four which occurred from the 1960s until the 1980s. This was only part of his criminal activities: according to The Age report of June 14, 2002, [“Ballarat’s good men of the cloth”] just before his first trial in 1993, Ridsdale told his family of his crimes. One family member asked: “How many, Gerald. Four, or five?” “Hundreds,” was his reply.

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The standard of the royal commission

George Weigel reflects on the standard of the royal commission that treated Cardinal Pell so shabbily. He makes the case that the commissioners, under no strict judicial rules, were fatally influenced by their biases. Not a little cowardice was perhaps also in the mix.

The Biases of the Royal Commission

George Weigel, First Things, 17 June 2020

A brief dip into Latin helps us understand how preconceptions can lead to biased judgments that falsify history—as they did when an Australian Royal Commission on sexual abuse recently impugned the integrity of Cardinal George Pell.  

The Latin maxim is quidquid recipitur ad modum recipientis recipitur—literally, “what is received is received according to the mode [or manner, or condition] of the receiver.” Less literally, the maxim holds that our predispositions—our mental filters—color our perceptions. Put another way, we often perceive things not as they are but because of what we are.

However abstract it may seem at first blush, the maxim is confirmed by everyday experience. People draw different conclusions about the same facts, the same personalities, and the same situations. More often than not, those differences are explained by different filters at work in our minds.

Which brings us to the misconceptions and prejudices surrounding Cardinal George Pell. 

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The BIGOTED SCRIBBLINGS of the ABC’s Louise Milligan

One must be continually reminded of the appalling standard of Louise Milligan’s book CARDINAL which has filled the pig’s trough of anti-
Catholic literature. This is the standard of thinking of Australia’s left.

Reviewed by Gerard Henderson

Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell 
By Louise Milligan,

– With a memoir piece from John Clifton who attended St Francis Xavier private school – the Ballarat school George Pell ministered to in the 1970s.

According to Melbourne University Press, Cardinal uncovers “uncomfortable truths about a culture of sexual entitlement, abuse of trust and how ambition can silence evil” in the Catholic Church.  In an email forwarded to me on 30 May 2017, MUP chief executive Louise Adler wrote that Cardinal is an “important contribution to the community’s understanding of the Catholic Church’s response to child abuse”.  Ms Adler was defending Louise Milligan’s refusal to answer questions about Cardinal – despite the fact that her journalistic career has been built on asking questions of others.

In fact, Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell is neither of the above.  Cardinal  does not uncover “uncomfortable truths” about the Catholic Church.  The scandal of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been known for decades.  Nor is the book a contribution to “the community’s understanding of the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse”. As the author acknowledged when interviewed on the ABC TV News Breakfast program on 17 May 2017, Cardinal was written “from the complainants’ point of view”.

So Cardinal is not an objective analysis of either the Catholic Church or Cardinal George Pell.  Rather, it is the case for the prosecution – primarily researched by ABC journalist Louise Milligan while working for the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.

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The Parallel Church of Vatican II

Michael Matt of Remnant Newspaper comments on Archbishop Vigano’s condemnation of Vatican II

VIGANÒ on REVOLUTION in the CHURCH: “From Vatican II onwards, a parallel church was built…”

Over the past half century of crisis in the Catholic Church, one of the main points of division among Tradition-minded Catholics centered around the question of whether there was something inherently contrary to Tradition about the Second Vatican Council itself, or was it merely the Modernist interpretations of the Council that flowed abundantly into the lifeblood of the Church after the close of the Council in 1965.

Over the past few decades, many conservative commentators were ready to admit that the so-called “Spirit of the Council” had led to much devastation in the Church. But they parted company with those of us who felt obliged in conscience to point out that at least some of the sixteen documents themselves were inherently at odds with the constant magisterial teaching of the Church.

In essence, this has been at the heart of the debate for over fifty years.  It divided my own family, in fact, and eventually left my father with no choice but to leave The Wanderer and found The Remnant in 1967.  In his mind, it was not merely a question of abuse—either of doctrine or liturgy—but rather that Vatican II represented a fundamental and orchestrated reorientation of the Church in the spirit of the modern world.

For many good Catholics (who knew something had gone terribly wrong), it seemed the more prudent course of action to hope and pray that faulty interpretations of the Council would eventually work themselves into a hermeneutic of continuity with Tradition and all would end well. For fifty years, this kept them largely silent in the face of radical novelty never before seen in the history of the Church.

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Vatican II and the Roots of deviation

Dr Maike Hickson Life Site News comments on Archbishop Vigano’s condemnation of the Second Vatican Council

Abp Viganò on the ‘roots of deviation’ of Vatican II and how Francis was chosen to revolutionize the Church

by Dr Maike Hickson

In a historic text, Archbishop Viganò agrees with Bishop Athanasius Schneider in his criticism of the Second Vatican Council.Wed Jun 10, 2020

June 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The prominent Catholic prelate and speaker of truth, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, is casting off many of the false teachings that have crept into the Church during and since the Second Vatican Council. With this act of liberation, he sets the Church on a new path, cleared of falsehood and with the full Catholic truth in sight.

In his new statement, Archbishop Vigano clearly distances himself from the controversial Abu Dhabi statement. He says: “we know well that the purpose of these ecumenical and interreligious initiatives is not to convert those who are far from the one Church to Christ, but to divert and corrupt those who still hold the Catholic Faith, leading them to believe that it is desirable to have a great universal religion that brings together the three great Abrahamic religions ‘in a single house’: this is the triumph of the Masonic plan in preparation for the kingdom of the Antichrist!”

Archbishop Viganò deals with the Abu Dhabi Declaration as rooted in “deviations” of the Second Vatican Council. He describes how the same people who supported the revolutionary changes of Vatican II helped to get Jorge Bergoglio elected as Pope Francis. At the same time, he describes our situation as “the most serious apostasy to which the highest levels of the Hierarchy are exposed, while the Christian people and the clergy feel hopelessly abandoned and that they are regarded by the bishops almost with annoyance.” Only when facing the errors that started with the Second Vatican Council, the archbishop explains, can we face our current crisis.

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Archbishop Vigano condemns Vatican II

If Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano had not shaken up Church and state enough with his Open Letter to President Trump, highlighting the workings of the the Dark State in Church and (Christian) society, he has sent an explosive condemnation of the Second Vatican Council into the political and religious arena.

What he has done, in my view, is that more than fifty years after the Council he has been forced to admit Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was right in his criticisms. He has fallen into line with what many Traditional Catholics have claimed all this time. It is a massive breakthrough for the Resistance to the ongoing attempts within to destroy the One True and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. Here is the text of the archbishop’s essay as it appeared on Life Site News:

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“From Vatican II onwards, a parallel church was built…”

VIGANÒ on REVOLUTION in the CHURCH:

by  + Carlo Maria Viganò

I read with great interest the essay of His Excellency Athanasius Schneider published on LifeSiteNews on June 1, subsequently translated into Italian by Chiesa e post concilio, entitled There is no divine positive will or natural right to the diversity of religions. His Excellency’s study summarizes, with the clarity that distinguishes the words of those who speak according to Christ, the objections against the presumed legitimacy of the exercise of religious freedom that the Second Vatican Council theorized, contradicting the testimony of Sacred Scripture and the voice of Tradition, as well as the Catholic Magisterium which is the faithful guardian of both.

Continue reading Archbishop Vigano condemns Vatican II

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

The Royal Commission and the Get-Pell campaign

Lawyer Michael McAuley has written a devastating critique of the Royal Commission’s treatment of Cardinal Pell. In brief, he argues convincingly that the evidence does not support the commission’s findings against the cardinal. He concluded the commission morphed into the Get-Pell campaign, the campaign that resulted in sending an innocent man into solitary confinement for more than a year, destroyed his health, and left him vocationally and socially liquidated.

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Was the Royal Commission hand in glove with the “Get Pell” campaign?

A close study of its “findings” reveals serious flaws

Michael McAuley, Mercatornet, 29 May 2020

After Cardinal George Pell’s successful appeal against his conviction for sexual abuse, the “Get Pell” campaign died down. But the release of three unredacted reports of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has given it a second wind.

Although they were not directly relevant, these documents were redacted because they might have prejudicially swayed the juries in the Cardinal’s two trials.

In the redacted text, the Royal Commission effectively accused Cardinal Pell of lying about two important meetings involving abusive priests. His position was that he was deceived about their sexual abuse in both instances. The Royal Commission contended that this was implausible. Armed with this criticism, Pell’s critics are having a field day.

The Royal Commission is a mixed bag. It got much right — and some things seriously wrong, especially his knowledge of the crimes of two serious abusers, Gerald Ridsdale and Peter Searson. Its findings should be compared to a 2015 inquiry by the Family Development Committee of the Victorian Parliament, Betrayal of Trust: Inquiry Into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non Government Organisations. That inquiry made no finding against Pell, although it was critical of other Church leaders.

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