This topic is the number 1 in the public interest as George Pell, a former Cardinal of the Catholic Church and Treasurer in the Vatican, was released by the High Court of Australia on technicalities in respect of child abuse accusations. He was convicted in two Victorian Courts. Refer https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/26/cardinal-george-pell-vatican-treasurer-found-guilty-of-child-sexual-assault
No-one is above the Law, natural law (God’s law) has its own way of bringing to light what has been hidden.
The key question here focuses on the High Court of Australia and the unanimous decision to release George Pell. It raises further questions about the reality of justice for all. I note that High Court Judges are not appointed on the basis of merit but are politically appointed. I believe this should not be the case as the course of Justice can be influenced or perverted given politics is about influence not justice. Refer https://australianpolitics.com/constitution/high-court/justices-of-the-high-court
This article overviews a Royal Commission report released now (not December 2017) which makes clear that George Pell was aware of the paedophilia in the Catholic Church. Any reasonable person who is informed about child abuse and does not act on it clearly raises questions about tacit consent and involvement. This matter demands that Justice must not be seen to be done, but done in the public interest.
This is a notable extract from below:
The commission also found Pell knew priest Gerard Ridsdale had been moved between parishes by the church because he had sexually abused children, and was aware of abuse in the church as early as the 1970
My video below the article was inspired.
We have to face abuse in all its guises, it has its roots in indifference and a form of social distancing that does not feel empathy. We need to develop humanity in a way where they have a felt experience of compassion for others, not lip service to appear holy or kind. True kindness is love extended to others as the person loves themselves. If they do not love themselves they see a disconnected world where they seek to feel through acts of disconnected violence. I am witnessing greater and greater disconnection from shared humanity as we move into cyber world’s that have no bearing on reality. We are teaching children to disconnect as reality becomes a world made in another’s image. The real world is loving, connected relationships where families are not pulled away from each other but supported and modelled on cultures of peace not cultures of abuse. This is the core issue in my view.
What George Pell knew: Bombshell report reveals Cardinal failed to remove a notorious paedophile priest who ‘repeatedly sexually abused children in the confession booth’
- Secret pages of royal commission reports were unveiled on Thursday morning
- Commission said ‘ought to have been obvious’ for Pell to act on Peter Searson
- As a regional bishop, Pell was approached by a delegation about Fr Searson
- Allegations may have included ‘non-specific’ sexual assault reference
- World later learned about Searson’s sick behaviour after he died in 2009
- Pell knew Ridsdale was moved from parish to parish over abuse claims
- Pages were censored so not to prejudice the criminal case against Pell
- High Court found Pell not guilty of sex offences in April 7 unanimous verdict
The child abuse royal commission made secret findings that Cardinal George Pell failed to act on complaints about a paedophile when it ‘ought to have been obvious‘ for him to do so.
More than 100 previously blacked out pages from two bombshell reports were released on Thursday detailing what Pell knew about complaints against paedophile priest in Ballarat and Melbourne in the 1970s and ’80s.
The reports could only be released after Pell was found not guilty of child sex abuse convictions by the High Court a month ago, and have been heavily redacted since 2017.
In a damning finding, the commission found that as an assistant bishop in the Melbourne diocese in 1989, Pell failed to advise the archbishop to remove paedophile priest Father Peter Searson.
The commission also found Pell knew priest Gerard Ridsdale had been moved between parishes by the church because he had sexually abused children, and was aware of abuse in the church as early as the 1970s.
The royal commission heard Father Peter Searson (above) – infamous for his long, yellow fingernails – abused children across three districts. It found that Pell ‘ought to’ at least push for an investigation into allegations against Searson
In Father Searson’s case, the commission report said the ‘disturbed’ priest was the subject of child sex abuse complaints and reports of ‘strange, aggressive and violent conduct’ over several years, the report said.
Searson died in 2009 without ever facing child sexual abuse charges, but the commission heard evidence he had abused children in three separate Victorian districts over the course of a decade.
Pell, as Archbishop of Melbourne, placed Searson on administrative leave in March 1997, the same year Searson pleaded guilty to physically assaulting a child.
But the commission said Pell ‘ought reasonably to have concluded that action needed to be taken in relation to Father Searson’ almost a decade earlier, in 1989, when he heard from seeing a delegation of teachers from a Catholic primary school in his role as a regional bishop.
THE SINS OF FATHER SEARSON
The commission found Pell may have known of a ‘non-specific’ allegation against Searson in 1989.
What Searson alleged to have done to others that few others would know is disturbing.
Over two years, the commission heard evidence Searson repeatedly sexually abused children.
He recorded confessions he found ‘hot’ and repeatedly assaulted sexually assaulted a nine-year-old girl in a confessional booth.
One victim claimed he was sexually abused most Saturdays for a six month period.
He swung a cat over a fence by its tail, killing it; murdered a bird with a screwdriver and showed children a dead body in a coffin.
At the royal commission, Pell had claimed the Catholic Education Office had failed to brief him properly on the complaints against Father Searson and that it was implied ‘that the allegations could not be sustained’.
Cardinal Pell claimed he might have been told ”in a non-specific way’ that ‘part of the story behind (school principal Graeme) Sleeman’s resignation was that he had raised complaints of sexual misconduct by Father Searson.’
Mr Sleeman resigned after a Grade 4 student was brought to him in ‘obvious distress’ after confession with Father Searson. Mr Sleeman had suspected a ‘sexual interference’ had occurred.
But the commission ruled Pell’s evidence he had been ‘deceived’ by the Catholic Education Office as they ‘did not tell him what they knew about Father Searson’s misbehaviour’ was ‘implausible’.
The report said: ‘We are satisfied that Cardinal Pell’s evidence as to the reasons that the CEO deceived him was implausible. We do not accept that Bishop Pell was deceived, intentionally or otherwise.
‘We are satisfied that, on the basis of the matters known to Bishop Pell on his own evidence (being the matters on the list of incidents and grievances and the ‘non-specific’ allegation of sexual misconduct), he ought reasonably to have concluded that action needed to be taken in relation to Father Searson.
‘It was incumbent on Bishop Pell, as an Auxiliary Bishop with responsibilities for the welfare of the children in the Catholic community of his region, to take such action as he could to advocate that Father Searson be removed or suspended or, at least, that a thorough investigation be undertaken of the allegations,’ the report said.
The report said ‘(Pell) had) conceded that, in retrospect, he might have been ‘a bit more pushy’ with all of the parties involved. We do not accept any qualification that this conclusion is only appreciable in retrospect.
‘On the basis of what was known to Bishop Pell in 1989, it ought to have been obvious to him at the time.
‘He should have advised the Archbishop to remove Father Searson and he did not do so.’
Blacked out: How the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse reports looked before the Government released the details on Thursday
Pell with his one-time housemate, the paedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale
The commission also made findings about the church and Pell’s one-time housemate, the priest Gerard Ridsdale – one of Australia’s worst ever offenders.
The commission found that then-Father Pell had ‘turned his mind to the prudence of Ridsdale taking boys on overnight camps’ by 1973.
The report found by that year, ‘Cardinal Pell was not only conscious of child sexual abuse by clergy but that he also had considered measures of avoiding situations which might provoke gossip about it.’
Ridsdale was repeatedly moved between parishes by the 1971 to 1991 Ballarat Bishop Mulkearns, who knew about his offending, the commission found.
The commission rejected Cardinal Pell’s claim that Bishop Mulkearns lied to or deceived his advisers in 1982 when Ridsdale was removed from the parish of Mortlake, where the priest later admitted his behaviour was ‘out of control’.
Cardinal Pell gave evidence the bishop did not give the true reason for Ridsdale’s removal and lied by not doing so. But the commissioners did not accept that Bishop Mulkearns lied to his consultors and were satisfied he did not deceive his consultors.
The commission found Bishop Mulkearns told the advisers it was necessary to move Ridsdale from the diocese and from parish work because of complaints he had sexually abused children.
‘Cardinal Pell’s evidence that ‘paedophilia was not mentioned’ and that the ‘true’ reason was not given is not accepted,’ the commission’s said.
‘It is implausible … that Bishop Mulkearns did not inform those at the meeting of at least complaints of sexual abuse of children having been made.’
In a statement on Thursday evening, Cardinal Pell said he was ‘surprised’ by some of the views of the commission, claiming ‘these views are not supported by evidence’.
He said he was ‘especially surprised’ by statements relating to transfers of Gerald Ridsdale.
‘The consultors who gave evidence on the meetings in 1977 and 1982 either said they did not learn of Ridsdale’s offending against children until much later or they had no recollection of what was discussed. None said they were made aware of Ridsdale’s offending at these meetings.’
Pell said he met a delegation from Doveton Parish ‘which did not mention sexual assaults and did not ask for Searson’s removal’.
Following his release from prison, the former Vatican Treasurer said he did not expect negative findings against him.
‘I’d be very surprised if there’s any bad findings against me at all,’ he told commentator Andrew Bolt last month.
And the commission did find in Pell’s favour on some matters.
The commission ruled as unlikely claims Pell offered to bribe Gerard Ridsdale’s nephew, David, in 1993.
‘It is more likely that Mr Ridsdale misinterpreted an offer by Bishop Pell to assist as something more sinister,’ the report said.
Another witness claimed to have overheard Pell saying of Ridsdale: ‘Huh, huh, I think Gerry’s been rooting boys again’.
That was strongly denied by Pell and the commission found the witness likely ‘overheard the conversation, however, that conversation was not between the priests he nominated.’
Pell gave evidence to the royal commission twice, in 2014, in Sydney, and in 2016, via video link from Rome.
In 2016, Pell told the royal commission he was deceived about paedophile priests, describing it as a ‘world of crimes and cover-ups’.
Cardinal Pell was a Ballarat priest from 1973 until 1984, overseeing the diocese’s schools and at times acting as an adviser to the bishop.
He also served as one of the Melbourne archbishop’s advisers while an auxiliary bishop between 1987 and 1996.
WHY ROYAL COMMISSION REPORT IS ONLY BEING RELEASED NOW
The Royal Commission reports were first published in December 2017, months after Cardinal George Pell was charged with child sexual abuse offences.
Details relating to Pell’s knowledge and response to complaints against priests in the 70s and 80s were redacted so not to prejudice the legal process against him.
The Victorian government cleared the way for the secret details to be released after Pell’s convictions were overturned by the High Court last month.
State Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said: ‘The government is not aware of any impediments to the un-redacted versions of these reports being tabled and published at this time.’
The documents were tendered in Federal Parliament about 10am Thursday.