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Monday, March 07, 2016

Editorial on Cardinal Pell

A Washington Post editorial on Cardinal Pell ...

A cardinal grapples with ‘the indefensible’

[...] The fact is that the church was institutionally complicit in allowing men in positions of authority, in hundreds of dioceses worldwide, to abuse children, thereby damaging or wrecking their lives.

Even now, the church’s foot-dragging continues. While hundreds of priests have been defrocked and disciplined, bishops — the princes of the Catholic Church, sovereign in their dioceses — have only rarely been held to account, despite constant demands by victims’ groups and reformers.

Mindful of that criticism, the Vatican last summer announced that Pope Francis would establish a tribunal to judge bishops who enabled or turned a blind eye to pedophile priests. But nothing has been heard from the tribunal since, and the impunity of all but a handful of bishops remains a fact.

I've been aware of Cardinal Pell in a negative way for about the last decade. Here's a past post in which I mention some of the reasons why ...

Senior Vatican official offered bribe to child sex abuse victim, inquiry hears ... David Ridsdale tells Australian inquiry that in 1993 he informed Cardinal George Pell about being abused and was offered money to buy his silence. (And PS - in Australia it's virtually impossible for sex abuse victims to sue the Catholic church for the abuse!)

This accusation will come as no surprise to those who have been watching Pell for some time. What is really mind-boggling is that Pope Francis has chosen him as one of his eight advisers and as the head of the Vatican's financial reforms.

Just to reiterate, Pell was the head of Vox Clara, the Vatican commission responsible for the much hated English translation of the missal (read Jesuit Philip Endean's Tablet article on the translation process), and he is a committed foe of conscience. One can also read an essay out about him - The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell by award-winning journalist David Marr (you can read an article by Marr on the book, with some extracts from it at ABC Religion & Ethics). Much of the essay has to do with Pell's handling of clergy sex abuse in Australia.

Here's a really good 2013 interview on ABC TV with Marr on Pell, sex abuse, and the money. It's harrowing but I strongly suggest watching it if you really want to know what kind of man Pell is ...


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