As far as I can tell, Cardinal George Pell in his evidence to the Royal Commission into Child Abuse has confirmed that his fellow priests were acting as pimps for the abusers, providing fresh victims by moving them from parish to parish. It was a criminal culture of cover-up and deception, he said. By raising his hand weakly in protest at some latter stage he suggests that he was some kind of Saint? Wrong- in my opinion he should answer a charge of criminal conspiracy or obstruction of justice along with the rest of those revolting purple vipers.
Funny how no one is mentioning the Tim Minchin song any more. It seems to me Pell giving evidence via video link was quite sufficient after all. It has demonstrated that justice can be seen to be done, without having to give into the baying mob?
I would argue that by having it in Rome, his appearance has become a worldwide news event that has brought much greater focus on the suffering of the victims and will force Pope Francis’ hand. In fact, as the Ballarat Courier noted that “the Cardinal fronted a global media frenzy” after his appearance. Would that have been the case if he fronted in Sydney? I doubt it very much. I found the cries from the mob that Pell’s medical condition be ignored and that he be dragged back to Sydney quite troubling. The rule of law is a tricky thing, either you believe in it absolutely or you don’t believe in it at all. You can’t pick and choose when you extend procedural fairness, you either believe in it as a universal right or you don’t. Many people have shown an equivocal attitude, suggesting that it was right and proper to hold Pell to a higher standard than anybody else. I find this so repugnant and make the point convictions based on such an approach would lack integrity.
Having heard Pell’s carefully crafted evidence, what happens next? I wonder whether there is an investigator who will take up this brief and actually try to lock up the priests, like Pell, who either actively supported the abusers or stood back and failed to report. In my opinion, this was a conspiracy- either a conspiracy of silence or an active conspiracy to protect these evil doers. However, proving a conspiracy is a very difficult thing, unless that is, you can encourage a conspirator to assist. To that end, my suggestion is to throw a rope around the lot of them and keep tightening until their eyes bulge. It won’t be long before clergymen faced with the prospect of jail will start opening up like watermelons falling off a truck. Even if the prosecutions fail, we owe it to the victims, and those who want to clean up this mess, to have a red hot go.