Cardinal Pell: A decision with little certainty

Title: Cardinal Pell: A decision with little certainty

Author: Gail Grossman Freyne

Publisher: NCROnline

Date: 27APR2020

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — George Pell is a cardinal in the Catholic Church. And that is where the problem lies. It lies as well in the institution. The two are inextricably intertwined so that the fate of one informs the other.

Some, like Pope Francis, say, “I would like to pray today for all those persons who suffer an unjust sentence because someone had it in for them.” The Vatican News reported that the pope made this statement at his morning Mass in Santa Marta, shortly after the news broke that the High Court of Australia had quashed the convictions against Pell.

The Vatican is understandably relieved that the final appeal of their erstwhile No. 3 in command has been successful. But the church cannot reasonably take comfort from the high court’s decision because, if the cardinal’s appeal had failed, they would not have taken the blame for his actions. They never do. When one priest is caught, he is simply a random “bad apple”nothing wrong with the rest of the barrel, we’re told.

  1. Whoever translated the papal statement (accanimento, Italian; hounding, English) got the idiom just right for some. The cardinal has staunch defenders: commentators Andrew Bolt, of Murdoch television’s “The Bolt Report,” Greg Craven, vice-chancellor (just resigned) of the Australian Catholic University, and Fr. Glen Tattersall of Melbourne’s Latin Mass parish, who are given to thunderous outpourings on the theme of witch hunt. For example, Tattersall’s most recent article, “The Power of the State was Recruited to Destroy Pell.”

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