I recently came across a link on FB to an Andrew Bolt blog post of 27 May 2016. It was about former priest and now leftist scribbler Paul Bongiorno. Bolt was writing about a post by Gerard Henderson on his Media Watch Dog that connected Bongiorno with Fr Gerald Ridsdale now in jail for multiple sexual assaults on pubescent males. It is interesting to read the post in the aftermath of the High Court’s decision on Cardinal Pell.
First, Bolt refers to a string of damaging accusations against Cardinal Pell for acts he allegedly committed when a priest in Ballarat in the 1970s. On inspection the charges turned out to be groundless. It would not deter others from having a go at pinning something on Cardinal Pell. Twenty-seven charges came before a magistrate for a committal hearing in 2018. Twenty-six were dismissed on the spot. Would it be far off base to suggest the cardinal’s enemies were breaking the 9th Commandment?
More interesting was Bongiorno’s connection with Gerald Ridsdale, namely that Fr Bongiorno shared accommodation with Ridsdale in Warrnambool. Not only that. A witness at the royal commission into child sexual abuse said he reported a nasty incidence with Ridsdale to Fr Bongiorno that went nowhere. I ask the reader to read carefully what this witness claimed and then replace the name Bongiorno with Pell. This exercise would show that a witch hunt was got up against Cardinal Pell, a hunt that went deep into the royal commission.
Why is Bongiorno not vilified as was Pell? Why is Pell the scapegoat?
Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, May 27, 2016
Gerard Henderson has uncovered an astonishing case of double standards involving George Pell and Paul Bongiorno. I urge you to read it all. In summary… Attending Cardinal George Pell’s appearance in Rome before the royal commission into child sexual abuse, I was struck by how thin the evidence was against him. None of the claims against him of ignoring warnings of pedophile priests stacked up. One witness claimed he’d knocked at the door of Pell’s Ballarat presbytery one early afternoon to warn him. It turned out Pell actually lived miles away, and almost invariably worked in his college office at that time of day. Another witness claimed he’d told him in Ballarat of an abusive priest. Pell’s passport showed he was living and studying in Europe that year. Yet another witness claimed he’d heard Pell laughing as he told another priest at a memorial mass in Ballarat that notorious pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale was “rooting” boys again. Church records show no such mass took place, and the other priest said he was serving at another parish many miles away so would not have served at such a mass anyway. And on it went. Pell also denies hearing or suspecting any crimes by Ridsdale while living for a while in the same presbytery. That should not be surprising: pedophiles rarely boast of what they’ve done, and many are not just extremely secretive, but plausible. Yet many the media refused to accept Pell’s denials. On the other hand, they sure accepted those of Paul Bongiorno, the Left-wing ABC commentator and former priest, who eventually – last year – blurted this out on the ABC: