Jenny Coman, Bangalow
Thank you David Lovejoy for your response in last week’s Byron Echo to Cardinal Pell’s appearance before the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse. It was satisfying to have one’s own reactions reaffirmed and expressed so eloquently.
I feel some sympathy for Catholics who take their faith seriously in having such an arrogant, hypocritical and unfeeling person as head of their church in this country. While the prospects of the current push for reform in the church don’t look good, let’s hope the coming national inquiry into abuse will lead to some sort of justice for victims.
As for Mr Abbott, I think too many lies have already been told…
For those who didn’t read David’s editorial in Byron Shire Echo, we have republished it below.
A ‘sociopathic lack of empathy’
Cardinal George Pell was a witness at the Victorian parliamentary enquiry into child abuse last week. He did not, like Rupert Murdoch on a similar occasion, claim it was the humblest day of his life, but he did intone that he was ‘fully apologetic and absolutely sorry.’
You can judge for yourself how sincere he seemed by checking out our story and video at http://bit.ly/13cWxPL.
But a father who had two daughters raped by a priest said Cardinal Pell’s apologies were delivered with a ‘sociopathic lack of empathy’.
Apparently the former Archbishop of Melbourne would have us believe that the problem in his church was not systematic tolerance and protection of paedophilia but the high-minded character of its leaders who, like him, did not stoop to gossip. ‘I’ve sometimes said’, he mused, ‘if we’d been gossips – which we weren’t – and we had talked to one another about the problems that were there, we would have realised earlier just how widespread this awful business was.’
Pell presided over an organisation that neglected to investigate paedophile priests, hid them in other parishes, destroyed records and covered up appalling crimes against children. Much of this ‘awful business’, Pell claimed, could be laid at the feet of his predecessor, the providentially now deceased Archbishop Little.
But the enquiry did not let the cardinal rely entirely on the dead criminal defence. The deputy chair of the committee made him concede that he continued to pay a stipend to one predatory priest who had fled to England in 1993 to avoid the police.
Judging from what he had to say to the enquiry, Cardinal Pell is sorry for the multiple and horrendous cases of abuse in his church, but takes no personal responsibility. He is also sorry for the damage done to its reputation and determined to protect it by limiting the compensation payments made to victims.
George Pell is the religious mentor of Tony Abbott. We can only hope that if he becomes PM, he will not imbibe much of his role model’s morality.