Today the High Court of Australia announced it would hear Cardinal Pell’s application to appeal his conviction. This was a relief to those convinced of the Cardinal’s innocence and who had found the legal processes so far a total farce, threatening to perpetrate the greatest miscarriage of justice Australia has seen and make Australia’s judicial system seem the dickie thing of a tinpot dictatorship.
Those media members of the Pell lynch mob were off the mark within seconds (I checked). It was the usual thing about the ‘disgraced’ or ‘paedophile’ Cardinal with the repetition of the charges for which Cardinal Pell was convicted, but no mention that the conviction was on the uncorroborated evidence of the faceless complainant while 20 witnesses said the charges were impossible. Nor was it mentioned that legal people around the world at the very least wonder about the integrity of Australia’s legal system.
On the whole, however, I found the reporting of the decision by the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, and the Guardian, foremost members of the Pell lynch mob, uncharacteristically constrained. I expected them to continue to put in the boot. The Guardian did include another rant by the ubiquitous Chrissie Foster but I will leave that to another comment.
It was left to that creepy, grubby, woke News-of-the-world-style news.com.au to cater to those dumbed down to the level of the ‘Bachelor’, ‘Bachelorette’ and ‘Marriage at First Sight’ . You would think Rupert Murdoch had learned his lessons about unrestrained appeals to people’s basest instincts.
This grubby online news platform opened up with a heading about the High Court allowing the Cardinal a ‘final appeal’. It then followed with the sub-heading, ‘ The father of a boy molested by cardinal George Pell says he is devastated at the decision to grant the 78-year-old another appeal.‘ Rohan Smith, the author of this report, accurately summarises the grounds of the appeal as well as the prosecutor’s objection, the work any cub reporter could do.
Smith, however, had more important matters on his mind, devoting a substantial part of his piece to the feelings of the father of the second boy (allegedly) abused by Cardinal Pell. This boy had died of a heroin overdose before the nameless accuser had made his charges. The father in addition to being devastated by the news of the appeal was ‘gutted’. Not, only that:
‘The man, who’s son died aged 31 after an accidental heroin overdose, said through his lawyer that he still blames Pell for his son’s downward spiral.’
Then follows a solid wack from the lawyer belonging to the American law firm Shine, here in Australia to pick up a few bucks from the abundant coffers of the Catholic Church.
“I have just spoken to our client who says he is ‘gutted’ by the High Court’s decision to grant George Pell leave to appeal his conviction, Lisa Flynn from Shine Lawyers said.
“This is a sad day for him. He was hopeful that it would all be over today as he continues to be re-traumatised by the unending legal action. His pain and suffering remains raw and unresolved.
“Our client holds George Pell responsible for his son’s downhill spiral and subsequent fatal heroin overdose. He wants to see Pell behind bars where he has no contact with innocent children.
“We know that many victims and survivors around the world are following this case very closely and we want to remind them that today’s decision should not stop them in their fight for justice.”
Lisa Flynn is obviously of the right calibre for Shine Lawyers. Without any evidence she smears the Cardinal with the heroin addict death, reaches for the stock-in-trade claim about re-traumatisation and then warns about the danger to ‘innocent’ children when Cardinal Pell has shown none of the characteristics of paedophile behaviour.
Forget about about the fact that the Pell conviction has caused outrage in legal circles in Australia and critical comment from experienced lawyers and academics around the world. To top off the grubby smearing she makes out that the Cardinal’s High Court appeal in Australia is of serious concern for victims around the world. Give us a break.
Let’s face it. Lisa Flynn of Shine Lawyers is just trying to optimise revenue streams while adding to the decade long bashing of the Cardinal.
But Rohan Smith is not yet finished. He takes another tack, telling the reader about the father’s issues with the Catholic Church. If you’re going to bash the Cardinal, then you might as well give the Church a thumping. He tells us the father has written to the Vatican demanding the answers to seven questions. Let’s look at those questions:
Why does the Church insist on celibacy for the clergy when it is so obvious – and has been proven – that it does not work? It is incomprehensible in this day and age to deny men the opportunity to engage in what is a natural act. Denial has forced many of them to pursue innocent children.
This is the usual claptrap peddled in the virulently anti-Catholic media in Australia. One wonders whether this is the work of the father or Shine lawyers. Indeed, the father in other media performances gives the impression he is being tutored.
When the father claims celibacy ‘does not work’, I assume this is a blanket statement about the inability of all men to go without sex. This is the logic . Clergy being men cannot therefore go without sex. It must have an outlet. On the empirical evidence this is nonsense.
The sex drives of men are not the same. Many men go without sex for various reasons – they have no partner, their wife is pregnant, their wife is sick, or they couldn’t be bothered. Most are not forced to resort to criminal action to relieve themselves, as the evidence demonstrates. I refer to the many studies about this subject.
Even if the urge becomes unbearable, why would a normal man resort to innocent children? Why not resort to a call girl? Surely a sane man would choose the non-criminal option instead of behaviour that could land him in jail for many years. This is an important point about the clerical abuse of minors, a point the media will not mention. It would spoil their program of Catholic bashing.
It is fact that the increase of the abuse of minors by Catholic religious went in hand in hand with the increasing numbers of homosexuals permitted into the priesthood and religious orders from the mid-1960s onwards. The vast majority of clerical sexual abuse cases are male-on-male. There is a growing literature on this.
Why has Pell kept his title as Cardinal?
Because the legal process in Australia has not finished. If a High Court Appeal succeeds, the Cardinal is innocent. Not too hard for someone of normal intelligence to work out.
Why have you not defrocked him and stripped him of his status in the Catholic Church?
As above. Simple really.
What is the status of your investigation into Pell’s behaviour?
The status is obvious, isn’t it? The Vatican is waiting for the Australian legal process to finish.
Why has the Church disregarded the testimonies of so many victims of the clergy?
Which ones? Or does he really mean, why has the Catholic Church not immediately accepted the claims without due process? Could this be about money?
Why have you not instructed Pell to drop his appeal and admit his guilt? He has been found guilty by a jury in a court of law in Australia.
You want to deprive the Cardinal of the established legal process buy appealing to the legal process??
Why are women excluded from the clergy?
I assume the priesthood is meant. There are women religious. Anyhow, what’s this got to do with the Pell appeal? Nothing. It’s just another wack at the Church for the benefit of those who can’t budge from their dopey prejudices. There are clear theological reasons for restricting the priesthood to men. There is not need to ask the Vatican. Find an orthodox priest. He will explain.
Well done, Rohan Smith. Your woke bosses at news.com.au will be pleased. It is at the usual standard.