Australia’s only Catholic Cardinal, George Pell has become something of a recluse, especially when it comes to Royal Commissions on his priests’ child sexual abuse, and his bishops’ covering-up of them. He has spent much of the year out of the country, staying at his ritzy $30 million Rome hideaway, “Domus Australia” (see previous posting”. Then he was in Peru helping poor villagers pour concrete (see previous posting), and then on a luxury trip through Greece and Turkey (also see previous posting), fantasizing about being St. Paul.
God knows where he is now, but that’s easy for someone who is omnipresent. For the rest of us, it’s all a mystery. Is he on another holiday? Is he off praying somewhere in the Outback? Surely, he is not hiding from the media while the “Towards Healing” process is being examined by the Royal Commission?
Pell may have set up the alternative “Melbourne Response” for dealing with abuse claims while he was Melbourne Archbishop. Also, Melbourne is the only place which does not use “Towards Healing.” However, now Pell is Archbishop of Sydney, which does use “Towards Healing”. Further, while he is not literally the CEO of the Catholic Church in Australia, he is its most senior spokesperson.
In the past he has used his position to comment on gays, abortion and all of those sorts of things, but he has not used his position to comment on what has been happening at the present hearings into “Towards Healing”. One must wonder why the good Cardinal has left it all to the mere bishops and Archbishops.
Surely, it can’t be that, since mud sticks, it might as well stick to someone else. Are his underlings merely cannon fodder in the battle for credibility in the wake of all the abuse scandals? Will Pell appear on Q&A or the “Today” show to explain why victims have been treated so shoddily that even the hard-nosed lawyers and insurance executives are embarrassed? Maybe, he’s just having trouble untying the millstone around his neck, and will appear when he has managed to do it.
Ironically, Pell is a member of the committee advising the new pope (man of the year, no less) on how to handle the child abuse problem. The Vatican proudly announced only last week that it was really, really, truly going to do something about it this time. It has been widely reported in the international press that the new system is heavily influenced by Pell’s methods. What has not been made clear is if it is to be the “Melbourne Response” or “Towards Healing” that is to be the model.
It would seem that the PR boys at the Vatican are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Modeling their response on either Australian method, when both have been exposed as fraudulent by at least two enquiries, does not seem to be a particularly smart thing to do.
Fortunately for the Vatican, most of the world ignores Australia, except when we win at some sport or have huge wildfires, so most people will not know that Pope Frankie has chosen to implement a, proven, bad scheme.
Read more here:
Pro-Catholic Propaganda Feature: In the interests of a “fair and balanced” blog, the following photo from the Vatican PR Unit is re-posted.
TOMORROW: Towards Healing hearings resume
That’s all I can say
Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)