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I can't wait to see George Pell in the witness box

Posted by: Derryn Hinch | 13 November, 2012 - 4:09 PM
Derryn Hinch: I can't wait to see Cardinal Pell in the witness box.<br>(Photo: Anthony Johnson)

A lot of mixed feelings today for a lot of people. Especially the victims of sexual abuse in their childhood at the hands of Catholic priests and Brothers and teachers.

And it is the victims who should be the total focus of everyone following yesterday’s laudable, if long over-due, announcement of a Federal Royal Commission into child sexual assaults and cover ups by churches, other NGOs and some government departments.

Their feelings must be ones of hope, anticipation, some anger that they were ignored or lied to for so long, and maybe even a touch of respect that their horrible stories will now be told in the equivalent of a courtroom and some of those who destroyed evidence, and protected paedophile priests, and transferred them to other diocese, will now be tested under oath.

And frankly, I can’t wait until one George Pell, one Cardinal Pell, the prelate who possibly harboured dreams of one day being Pope, can’t wait until he is forced into the witness box and asked again and again: “What did you know – and when did you know it?”

This is the head of the Catholic Church in Australia who several days ago couldn't see the point of a federal Royal Commission. At a press conference today Cardinal Pell said he still would not favour an investigation into the Catholic Church alone. But welcomed a broad-based one on the basis it seems that it would show ‘we weren't the only ones doing it’.

He actually said today that a Royal Commission would clear things up because ‘we object to being called the only cab on the rank’. He said that.

I felt like shouting at the TV set: You’re not, but most of the cabs for the past forty years have been Catholic ones, and the majority of drivers are yours and they can’t be trusted with innocent children.

George Pell can dress up an argument, an implausible excuse, as grandly as the raiment he wears on Sundays.

He has now embarked on a classic case of ‘shoot the messenger’. It’s all the media’s fault. I take that as a compliment. According to Pell: “This press campaign against the Catholics doesn't mean we are largely the principal culprits.”

He even had the gall to try to make us somehow responsible for the suffering of victims. Pell said one question had to be asked: “Are victims helped by the continuing furore ( he called it furor-ee) in the Press? Should old wounds be re-opened?”

How dare he? Listen Sunshine, if it weren't for the ‘furoree’ in the Press by people like me for the past 25 years, we still wouldn't have this long overdue national investigation. And I'm deliberately ignoring the rhetoric by politicians – Labor and Liberal – who are making it sound like this rotten, putrid scandal only came to the surface the other day. Wow, look how bad it is. We really must do something.

Victims and their families have been trying to get answers, trying to get justice, for decades. And your Church, George Pell, deliberately thwarted them and denied them and many young men died at their own hands because the church they believed in and trusted, washed its hands of them. How Christian. How Jesus-like.

Cardinal George Pell said today the Royal Commission he opposed will ‘clear the air’ and will separate ‘the fact from the fiction’. I hope it does. A lot of people will pray it does. Their facts Cardinal Pell, your fiction.

Can’t wait to see you in the witness box.

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Blog comments Your Say

  • quote

    " but most of the cabs for the past forty years have been Catholic ones "

    Really! In terms of percentages, the Rabbis are well ahead

    alan Tuesday 26 February, 2013 - 10:37 PM
  • 'Sick of spite", you deluded individual.. you are just spining the same old rubbish as so many other brainwashed cathloics.
    You actually believe people are jealous of Cathloics.. It is a sad fact that I was willing to believe that most C's were victims of this organization world wide..
    but the sheer number of you all coming out and singing the same tune ??
    We feel sorry for you mate.

    rosemary Saturday 24 November, 2012 - 7:48 PM
  • George PELL is not the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia. The Conference of Catholic Bishops has that job. At the moment it's chair is held by Archbishop Denis Hart.

    PELL is only Archbishop of Sydney. His title of Cardinal gives him membership of the College of Cardinals in Rome and the right to vote for the next Pope until he turns 80 years of age.

    Robert Tobin Saturday 24 November, 2012 - 5:06 PM
  • May be good priests among the clergy but don't tell me they're not aware of what goes on in regard to cover ups and abusers being protected.There is NOTHING good about that. There is proof that cover ups go all the way to the top meaning the current pope and unfortunately Pope John Paul II When a case involving the Priest of my own parish was about to hit the courts we were told lie after lie in regard to why he very suddenly disappeared. Pell denied that he knew the priest had admitted fault in a police tapped phone conversation at a time when it was very common knowledge and told the victim that no other matters of concern had been raised about this priest when they had.Pell has said he would not hear the confession of a pedophile priest if he suspected wrongdoing.What the hell...the pedophile should be investigated and reported with or without confession.The powers that be of the church are hypocrites these days.They profess to protect the rights of the unborn with their rules regarding the pill and abortion but they don't give a dam about the rights of innocent children whose lives have been ruined due to abuse by priests. Also we were taught that our sins were only forgiven if we were truly sorry.Shouldn't these priests who are confessing their crimes be told to go to the authorities themselves if they want absolution?It seems like a Hamsters Wheel where they admit their abhorrent acts in the confessional and then go straight back out and do it again. Pell WAKE UP you have lost so many of your congregation due to your hypocrisy!!

    Concerned Friday 16 November, 2012 - 6:37 PM
  • We keep throwing money into the health system which is struggling to cope with mental illness, and the police which is struggling to cope with increased violence on the streets and in domestic homes. Abuse of any kind towards our children leads to mental illness, substance abuse, suicide, violence and so on. All it needs is for an abuse to occur one time and a young life is impacted forever. The impact of abuse towards children have such devastating rippling effect especially on an innocent defenceless child who will grow up struggling to cope with life anyway he/she can, but also on the community which has to help this child from self-destructing. Yes, we need to address past hurts. But, more so, we need to address NOW what we can do to protect all Australian children who, at this moment, is suffering abuse. While everyone's talking at great length about the Royal Commission, how about we Australians also open a constructive action towards looking at what we can do right now to protect not only our own children, but everyone's children. Our neighbour's kids, our distant relative's kids, friends, etc. The saying that children are our future is true. If we don't protect all children, we all pay the price. Invest more money in prevention of abuse. For example, compulsory parental education to assist parents with coping strategies. And yes, removal of children when one or both parents have substance abuse habit or a history of child abuse. Our systems must change to reflect that the rights of a person should NEVER supercede the rights of an innocent defenceless child! Derryn, we Australians need to say, "Enough is enough! Children are important", then actually do something to turn the tide.

    GL Friday 16 November, 2012 - 12:19 PM
  • l feel really sorry for the good priests in the Catholic Church. There have been some fantastic ones who really love children and have worked alongside them such as father Bob Brown in Sydney.lt's unfair to them that the church's reputation is tarnished. lt's the Church's fault for covering up and protecting these evil monsters.They should be forced by law to stop taking the vow of secrecy and come into the 21st century. Any Priest caught interfering with children,should automatically be jailed.Dianne Coyle

    Dianne Coyle Wednesday 14 November, 2012 - 9:54 PM

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