The Victorian Parliamentary enquiry, as well as the NSW government enquiry into clerical child sexual abuse, have had a hard time getting answers from bishops, at least in public. The bishops have been able to be a bit “invisible” through the use of several devices.
In the past, churches have used the device of shifting paedophile clergy around as a way of hiding them (see below).
Cardinal Pell has long used the invisibility cloak proffered by sympathetic media outlets, such as CathNews. Here, he is usually cut out of the photograph of him escorting Ridsdale into court (see image above).
The Geelong bishops were able to avoid questions from the Victorian Parliamentary enquiry last month, by hiding behind the cloak of the former bishop. It was, apparently, all his fault, but he could not appear because of age and health excuses. Result: invisibility intact.
Pell, himself, used an even better cloak, as befits his rank. He could repair the flaw in the bishops’ cloaks (see below). He hid behind a dead predecessor, whom he blamed for everything. Result: invisibility inviolable.
Pell, again, is hiding from the NSW enquiry, using the cloak of distance. He is safe from the media and commissioners behind the walls of Domus Australia in Rome. Result: Invisibility invincible.
In the latest example of an invisibility cloak, which would make Harry Potter proud, Bishop Wilson will not appear in public before the NSW enquiry when it resumes hearings later in the month. Commissioner Cunneen has given him leave to appear behind closed doors, on the assumption that a public appearance would prejudice potential future prosecutions.
This argument has been dismissed by NSW politician, David Shoebridge, on the basis that it was not seen by the commissioner as a problem when NSW police officers appeared in public hearings last month. Generally, pressure is growing for the good bishop to front the enquiry under the public’s gaze.
Result: invisibility uncertain.
We need to find these invisible men and make them appear before the Royal Commission.
TOMORROW: A first look at mental health professions
That’s all I can say
Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)