I don’t know many Cats who had as much interaction with the Pell case that I had. Many of my dear personal friends are noted in his prison diaries, visited him, I had family members attend the court on the days that were open to the public and I personally liaised with Richter and got caught up in an eight-month legal battle with their ABC.
There is much that I could write about all of this but it would be going over old ground that I’ve often shared at the Cat and elsewhere. So why write at all?
Well, I am amazed (I don’t know why) at the sheer bigotry of the “tolerant” Left. The Left that hold so much faith (**feels**) in our scientific, judicial and anti-corruption bodies can’t bring themselves to let Pell go. This is the same authoritarian, big-government Left that dare not question anything that comes from above.
And so, having thought about this post for some time, I write not to cover old ground but to give you some tips when dealing with anti-Pell and anti-Catholic (or Christian) bigots, particularly in relation to child abuse. These are the same lines I use in twitter and, in-person, arguments and they have not failed me once in many years. I’ve even had these arguments with Premiers and Ministers.
It is a long read, please endure, and consider Pell’s time in 24/7 isolation next to Gargarsoulas’ cell.
Peddos are sick
Who wouldn’t agree with this? Well, sadly, many academics, throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s promoted this Leftist idea of “intergenerational love” and that children were missing out on intimate experiences that they were entitled to. Sickeningly, much peer-review literature is in the academic domain on this issue. If you encounter a Leftist saying peddos are sick, remind them that the Left promoted and condoned it.
Catholic priests are kiddy fiddlers (ergo, they should be able to get married so they can have sex)
Yes, it is true there have been some instances of child abuse in the church. Some, quite bad and we should continually ask forgiveness for this. But can you name a single organisation that handled these issues sufficiently? Nobody can. Because the prevailing thought of the time, across all organisations, was to move people on (behavioural psychology in changing an environment, thus changing a behaviour).
For the record, 97% of child abuse, according to Abuse Australia, happens in the family home so, having sex or not, has nothing to do with it. Also, remind them of their ABC’s Four Corners program in the 70’s that put peddos on air to promote their feelings (when they should have been in gaol!). Sure, if the Church covered some abuse up, but at the very least, did not promote it as a virtue!
Remind them also of the nice Mr Scott, former MD of their ABC who was Chair at Knox Grammar when abuse was happening on his watch.
Or remind them of the Heiner Affair which alleges, with some pretty lucid points, that Rudd shred documents in relation to child abuse claims.
The Catholic Church was the worst of the abusive organisations
No. The Auditor-General of NSW found that the State of NSW was the worst offender in terms of sheer numbers. Or, cut another way, on a per capita basis the Catholic Church was less offending than other organisations such as, say, the Uniting Church and Salvos. No offence intended upon these organisations as you have to remember again, 97% of abuse happens in the family home and no organisation ever handled these cases well.
Kids are getting abused in Catholic churches today!
Hardly likely. The most likely place kids are being abused are in family homes and, sadly, in indigenous communities. When I visited the Kimberley three years ago, some houses had “escape hatches” in the kids’ bedrooms where they could get out in a hurry from drunk relatives if they needed. Over the last twenty years, the Church has introduced policies where priests are not allowed to be alone with children, anyone who complains about a priest result in the priest being immediately stood down (no evidence required) while an investigation takes place. I know several priests that this has happened to and, even after being found innocent, remain scarred to this day. The Church is the safest place for kids these days!
The Catholic Church did not help “survivors”
This again, is utter tosh. The Church has paid out millions, provided counselling and psychological services to those who have suffered abuse. The redress scheme is actually more generous than any State scheme! Anyone who proffers this argument should be reminded of Jon Stephens from their ABC who abused a child on set a few decades ago. Firstly, their ABC did not even report on the case and secondly, shockingly, their ABC fought the victim with a massive legal team and resources and did not pay a single cent to the “survivor” or their family (that I am aware of). Put simply: Duplicitous.
But Pell got off on a technicality
That old chestnut. This was a line proffered by “High Court Justice,” Barrie Cassidy which has been picked up by a gulag of morons on twitter and the like. No, to be acquitted in the High Court is, according to Justice Murphy (best friend of the Left) in GARRAT VS QUEEN “is to be found innocent. To be found anything but innocent would be a complete travesty of our democratic and judicial system.” There are plenty of other cases where High Court Justices have explained that acquittal means nothing but innocence but I like using Murphy.
Remind people that 7 High Court Justices, with over 248 years of combined legal experience unanimously agreed that Pell was innocent. Are you a High Court Justice? Remind them of how the Justices actually started making fun of the DPP’s argument, it was that bad. Even Constitutional Lawyer/Observer Jeremy Gans conceded the Justices had the DPP on the run for making up a time period in the Cathedral called “quiet prayer” which just did not exist. Ever. It was the first, and only time, it was ever raised anywhere and the DPP just made this up when they realised their case was falling apart.
But the Royal Commission found him guilty!
Well, no. Royal Commissions make findings and these can lead to charges. No charges have led from the Commission’s findings into Pell because they are so flimsy that they wouldn’t even make it past an initial hearing. As the wonderful Erasmus (also known as Keith Windschuttle) pointed out: Firstly, the Commission asked for survivors to come forward and tell their stories. Many did. But it wasn’t an iterative experience. No questions or cross-examining was required. You just had to turn up and tell your story. That was it!
Secondly, the finding of the Commission was that it was “inconceivable” that Pell was not told about abuse in the Church with a meeting with Bishop Mulkearns in 1977. Two points on this, the other priest at this meeting said that “nothing of the sort was ever said.” And he didn’t find out about Ridsdale’s offending until Ridsdale himself told the other priest in 1989. The Commission accepted his evidence but still found it “inconceivable” that Pell wasn’t told (at the same meeting!). Bit of an inconsistent double standard there.
Thirdly, the use of the term “inconceivable” is not evidence. It is not a legal word. “Inconceivable,” as pointed out by Windschuttle, is a lazy way of saying “we think so, but we don’t have any evidence.” Whereas, don’t have any evidence actually means “we have no proof.” Having no proof, in most judicial circles, means the presumption of innocence remains. And that’s why it’s important to remember the Commission was not a judicial process, followed no judicial (or even proper) processes and was a theme park show.
Pell’s trial was rigged
There are more unhinged sectors of the Left that believe Pell got a rigged trial because he’s mates with a few high profile people. And yes, Pell’s trial was rigged. Never before in history has a man been so vilified in public, part of a get-Pell (despite no evidence) from Victoriastan Police, given appeal judges who have no experience in criminal matters. The process was completely flawed.
Appeal Judges Maxwell and Ferguson were so warped in their finding that “though J’s story was completely inconsistent and made very little sense, contradicted himself many times, got dates and key matters incorrect – this made his story more believable.” That, is unbelievable. So, for Maxwell and Ferguson, the less evidence makes you more guilty? God help us all. I believe, and many legal experts agree, that Pell received the worst possible treatment any innocent person could endure.
Key witnesses (such as the lady who met Pell for the first time on that Sunday and she remembers it clearly on the front steps of the Cathedral after mass because her son embarrassed herself in front of him) were not approached by the DPP or police. Many others too. Nor did the DPP even bother to go to the Cathedral and count the steps, or record timings.
Milligan’s book is so believable!
You’ll have to buy Windschuttle’s book to learn more about this as I refuse to read this trash. The only point I make here is it doesn’t matter, as 7 High Court Justices didn’t buy it either. And, from what I understand, Milligan’s book is actually more about herself than “J.” Typical of a **feels** rather than facts writer.
The Gillard Connection
Just a brief point but Gillard announced the Royal Commission off the back of some damning news about the Catholic church. Many of her closest mates in the Labor Party set up new law firms to deal with these issues. Not alleging anything here, just that Gillard set it up and several of her lawyer mates became the ones who presented most cases to the Commission.
The get Pell saga is over. However, in his prison diaries, the innocent Pell recounts (in solitary confinement) how he would spend his days praying for those who persecuted him (vague reference to Milligan et al). This reminded me of Saint Thomas More who would not say a bad word (from the tower) about King Henry VIII to his family “lest they fall into the sin of judgement.” The Church is a bit like the public service, big, bureaucratic, complex, diverse and it takes a lot longer to make decisions than a government officer (due to, say, 2,000 years of history, precedence and policy). I firmly believe, perhaps in many years to come, Pell will made a Saint.
I’m no Saint and I will fall into the sin of judgement… I believe Andrews, Patton, Milligan, Ashton, many others and those Gillard-mate lawyers who have now made millions off the back of the innocent will find themselves in the 7th circle of hell. Pell, on the other hand, will be remembered for hundreds, if not thousands, of years; us Catholics are a bit like that when it comes to the persecuted.