Title: Demonstration Planned For Cardinal Pell Event
A demonstration is planned outside three events that the Newman Society, Oxford’s Catholic society, are hosting on Saturday, to protest the invitation of the controversial Cardinal Pell.
The Cardinal has been invited to a Pontifical High Mass tomorrow morning. He will then give the 2021 St Thomas More Lecture which will be held at Examination Schools, which will be followed by a five course dinner at the University Chaplaincy. Tickets for the lecture and dinner have sold out.
The organiser of the protest states that they are a practicing Catholic, who lived in the Chaplaincy for two years while completing their DPhil. In the event description on Facebook, they say that they are “stunned and appalled” that the society has invited the Cardinal, which they say is “shockingly entitled “The Suffering of the Church in a Post-Christian Society””.
The protest will begin at noon at the Holy Rood Church, with a silent candle-lit protest to respect the sacrament during the Mass. The protest will continue at 4 outside Examinations Schools, and outside the Chaplaincy for the beginning for the black tie dinner. The Chaplaincy is allowing protestors to use the bathrooms at Campion Hall, and will host the protestors for tea and talk once the dinner is underway.
When asked for comment, the organiser said:
“The Cardinal is not just giving a talk, but a five-course, black tie dinner is being held in his honour. This isn’t a matter of freedom of speech or an opportunity for education or debate. Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that “Cardinal Pell was not only conscious of child sexual abuse by clergy, but he also considered measures of avoiding situations which might provoke gossip about it.” As such, the invitation extended to him was unnecessary, deliberately provocative, and totally insensitive to the anguish of some of those whom the Catholic Church has most harmed.”