George Pell, Tony Abbott, and a prelate

George Pell died with two stains on his character.  He had acquiesced in conduct of those under him that caused awful misery and death among those who trusted men of God and those above them.  Then he engineered a scheme with clever lawyers to deprive the victims of compensation.

Each failing came from a felt need to protect the Church.  The victims would just have to take a hit for the team, as they say.  But this is no time for humour, however black.  The notion that the individual can be sacrificed for the group, or a belief, is the venom that underlies those regimes that we loathe.  And the lives of real people were ruined and then lost here as a result of dark acts of men of God.

These moral failings also show how the thinking of an otherwise rational person can be distorted – not by faith, but by allegiance to another world, and another regime.

It is therefore revolting that at Pell’s funeral, a former prime minister and a current archbishop went out of their way not just to evidence but to celebrate and embrace these failings.

The occasion was too big for the Church for the victims to be mentioned.  So, they weren’t.  They got the Pell disdain even after his death.

And all history and logic went clean out the window, with all of humanity and the Sermon on the Mount. 

Abbott said that Pell was ‘the greatest Catholic Australia has produced and one of Australia’s greatest sons’, but a man ‘made a scapegoat for the church itself’.  He said Pell’s prosecution was a ‘modern-day crucifixion’, and pondered aloud about canonisation.

This makes the tribalism of the Old Testament tribes look innocent.  Do other tribes in Australia carry on like that – or only those that still burn with Celtic resentment at the mere mention of the Protestant Ascendancy?  Or those that protest against the white invasion?

Any doubts about Abbott’s state of mind have now been resolved.  It is appalling to think that this man was our prime minister. 

He prefigured his own immolation by giving the protestors and a camera a look of the kind that Mussolini fired at the masses on the March to Rome, or that Pilate bestowed on his prisoner after the crowd shouted for Barabbas.

The prelate cannot claim to be uneducated, so his descent into Wonderland may be some kind of marvel. 

He said Pell did ‘404 days spent in prison for a crime he did not commit’, despite a ‘media, police and political campaign to punish him whether guilty or not’. 

Neither the prelate nor I is God.  We don’t know what passed between him and the man who gave evidence against him.  But the High Court did not proclaim innocence, much less grant absolution, for that or anything else.  It is just shabby sleight of hand for people who should know better to use one legal conclusion in one case to deflect from unchallengeable findings against Pell in respect of sustained moral failings over years.

The prelate said that Pell ‘had a big heart too, strong enough to fight for the faith and endure persecution, but soft enough to care for priests, youth, the homeless, prisoners and imperfect Christians.’  The reference to youth is a sickening untruth.

But then the prelate gave it all away when he spoke of what really drove Pell.  He said Pell ‘served his church: shamelessly, vehemently, courageously, to the end.’  That he did.  And we know the frightful cost.

And it is a blot on our humanity that these people can talk as brutally as this.

Then Pell was compared to Richard Lionheart.  That English king is remembered as a Crusader.  He made war on the Saracens.  In a state of fury one day, he murdered two thousand Muslim hostages.  Was this a good reference for the people of Australia in 2023?  How far from where this mass was held is the nearest mosque?

Here is Churchill on that English king:

Little did the English people owe him for his services, and heavily did they pay for his adventures…In all deeds of prowess as well as in large schemes of war, Richard shone…He rejoiced in personal combat, and regarded his opponents as necessary agents in his fame.  He loved war, not so much for the sake of glory or political ends, but as other men love science or poetry, for the excitement of the struggle and the glow of victory …. [he] understood that the Crusade was a high and sacred enterprise, and the Church taught them that in unseen ways it would bring a blessing upon them…Thereafter the King, for the sake of Christ’s sepulcher, virtually put the realm after sale.

Richard failed to take the sepulcher, and his ramson nearly bankrupted his realm. 

How does such a Lionheart stand in the teaching of the preacher who stood on a mountain side and told us that the meek shall inherit the earth?

Pell – Abbott – Archbishop – moral guilt – fairy tales.

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