Is Cardinal Pell the Quintessential Scapegoat?


This article is on the present situation of Catholicism in Australia, and Cardinal Pell’s place in it.

Cardinal Pell is the most famous Australian Catholic, and a key figure in shaping what Catholicism in his country is today.

Cardinal Pell’s prosecution under the law is, one way or another, a turning point in the history of Catholicism in Australia. (And his trial will undoubtedly receive enormous worldwide attention.)

From the article:

“Anti-Catholicism runs deep, and while the U.S. certainly had its share of anti-Catholic nastiness in the day—notably in the Nativism of the early 1800s and the animosity against Catholic immigrants in the decades that followed—much of Australia seems to have held on rather tightly to its suspicion, dislike, and even hatred of the Catholic Church. (This is not to disregard how much the secular media and elites still go after the Church in the U.S., but to note the difference in degree between the two countries.)”

And you can bet that he’s already been judged guilty by not only the left wing media in Australia…but by many of the Australian public as well…Australia is a secular country with only a small number of people…around 7% who are regular church goers…there has always been some anti Catholic feeling in Australia…the term “mick” was used to describe a Catholic…because many Catholics in Australia originally were of Irish descent…the establishment in Australia on the other hand have strong British roots and are Protestant…mainly Church of England which is now called the Anglican Church…so it’s pretty easy to figure out where the anti Catholicism came from…the Catholic church is now the largest denomination in Australia but even there only a small percentage attend mass on a weekly basis…many Catholics would be secular in their thinking on Catholic teaching…even if Cardinal Pell is exonerated of any of the accusations he is facing the mud will stick…not only on him but also the Catholic church in Australia

So it begins.
The demonization of the victims and the law keepers.

Interesting article. Thanks for the link.

Yep it would appear so. It can’t possibly be that a priest did something like this. Circle the wagons and deny deny deny… :nope:

Where to start

27 June 2017

results of the national Census reveal we’re a religiously diverse nation, with Christianity remaining the most common religion
Nearly a third said no religion in 2016.

religious makeup of Australia has changed gradually over the past 50 years. 1966, Christianity (88 per cent) was the main religion. 1991, this had fallen to 74 per cent, and further to the 2016 figure. Catholicism is the largest Christian grouping, accounting for almost a quarter (22.6 per cent)

The growing percentage of Australia’s population reporting no religion has been a trend for decades, and is accelerating. Those reporting no religion increased noticeably from 19 per cent in 2006 to 30 per cent in 2016. The largest change was between 2011 (22 per cent) and 2016, when an additional 2.2 million people reported having no religion

2016 No religion 30.l%
2016 Catholic 25.3
2011 Catholic 22.6
2011 No religion 22.3
2016 Anglican 13.3
2011 Anglican 17.1

We have a strong Church leadership. Especially since the prosecution of risdale.

It’s not anti Catholicism, it’s anti religion.

Irish Catholic and Italian catholic immigration early on 1800s to 20th century and post war created strong catholic communities here.

Eureka stockade - a rebellion that led to the birth of democracy was fuelled in part, by prominent catholic clergy presence.

The republic referendum 1999.

"a two-question referendum to amend the Constitution of Australia. The first question asked whether Australia should become a republic with a President appointed by Parliament following a bi-partisan appointment model which had been approved by a half-elected, half-appointed Constitutional Convention held in Canberra in February 1998. The second question, generally deemed to be far less important politically, asked whether Australia should alter the Constitution to insert a preamble. For some years opinion polls had suggested that a majority of the electorate favoured a republic

here is what our High Court justice said of the failure

“High Court Justice Michael Kirby, a constitutional monarchist, ascribed the failure of the republic referendum to ten factors: lack of bi-partisanship; undue haste; a perception that the republic was supported by big city elites; a “denigration” of monarchists as “unpatriotic” by republicans; the adoption of an inflexible republican model by the Convention; concerns about the specific model proposed (chiefly the ease with which a Prime Minister could dismiss a president); a republican strategy of using big “names” attached to the Whitlam era to promote their cause; strong opposition to the proposal in the smaller states; a counter-productive pro-republican bias in the media; and an instinctive caution among the Australian electorate regarding Constitutional change”

Most here did not want a USA type system, which the public was convinced would happen.

Cardinal Pell’s role, as part of a large group of representative Australians was

February 1998, Cardinal Pell attended the Constitutional Convention in Canberra as a delegate appointed by the Prime Minister. He served on the Resolutions Committee responsible for drafting motions put to the Convention and moved the motion in support of the Republican model which was finally adopted by the Convention.
He was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government on 21st April 2003, in recognition of his service to the Australian community through the Catholic Church."

he was awarded an honour by our Government for services.

He played AFL footy, you can’t get a much more acceptable Australian then that, given we are all sports mad.

“In earlier years Cardinal Pell was a keen sports coach in soccer, Aussie Rules and rowing. He is Vice Patron of the Richmond Football Club and a long term supporter and member of the Club since he signed to play with them in 1959.”

Playing for Richmond at the AFL level is akin to playing USA Super Bowl level.

Amanda Vanstone, a former politician, really needs to keep her head down
It won’t help Pell’s cause and just raises unwelcome speculation because
When Amanda was a politician with a portfolio.

“She has also been criticized for overturning a deportation order and granting a visa in 2005 to Francesco Madafferi, who had been implicated by Italian officials as a dangerous mafia figure.[7] In fact Madafferi is thought to be a member of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, known by the name Honoured Society in Australia, which, although similar, is a distinct crime organization from the Sicilian Mafia (however, common usage is to lump all such organizations together as Mafia.) Francesco and his brother Antonio, a stall holder in Melbourne’s Wholesale Fruit and Vegetable market (known to have been controlled by the Honoured Society), were alleged in a report by Victoria Police’s organised crime squad to belong to a crime family involved in blackmail, extortion and murder. The report was aired in 2000 at a court hearing during Francesco’s fight against deportation, but was later dismissed by an Administrative Appeals Tribunal judge as containing information from unnamed and possibly unreliable police informers. Vanstone justified her decision to grant Madafferi a visa because of a mental illness he was said to be suffering from. However it is alleged that relatives and associates of Madafferi donated up to $100,000 to the Liberal Party, and that four Liberal party politicians had discussed the visa case with Madafferi’s supporters or Vanstone’s office.[8] In August 2008, Madafferi was arrested and charged, along with several of Australia’s other suspected crime bosses (including Australian 'Ndrangheta boss Pasquale “Pat” Barbaro), after Australian Federal Police made the world’s biggest ecstasy haul, seizing drugs with a street value of $440 million”

The Calabrian Mafia have quite a foothold in Victoria and Griffith.

That’s for starters.

Just doing a google search, USA is 22% Catholic.

So it’s pretty standard. No idea of your history of if it’s going up or down though, in respect to other or non religion.

Do you guys have census?

How about we wait and see the evidence and how the legal process goes before we rush to judgment either way?

With respect to the situation in USA, I don’t know if Catholic membership is going up or down. We have a large influx of Mexican/ Central American/ South American immigrants who tend to be Catholics and that has made up somewhat for the children/ grandchildren of the previous European Catholic immigrants who drifted away from the church or, if they stayed in, had smaller families. In any event I am not seeing empty churches when I go to Mass, on the contrary I often have a hard time finding a seat.

I can tell you that way before sex abuse became a “thing”, we had several big-name Archbishops and Cardinals who from all accounts were real pieces of work and did a lot of shady things. We also had several who from all accounts were good, even saintly, men. It matters not, as my loyalty is to Jesus Christ, not to whoever happens to be the Archbishop or the Cardinal where I am at any given moment.

As for anti-Catholicism, the US went through many decades of that and it only started dying down around the time Kennedy got elected. The mere fact that he got elected was a shock to many from what I have been told by those who were around then. We still have anti-Catholicism but it is not on the level it used to be that involved church burning and sending the Klan after us (one of the K’s in KKK was supposed to stand for “Katholics” as being one of the three groups they hated). I honestly felt way more antipathy towards my faith when I went to Oxford than I have at any time in USA, even in traditionally Protestant rural areas.

The article about this affair in First Things really made me think this is a total kangaroo trial. I don’t really know Australia, but I have a few liberal cousins there who kvetch about politics on facebook and it doesn’t surprise me that liberals there would try and make an example of an orthodox Catholic Cardinal. In Canada we recently had a show-trial against Jian Ghomeshi, a notable radio jockey, and it’s clear as day that criminal trials can easily be used as political tools even in a supposedly first world justice system (in this case it was from feminists). Luckily Ghomeshi had a crack lawyer who also happened to be a woman so the feminists really took an L in that case, but subverting justice for political ends is always a possibility. I hope the Cardinal receives a fair trial and that he has a good lawyer.

Anti-Catholicism is a bit foreign to me being in Canada because our country’s identity is basically half-Catholic from Quebec, but seeing how this issue has been treated in the United States (whose anti-Catholic history is very fundamental to that country), it wouldn’t surprise me to see it in another British colony with no Catholic admixture like Canada.

  1. Certainly, but innocent until proved guilty. What if he did not commit these crimes?
  2. Aren’t we are awfully close to stereotyping here?
  3. Don’t ask that the Anglican/Episcopalian communion be subject to Catholic-level scrutiny.

Here is the lengthy First Things article I mentioned for those interested:

we might have kkk here, i dont know. we havent had any church burning, etc. we have masons, but i dont know much about them. they keep to themselves.

in our Colonial days, (we have only been a nation since 1900, we had Eureka Stockade in the late 1800s)
we had all denominations being missionaries. mainly to the aboriginal and convict / free convict population.

any anti issues with immigrants were because they were immigrants. rather then catholic. australia had a white australia policy until the 1960s. so italians post ww2 were the first non brit immigrant wave. and copped lots of racism. SE Asians came next, from the Vietnam war- first boat people then.

any real anti catholic has been in response to the relevations of abuse. but thats localised to places it happened mostly and was initial shock and anger. The Catholic Community now works and joins with the victims/survivors and supporters in whats needed, etc.

i mentioned footy earler, AFL - Aussie Rules. if a kid wants to play, or has talent, he usually winds up in a Catholic high school. becUse ( prob thanks to clergy including Pell) , catholic high schools spend a lot of time and talent on this sport as a school activity.

btw Cardinal Pell is in Singapore now, on his way home.

i guess i feel, again, i might know something about the public feel for this because i am in one of the old parishes of both Cardinal Pell and Risdale. I imagine our Bishop will have a bit of advise for us tomorrow, during Mass.

that book has been withdrawn from sale, and supressed. in the interests of a fair hearing. it was released a few days before the announcement Cardinal Pell had to front court.

btw liberal here means the exact opposite of its meaning in USA :). no idea of Canada. we love Canadians though!

Peebo. in 2006 about 14% of Catholics attended regular Mass.
we just had another mass count, stay tumed :slight_smile:

Thank you for the information on your fine country, Roseeurekacross! I visited when I was 10 but the long flight from Vancouver puts me off from returning. (I really liked the long flight back then, now not so much :P)


thanks. i might try to keep everyone updated on everything on this without trying to out my Parish and my location. if the thing goes to trial, unfortunately one of the trials will be here.
There are multiple charges so multiple trials perhaps.

i have to say, his old parishoners will be happy to see him and really supportive.

risdale and a few others, its an entirely different story.

We all need to pray more than we speculate about guilt or innocence.

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Imagine what the prayer of many righteous persons can accomplish!!!

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? It’s as if when a priest is accused of something, he’s automatically guilty because he’s a priest. Even ex-Prime Minister Abbott has come out in support of Pell’s character. The secular media and the public wants him crucified, whether innocent or guilty.

There are some things in the victims’ reports (mentioned in the article) that make me question them.

But we shall see after the trial.

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