The Royal Commission warm-up acts, the NSW and Victorian enquiries, are finished, pending their reports next month. The Queensland enquiry, the Carmody Enquiry, was a real let down and is best forgotten about. The federal enquiry is not due to have its first public hearings until after the federal election.
On the bright side, Cardinal Pell will return from his Roman summer holiday shortly, complete with suitcase full of new outfits, and briefcases full of books. One would hope that none of those pesky protestors take the opportunity to meet him at the airport, wearing offensive T-shirts!
He can then take a firm hand at the helm steering the church through the minefield of the Royal Commission. The absence of his steady influence caused some problems at the NSW enquiry.
One of the problems he would undoubtedly have avoided was the embarrassing matter of the shredding of documents by police from the Church-Police paedophile liaison meetings. He would also have avoided the problems of having the NSW Police minister being caught out saying the Ombudsman had given the ethical nod to these meetings, which the former head prosecutor had implied demonstrated a conflict of interest for the police.
After a delay of months, the Ombudsman eventually said he had no record of such an approval by his office. A few days earlier return would have given George the chance to deal with this problem personally. Better luck next time.
Meanwhile, private hearings are being conducted with victims by Commissioners, and people diligently work on their submissions as politicians stalk the nation. Life goes on.
TOMORROW: The ultimate franchise
That’s all I can say
Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)