pelli

TIME FOR A ROYAL COMMISSION

Is it time for Cardinal George Pell to “fall on his sword” over child sex abuse and cover-up allegations in the Catholic Church?

New South Wales MP Troy Grant thinks so. The former police officer and Nationals member for Dubbo told ABC Radio today that it was time for top-down change in the Catholic Church.

It was also time, he said, for a national Royal Commission to investigate systemic abuse against children by the Catholic Church, and that State-based inquiries and individual prosecutions were no longer enough.

Mr Grant also said many Catholics wanted a leader who would “embrace” such an investigation.

Mr Grant’s calls ...

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68 Comments

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Janet

    A Royal Commission is a very legal way to deal with this blight. However, one of the best methods for the public is to boycott the Catholic Church. Do not send your children to their schools; do not get married in the Church; do not have your funeral in the Church; do not go to a marriage or a funeral held in the Church.

    It may be harsh, but the reaction of the Chruch in saying this is ‘the past’ is manifestly immoral. It also allows it to gradually become a part of its future again.

    These are damning accusations made by this senior police officer. The Church should answer them.

    • Reply November 9, 2012

      jemima

      hear hear.

    • Reply November 10, 2012

      Rosie

      Janet – I agree with you – I have never been able to understand why Catholics abhor the paedophilia of many priests and then support the organisation which protects them.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Lucille

    Pell is certainly no stranger to dealing with pedophiliac priests. He was a Bishop in Ballarat when one was charged, convicted and jailed.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Rhoda

    The clergy cling to their dark corners and quiet corridors – a closed society. Past time for the light to shine on their secrets. The very notion of celibacy is a nonsense.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Glad there are police officers acting to support victims. I doubt a Royal Commission would make much difference~ they rarely do. Meanwhile~ Pell is supposed to have authority and expertise in Church law~ there seems to be a disconnect…

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Joan Woolley

    I agree with Rhoda celibacy is against the law of nature, man was made to mate and produce offspring, just as it is in the animal world,birds, insectsfish I could go on, I am disgusted at what these priests and pedophiles have done and are doing to beautiful innocent young lives, under the umbrella of the Catholic Church charge them and lock them up, they are sick human beings and are in need of castrating.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Catemac

    The large majority of victims of child sexual abuse are female so keep Homosexuality out of it .One in three girls are victims of sexual abuse by a family member or family friend . If I never had sex with another adult in my whole life it would not compel me to rape a child . Its a poor excuse . These people are sick it has nothing to do with celibacy . They joined to church and were supported to get access to children .

    • Reply November 9, 2012

      jonah stiffhausen

      Agree, they are guilty of despicable actions and they are Catholics In name only. However it is a long bow to draw to then try and smear and denigrate the Church into the bargain.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Georgia

    Celibacy is unnatural. I can’t believe this Church gets away with trying to enforce it. It is an insult to a creator to deny a major part of the creation. Get off the gay bashing too. You’ll find that most peadophiles are het. This Church is disgusting, it uses the goodness of people in its parishes to support it whilst it rots from the head. It gets them when they are little and teaches them suffering is something they can offer up to souls in purgatory; they learn that they should suffer to be a good person. So many good people blindsided by a corrupted structure. So many wonderful teachers in the catholic education system, nurses, carers, but it is time they stepped away from this structure. They are good under any banner, or none.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Georgia

    Those who reference “nature” as an argument that homosexuality is not “natural” – get some facts and realise that homosexuality is everywhere in nature, it is common.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    cuisle

    If one is serious about bringing the catholic church to account one only has to stop all of their funding. No tax exceptions, no fund of schools, no funds at all. I don’t care who has committed these crimes against our children. I don’t care about the abusers sexual orientation just get them out of our lives.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Raping and molesting children is wrong. Taking advantage of another’s spirituality and trust when you are in a position of authority is wrong.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Coco

    Sad that this important article on such an key topic as the safety of children from criminal pederasts being protected decade in and out by religious organisations has been hijacked by anti-gay rants and references to dipping one’s organ [male organ BTW] into faeces.

    The facts are that paedophiles target male and female children. Many often both sexes. Despite Jonah’s focus on male on male anal sex, other orifices including children’s vaginas and mouths can be violated too. The greatest violation is of their childhood.

    I also note that despite Jonah’s sterling defence of Cardinal Pell, I am aware of no cases in which he immediately reported suspicion or complaints of child abuse to police. In fact when living in Victoria Cardinal Pell shared a house with a male priest convicted of child sex crimes . I have media images of Cardinal Pell accompanying that child rapist priest to and from court as a support person. Pell was not showing solidarity or walking in and out of the court hearings with the abuse victim or their family.
    That choice to physically place himself next to his priest house mate perpetrator rather than the victim speaks volumes to anyone who has ever had to deal with the horror of child sexual abuse.

    • Reply November 9, 2012

      kathryn

      You are absolutely right, and your facts are correct in respect of George Pell accompanying Risdale to Court to plead guilty ! Anyone who defends the Church on this issue needs to read the heartbreaking stories on the “Broken Rites” website ….. every adult should read these stories…. A Royal Commission is the only way to deal with this issue…. enough with token responses!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Thanks the Hoopla~ for your intervention in removing hate speech.

    • Reply November 9, 2012

      jonah stiffhausen

      “Hate speech” is just a euphemism for opinions we disagree with.
      Wake up to yourselves before it’s too late.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Lucy Clark

    Hi everyone, Ro is right – we have removed some comments that qualify as hate speech. No person or group can be vilified on the basis of their sexuality and we will remove any comment that contains such vilification. We enjoy a high class of commentary on this site, and we’d like it to stay that way.
    Many thanks – Ed.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Nat

    I think a royal commission is a great idea. The biggest problem is that it is limited to Australia. Rome had to be aware, or at the very least approved and promoted many involved in the cover up.
    Pell was involved, so were many many others. They should have been open and involved police, but they didn’t. I think one of the most interesting claims outlined was that the police were involved in the cover up- that officers were taken off the case, that evidence disappeared.
    It makes me heart sick for all the good people in the church, the good priests and parishioners for whom this is long overdue. Winds of change sweep through.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    stephany panhuysen

    birds of a feather flock together i reckon. all those who prefer to not be affiliated with any whiffs of paedophilia should stand up and walk out and start a new one. i would love to see a womanly pope!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    julie

    For those of us who went to boarding school in the 60s, it wasn’t just priests who were the perpetrators! Huge amounts of damage done back then. But it’s not just the catholic church either. Rumours around certain schools that spawned certain politicians have also been floating around for a long time.Waiting for questions to be asked. But good on DI Peter Fox for his guts in finally airing this.I remember him speaking up years ago then it seems he was silenced again. He’s been working so hard, for so long against incredible opposition.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Jay Sanders

    It is not only time for a Royal Commission, it is time for every primary school and kinder in Australia to make the teaching of sexual abuse prevention education mandatory. Ask you school or kinder if they are teaching ‘body safety’ and if not, why not!
    http://www.somesecrets.info for 9 body safety tips for parents and carers.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    What is the appropriate authority?!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    carol

    I do not call myself an ex catholic, I call myself a surviving catholic, I survived and have lived to tell the tales. The best way to put the Catholic church out of business is to employ the services of a Celebrant to celebrate a birth, nuptials, funeral & boycott catholic schools, hospitals & universities. Pell is sinister & evil and drunk with power. The church must be held accountable. Bring on the Royal Commission!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    The thing about institutions which makes them different from other organisations is they go on, and on~ for a long time. Hence abuse does too.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Rhoda

    Well if all this abuse was connected to another institution eg a bank, I’d be a little suspicious about its staff and management too.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Red

    The Catholic Church cannot be trusted, so an Royal Commission is the way to go to protect the future children. As a child of the 60′s I went to a Priest to tell him someone was ‘hurting me’, to be told… ‘bad children deserve to be punished’… those words have haunted me for over 40yrs… Make the Catholic Church Accountable!!!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Rhoda

    Well, if another institution, eg a bank, was being investigated over claims of this nature and more claims kept surfacing, I’d be suspicious of its staff and management. Very suspicious!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Stephany~ all I can say is FLOCK!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    As an older one~ I remember promoting the Royal Commision into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody~ and more importantly promoting an expanded reference to an investigation into the Underlying Causes of Aboriginal Deaths in Custody at a Labor Lawyers’ Conference in the 80′s. Kevin Rudd’s apology came in early 2008. I rest my case(until I am back up again!)…meanwhile catch Mr. Scruffy and affiliates in their dirty tricks…I assume W.A Police are on to these misanthropes. I hope so…..

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Red~very bad broken trust~ I feel for you…

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Geoff

    As I young catholic boy (now lapsed) I went to a catholic boarding school in the late 60′s and early 70′s and have seen not only the physical abuse but also the mental abuse handed out by these so called “followers of Christ”
    It is no fantasy. It is not a conspiracy to bring down the church or discredit it’s hierarchy. it is quite simply fact.
    Pell will never fall on his sword. His “calling” is motivated by greed for power not compassion, charity or tolerance. He is too enamoured of his title to ever allow it to slip from his grasp.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    As a guest in a Catholic chuch~ peace be with you and yours~ as a survivor of sexual abuse and its attendant difficulties like post-traumatic stress and insomnia~ you f***s….

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    I draw the long bow~Hearty thanks to Dianna~ and I target creeps who reckon it is o.k for biblical or any other reason to abuse women and children. There is a stain here~ and it is time to own up for your callous disregard….

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Layla

    I went to catholic schools and still go to catholic church even I can. My kids do the same. I am very lucky that my interactions in respects of Catholicism have always been positive, although always focus of suffering to a degree, guilt, greed, vanity, poverty are to be embraced – doesn’t real allow real happiness.

    Anyway a royal commission, vigilanty, removal of funding I do not care how it’s achieved but itust be brought to light and punished heavily. It us abhorrent that anyone is any firm or authority or trust take advantage of anyone let alone innocent loving and trusting children. In this instance even though against the ten commandants I am a supporter of the death penalty – these people are sick and I do not believe they can be reformed!!!!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Lestki

    It has nothing to do with homosexuality. It has everything to do with power. It is not a long bow to draw to then try and smear and denigrate the church into the bargain. The church representatives have been complicit in the cover up and violation of victims who have sought help. In my case I had my statement completely twisted and I had to fight for years for them to get it right. Even the lay people who take statements try to protect the vulgar creeps. And it leaves you doubting not only yourself but your sanity. There is no excuse for their actions and no excuse for the cover up. It is pure and simple evil.

    • Reply November 10, 2012

      Benison O'Reilly

      Great summary of the issues.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Layla

    Sorry i meant to say – greed and vanity are not to be embraced in catholic beliefs, you are to suffer and feel guilt, these days I try to follow direct lessons from the bible with change/evolution for current times.

    RO I am not seeing any Jonah comments maybe the hoopla are on auto removal of this individual, I feel for your experiences and do hope in some way that time can heal it, although I doubt the horror and trauma is ever really far from the surface – good vibes your way.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Catemac~ we cannot keep anyone out of their lived experiences of violence and abuse…

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Thanks Layla for your good wishes~ definately better than I was~ but recovery from such assaults takes a long, long time.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    I draw the long bow~ the tension is familiar~ it is called experience~ and whilst I have strength in my hands and arms~ I reckon I can POP this one…yoo hoo ~ the likes of you are about to require a new moral compass in your institutions~ bad behaviour in your old institutions was always wrong~ and is no longer acceptable. Pell~ you should be in front here~ and be ready to resign and sack people. Oh no~ it is not just the Catholics……

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Some people are adept with a long bow, like me.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Ficat

    Grew up in a community where this happened. Had a couple of the most humane, lovely priests in primary school. People who contributed to my moral and ethical view of the world. However, the church sent paedophiles to our parish, where my brother was an altar boy. My family was lucky, but it is not acceptable. There are a lot of good people in the church, but adults have a history of protecting themselves when it comes to child abuse. Pell is NOT the head of the catholic church in Australia. A lot of Catholics and priests agree with him on very little. Just one instance, most priests know they have families in their parish with gay children, that are accepted as part of the community. This is not reflected in Pell’s version of the church. He represents Rome and that is all.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    GUILTY or not…. Um er interesting notion~ as er, they have to be brought to Court to decide guilt or innocence. Der~ how come~ so many accused~ did not appear in court?

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Alison Abrahams

    Our Parish Priest was formerly an Anglican priest, it has dawned on me over the years that perhaps he had to move into our church given reprehensible conduct. He reign for 15 years and in the dead of night absconded to his native England. Why? Because he was alerted to the fact the The Age was going to disclose his abuse!!! And I believe the Melbourne Archdiocese were complicit in his escape. He left behind a multitude of victims. Guess who the ArchBishop was at the time? Pell. Shame on him and the Church !!!!!!

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Yip. Though a church is a building only and cannot of itself defend or appeciate smears and denigration~ I say that the congregation of that same building forfeits its right to address the rest of us around a “moral compass” when it ignores the suffering of people(usually women and kids) subjected to violence by those within its own congregation…

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    Jonah,it is time to accept you must draw the long bow, if you are in any sense christian and catholic~and maybe related to a rather large whale~ stop this pretentious notion of a “bargain” and start rooting your own deeds~and attitudes~ christ~was about compassion~ not judgement~~ admittedly I learnt this a long time ago~ before I was ten when I sacked my sunday school teacher for her scary parable on learning about the attrocious treatment of lepers back then….

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Bridget

    Let’s put pressure on the NSW govt for a Royal commission. This is bigger than just the Catholic Church.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    Jemima

    They need to have a royal commission so that there is a clear message that concealing and enabling child sexual abuse is no longer acceptable. My friend from school confided in a priest during confession about her father (someone who donated a lot to the church and was one of those altar people – not priests but the plebs…). Her father raped all the sisters and all the priest could say was that he would pray for her family. They had church counseling where they were taught that the father was to be pitied and forgiven according to the laws of their God. Probably got tips from the clergy.

  • Reply November 9, 2012

    ro.watson

    THE END> DO CAPITALS ASSIST?

  • Reply November 10, 2012

    Tony W

    “These people are sick it has nothing to do with celibacy.”

    EXACTLY! Can we please stop blaming paedophilia on celibacy? It is factually WRONG. Let’s acquaint ourselves with the FACTS:

    “Paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in persons who are 16 years of age or older typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children. Paedophilia can be described as a disorder of sexual preference, phenomenologically similar to a heterosexual or homosexual sexual orientation because it emerges BEFORE OR DURING PUBERTY and because it is stable over time. Most sexual offenders against children are male, although it is believed that the true number of female paedophiles is underrepresented by available estimates.”

    Now, given that the Church has throughout the Ages been a refuge for social misfits of all kinds, and even men simply seeking to escape war and famine, where do you suppose an adolescent male confused by his own abnormal sexuality and rejected by society for it might turn? And what do you suppose he might do when he is placed in a school amongst the objects of his primary sexual desire – namely prepubescent children?

    Is it any wonder we have an epidemic of paedophiles in the Church? You couldn’t design a more perfect system to attract them, harbour them, culture them, and feed their sexual appetites if you tried. The Church is a fucking petri dish for paedophiles, and there are colonies of them all over the world.

    Given that the prevalence of paedophilia in the general population has been estimated at between 3% and 9%, what do you suppose it might be in a closed population that has been selecting and breeding them for centuries? 20%? 30%? 50%? More?

    Can we see now why the Church goes to such extraordinary lengths to hide paedophiles from the law? Half the fucking priesthood would be in jail if they didn’t. And that includes Pell – he may not be a practicing paedophile himself, but he is certainly an accessory after the fact.

    Can we also now see that celibacy has nothing to do with it? Taking a vow of celibacy is no sacrifice for a paedophile – he has no sexual interest in adults.

  • Reply November 10, 2012

    Rhoda

    And there you have it why the church has been blatant in its refusal to deal with these crimes.

    But Tony have to disagree with you on one point. Celibacy has everything to do with it. It was the perfect excuse to have an all-male priesthood. Women would spoil their fun. Those celibates who are genuine and have a spiritual vocation are the cloak that gives the church its legitimacy.

    It is well to remember that the well known and very Catholic theologian St. Augustine wrote, “Nothing is so powerful in drawing the spirit of a man downwards as the caresses of a woman.”

  • Reply November 10, 2012

    MemKate

    There should be a Royal Commission and it should not be limited to the Catholic Church. Anglican institutions have also been the site of widespread cruelty and sexual abuse of children (one in particular, near Walcha, NSW). There is now a strong, international paedophilia network, with links to the top levels of the judiciary and politicians. In Qld, and probably in other states, there is a link between drug dealers, corrupt police and paedophiles. I know of a murdering drug dealer and paedophile who is being protected by police. Children are not being protected by the Family Court and are all too often sent to the wrong, that is, the abusing parent. The Family Court is secret and controlled by people who are not in any way dispensing justice. Children are being taken from parents and sent to foster homes where they are often abused. There is a lot of money involved and paedophiles are in powerful positions.

  • Reply November 10, 2012

    Benison O'Reilly

    Two things:

    Did anyone hear the Catholic Bishop of Newcastle on ABC Radio say that he got ‘annoyed’ about things from the past, but everything was all fine now and we should all move on: ‘annoyed’ – WTF! What hope have we got if this is a supposed church leader?

    Secondly, I was talking to my (lapsed) Catholic husband about how I couldn’t fathom how supposed ‘men of God’ could reconcile their Christian beliefs with their actions. He said many never were ‘men of God’. They went into the priest/brotherhood because they were deeply flawed in the first place and the structure of the Church provided them with a safe haven. Chilling theory but it makes sense to me. Boys were abused at his high school, too, and the perpetrator was moved on.

  • Reply November 10, 2012

    billie

    Pedophilia is not acceptable in our society.

    In Victorian England if you wanted sex with a little boy or little girl and you had the money then an urchin was available. Times have changed.

    Everyone is disgusted when it becomes known that people charged with caring for children betray the trust that society has given them. Its bad enough that the church and/or school to send the perpetrator overseas but it’s reprehensible when the perpetrator gets another chance to repeat that behaviour.

    The victims must be deeply dismayed that their parents can’t protect them and their family’s trust in the church must be shattered at the gross betrayal dealt them.

    I thought that the French Revolution said the law and its punishments will be applied equally and evenly to nobles, commoners and clergy – EXCEPT in Australia where there are obviously still ecclesiastic courts.

  • Reply November 10, 2012

    Susan

    Is it only the Catholic Church that should be investigated?
    I know there are other organisations that no longer, but did, hide paedophellia. Whilst their systems have changed-the plight of victims hasn’t. Public Schools perhaps?

  • Reply November 11, 2012

    MemKate

    Billie, nothing has changed from Victorian times. In fact it is worse. These days, if you are a judge, politician or high up in the PS, you can easily buy a child of either sex for your sexual pleasure. These children often come from the street (you described them as “urchins” in Victorian times) but not always – it depends on how much money is available. More children are now becoming available to these monsters through the secret Family Court and its network of corrupt psychiatrists and Dept. officers. The drug/paedophile networks are strong, around the world and have ensnared many people in power in their grasp through blackmail and fear of exposure to their families.
    The Catholic Church, including the Pope, has protected many paedophiles, just moving them from place to place and keeping them out of reach of the law through corruption. Victims face a long and costly battle to be heard and if successful in getting their cases to court, are forced to settle out of court with a “non-disclosure” condition.

  • Reply November 11, 2012

    Tony W

    “He said many never were ‘men of God’. They went into the priest/brotherhood because they were deeply flawed in the first place and the structure of the Church provided them with a safe haven. Chilling theory but it makes sense to me.”

    It’s a little bit more than a theory. Here it is from the horse’s mouth: “In the course of my life as a priest I became aware that some of the other priests were actually paedophiles, and were not necessarily becoming priests because they wanted to help people, but because they were paedophiles who wanted the opportunity.” (Lateline Nov.9)

  • Reply November 11, 2012

    Tony W

    “Those celibates who are genuine and have a spiritual vocation are the cloak that gives the church its legitimacy.”

    Yes Rhoda, but it has always been a myth! The vow of celibacy is meaningless. The Church has always turned a blind eye to sexual relations in their ranks – be they homosexual relations in seminaries and convents, or heterosexual relations between clergymen and laywomen. Why would they cover up practicing paedophiles but expose practicing heterosexuals? The plain fact is they can’t afford to lose ANY priests.

    As you said earlier Rhoda, “The very notion of celibacy is a nonsense.” And so it is in practice. Priests and brothers often have a woman on the side, I can recall a few from my own catholic school days in the 60′s and 70′s. It was common knowledge, one of them even got married eventually and left the priesthood. Here’s one from earlier this year:

    “Father Kevin Lee, a priest for 20 years, has admitted that he has found love and wedded….I’ve been married for a year…..Lee says that many Catholic priests pursue relationships…..claims that many priests are leading a double life…..there are more like me, in fact most of them…..He says that he made little effort to hide his relationship, but claims the hierarchy chose to turn a blind eye.”

    Of course, now that he’s gone public they’ve immediately excommunicated him!

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/newshome/13570958/catholic-priest-admits-secret-marriage/

  • Reply November 11, 2012

    Amanda

    This has been going on for too long and everyone knows it is continuing. I do not understand how the church has been allowed to deal with what is a crime internally. This is unacceptable, they should be subject to the same law and justice as the rest of us. Let’s have a royal commission and root this sickness out.

  • Reply November 12, 2012

    Lucille

    Paedophilla is not limited to priests or males. I suspect there are many females in catholic schools who are also guilty, and in all girls’ schools in particular.

  • Reply November 12, 2012

    JoanneH

    When wide-spread abuse of Aboriginal children became apparent the Howard Government acted by immediately sending in the Army. A Royal Commission is needed now, and it should include all religious denominations and institutions where abuse has occurred.

    Some legal ‘spring-cleaning’ may be necessary. I have read that it is very difficult to obtain compensation from the Catholic Church because it uses a legal technicality, approved by the High Court, to prevent those sexually abused by Priests from suing. This is because the ‘Catholic Church’ is divided into thousands of small, mostly asset poor, legal entities –Parishes, Schools, Hospitals etc. The Church’s main assets are held in large property trusts, and they are protected by law against financial responsibility for the actions of clergy within the Church.

  • Reply November 12, 2012

    Amanda

    A royal commission has been called. Good on you Julia Gillard for doing this, and shame on you Barry O’Farrell. Your attempts at circumscribing and limiting the scope of the investigation start to look like an attempt to protect the guilty and the church at the expense of children.

  • [...] Time for a Royal Commission [...]

  • Reply November 13, 2012

    Miranda Muer

    One has to wonder why Australia’s top catholic priest was appointed (read – “shuffled off”) overseas a few years ago – ???? protection by the church.

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  • Reply November 17, 2012

    Rhoda

    Well they are Catholic priests and the church they belong to has been moving paedophiles around from parish to parish. Doesn’t that tell you something. Shouldn’t these priests be down on their knees begging forgiveness. Ha!

    Pell has lost all credibilitiy this week because he has been defending the indefensible. He is not a godly man or even a kind man. So why is he a cardinal!

  • [...] Time for a Royal Commission [...]

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