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Cardinal George Pell charged with at least three serious sex offences
Fairfax29.06.17 10:31 am66 comments
• Fairfax: ‘The ambitious Australian bulldog’: The life and times of Cardinal George Pell
• ABC: George Pell: We’re in uncharted territory now police have charged the Cardinal
• SBS: The girls, the paedophile and Cardinal Pell
Some 25 years ago I was told by a senior aged person that one must not give too much credibility to persons of religious vacillation and or persuasion.
Even as of this date I have yet to find this person had given me a false advice.
A frock or a smock and the giving of a type of all wise & all-knowing religious appellation, does not really constitute a person that warranted any abiding personal trust.
Even in my younger days we as youngsters obviously had our mates that would all knock about together, somehow we all knew that these stiff white collar characters had their weird ways of stepping out and about thus were persons best avoided.
There should be much relief that this ‘case’ has finally to come before a Court of (secular) Law- and that relief will surely be felt in Catholic Church circles as much as it will be- though with much more tumult- outside the Catholic world.- and amongst other Christian denominations- who must prepare themselves with absolute honesty to an outcome they may not wish to hear.
A proper legal process is the only way to get to the truth of the allegations made against Cardinal Pell - but it is equally important that - for either prosecution or defence - the outcome is accepted as ‘just.’
Unfortunately there is a scepticism- maybe sometimes jusified- that the legal process itself is ‘suss’ and justice is not done because- to use a phrase ’ money changes hands’ or some equivalent dodge.
Hopefully it will only be the most miserable who object in whole or part to the outcome of this legal search - and if so then the remaining majority will give those recalcitrants the cold shoulder.
There is some time between now and the 18th July court date. Lets just wait and see what miracles of diplomatic immunity transpire before getting to the questions of the impartiality of our good lady Justice, eh Trevor. The Vatican has been known to shield the accused from the judicial process before, and while I do hope this Pope is cut from a different cloth, he is still head of the Catholic Church, and subject to its internal machinations.
I find myself thinking it’s not only Cardinal Pell who will be on trial here…..it will be the whole college of cardinals. If found guilty, one can only wonder what others are guilty of under the protection of the church who at their peril, ignore the fact one way or another, God will not be mocked and his timing perfect.
Me thinks, old George baby won’t ever find himself in the Melbourne Dock.
He knows he’s untouchable inside the Vatican wall.
Maybe the old trick of I’m too sick to travel or face court will be used?
The problem for George is how to prove his claim of innocence.
If he fails to stand before the court, the global view and distrust of the church leadership will never recover.
Dark days ahead for the Christian zealots.
Justice for heinous crimes may prevail yet.
A vacancy has just opened for the post of spiritual mentor to Tony Abbott. Applicant will have experience with correctional facilities and the guidance system of nuclear submarines.
SO in the current Liberal world it apparently runs from George ...
To the Liberals’ Tony Abbott … wanna be priest …
to let’s keep partying Tony Abbott, says Campbell Newman …
All the while Eric Abetz stays in hiding … all the while gifting arms to take down other religions.
Could one suggest that a bunch of party aligned religious zealots have taken over the Liberal party? Indeed are trying to take over Australia and the world?
How do we change things for the better for the general populace?
1. Ban political parties – your political representative is supposed to listen to their constituents, NOT the party.
2. Political parties ‘say’ they have a ‘mandate’ when voted in … the ‘winner’ party picks and chooses which so-called ‘mandate’ – meaning policy they campaigned/indoctrinated on – which are mostly based on lies. Because voting is compulsory there are many who don’t vote on particular policies, but just because mum and dad said so, or got no idea, so tick a box, any box. So a real ‘mandate’ should be based on a referendum.
3. Sit a learners test before being able to vote.
Your religion should be your soul … the kindness mirrored back ... not a fight for power and money.
Then there are lessons from J Edgar Hoover … …
I wouldn’t be surprised this latest uproar caused by Tony Abbott isn’t just a rouse used as a distraction to this present episode, the reason our prime minister is slow on condemnation.
Christopher Pyne and Abbott truly at each others throats?.....I doubt it they both have one eternal gain…all three with Jesuit connections and in good standing within the Church with Pyne making a personal visit to the Vatican at taxpayer expense.
Claire.. The souls of the just are in the hand’s of God and not torment shall touch them….I’m wondering if this hasn’t been their mantra for centuries….....
+The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with the elect.
The Word of the Lord.
Lord hear us…...
Signs already- here on TT- that if there comes the judicial process- and I acknowledge (#3) the element of uncertainty- an outcome that fell in favour of one party- guess which?- would not be accepted.
#8 “...your political representative is supposed to listen to their constituents, NOT the party.”
I am not sure #8 is correct. The ‘Party’ puts together a ‘platform/portfolio of policy aims’
and selects candidates who support those to go to the ‘parliament.
Voters cast towards the Party via the candidate- sometimes- frequently?- the candidate the party selects is unattractive to the voter so the party vote may suffer - but the party political representatives are not required to act for the constituents except insofar as they do as the party promised those constituents
Now -‘no Parties’- how does the elector determine the ‘policies’ of an independent?
I find it all quite disturbing how the religious ceremonies of George Pell’s Church are locked into their system, some were in fashion prior to the medieval era in our history.
The young male members of this outfit would have to be on their guard in those earlier days or by crikey they had better have owned a pair of winged leather sandals.
Let’s not forget another of George Pell’s mates not yet mentioned since the charges were laid against the Australian Cardinal, our Attorney General, recall he and the Abbott paid a social call on George Pell when he last landed on Australian soil, nobody else was invited along for tea and scones.
Since this latest revelation about the naughty boys among this band of brothers, not a peep from George Brandis or Tony Abbott.
The Catholic church is the biggest corporation in our World, recall they pay no taxes, though somebody had obviously stacked the cash journals and made off with quite a bit of loot.
Though this action was not unlike the manner the vast wealth and treasures as these were originally nicked from non-believers some many years ago.
I understand that there has not been a lot of effort consumed in the honest return of these former plundered goods.
Thus out came a message from the Cloud that Cardinal George Pell’s arithmetic’s were needed so bring your sharpest pencils and your abacus from your flung antipodean shores of Australia, George, you are required pronto, some joker before you had botched up the cash journals and the treasure manifests, probably knocked off a few kegs of our best wines from below.
The followers of the Catholic creed are said to number up to 1.1 Billion hopefuls, each tossing their coins into the coffers each week.
This same band of brothers are the beholders of the largest real estate holdings across the planet also.
So it has been a weighty job for our Cardinal George to tally up the Squillions held in the underground bunkers of the Vatican.
Then it was the Catholic Church insurers that were lumbered with the compensatory monies having to be dealt out to those who could not escape.
History still holds a lot of grim secrets that may either have been set to the torch or buried deep underground, for those early members of the naughty boys club were also engaged in their misbehaviours that were far more heinous than todays count up, of the many abused younger of the community in those former times.
If George goes down so should a stack of other cardinals that are currently hiding behind the plush Vatican drapes or hiding down below in some comfortable earthen bunker.
There are not too many people about that know about the extensive underground workings of the Vatican, this in itself remains one of the last unknown realms of this secretive band of brothers.
Meanwhile the Mercury reports that Archbishop Julian Porteous is “shocked and disappointed” that Pell has been charged. I can think of three interpretations of this statement, all of them being somewhat worrying.
Is he shocked and disappointed at Cardinal Pell for having done such things? (How does he know Pell did? Does he know something we don’t?)
Is he shocked and disappointed that the police would charge the cardinal because he believes there is no way someone in Pell’s position could possibly be guilty?
Or is he shocked and disappointed that the police would dare to lay charges against someone so senior in the Catholic Church?
Well, though TT’s headline reads: “Cardinal George Pell charged with at least three serious sex offences”, the rest of the press seem to rely on ‘multiple charges’ and/or ‘of historical sex offences’. I don’t know what he’s done, or hasn’t done. (Channel 10 seem to think that there are three charges … https://tinyurl.com/y8fwmceo, but give no details)
re #15, yes, interesting that he chose to make that comment.
re #12, Can’t comment for anyone else, but for mine lets just see what transpires. You are just trying to stir the pot, needlessly, from where I am sitting.
#5 ABC news reported today that whilst Pell has said he is prepared to travel to Australia and face the charges, he is now waiting on the advice of his Doctor to advise if he is fit to travel…
Watch this space I reckon.
@15. His views may concur with his brother bishop’s around the time Premier Ted Baillieu called for the Victorian parliamentary Inquiry, they were all very naïve you know.
‘‘I think we’ve learnt a lot of things about what is appropriate ... [and] not appropriate behaviour,’’ Bishop Connors said.
‘‘I think people are very well informed nowadays as to what’s inappropriate approaches from a male.
Doug ((#15): the Mercury article [Here]
....... says that Archbishop Porteous, in expressing “shock and disappointment,” further said “I think it’s terrible these claims have been made against him. I don’t believe they’ve got any substance to them”.
But #17 comments such as #18- and others- suggest the “pot” has many ‘stirring’ it. Even at #3 there is a clear messae ‘I have the stirring spoon in hand”- so indignation strikes me as being a bit inappropriate.
Porteous may know something we don’t….especially after the recent ABC interview with his QC before everything hit the media giving me at least, the opinion on the basis of evidence required by law there will be no conviction.
Either way shamefully history has been made.
#21 No TGC… you are too quick to condemn. I merely reported what I heard on the ABC radio. The fact I added “watch this space” is purely based on what we have already witnessed in this ongoing saga.
Flying is not the only option for Pell to return to Australia (it was not the last time anyway as time was not an issue) and now he has been charged he must not hide behind any Doctor who is in receipt of his payment.
I believe in God.
I don’t believe in religion.
Religion can be a great force for good or bad, and the bad can be so easy to conceal and so hard to prove.
I only hope and pray that if Pell is innocent, he can live out his life in fulfilment, working for the force of good within the Catholic Church
#23 Too late, chum- at #3 “There is some time between now and the 18th July court date. Lets just wait and see what miracles of diplomatic immunity transpire before getting to the questions of the impartiality of our good lady Justice… The Vatican has been known to shield the accused from the judicial process before, and while I do hope this Pope is cut from a different cloth, he is still head of the Catholic Church, and subject to its internal machinations.”
I watch the ABC - and I didn’t -at the early stages anyway- hear/see anything quite as ‘of course it may well not happen at all’ as #3 appears to suggest
And the ‘explanation’ at #23 has a strong suggestion of ‘he (Cardinal Pell) may be able to ‘buy his way out of appearing’- #23 Doesn’t mean that- what does #23 mean?
Neither am I “condemn(ing)”- I am just ‘drawing attention’ to what #3 contributed.
#24, you write “... I only hope and pray that if Pell is innocent, he can…”
Extending/balancing your comment, I ask what you “... hope and pray”, if Pell is not innocent ...?
#26 Merely suggesting TGC.. how independent and “friendly” is his Doctor who may all too readily advise he is too “sick” to travel.
Cynical I know…
In the period leading up to the Reformation, the late Medieval church had accumulated a terrible reputation for corruption of every sort, including of course the sexual kind.
Martin Luther’s objections to the sale of Indulgences (which allowed sinners to buy their way out of purgatory) was just the final straw.
The Counter-Reformation was amongst other things, a very concerted effort by the Old Church to clean up its act, as it systematically purged anyone who wasn’t squeaky clean and toeing the party line.
Something of that was still extant after WW2, but the rise of indulgence capitalism, its libertarian laissez-faireism, and the liberalization that followed Vatican 2, which tried to cope with that pressure, undid it all.
The Catholic Church was by no means the only victim of this trend. Anything that smacked of ‘repressive’ and ‘authoritarian’ consciousness, ‘unconscienable’ restraint and moral ‘prudery’ went out the door. What we got was a free-for-all where anything went and anything did…and does.
Seventy years down track we are watching our social infrastructure disintegrate. And pillorying deliciously vulnerable targets like Pell serve to divert attention from the stuff that is right in our faces and we don’t want to deal with, because it is too hard.
Show trials are not necessarily just about guiltless victims of a regime in need of fall guys. The soviet ex-regime apparatchiks who were put on trial in the 1930s were no angels, anymore than the landlords were who had to face ‘Speak Bitterness’ so called ‘trials’, when communist troops occupied Chinese villages during the The Revolutionary period.
Pell is a regime fall guy for a society that is sexualizing its children and whose partnering and parenting templates are so smashed up and whose intimate domestic arrangements so chaotic and dysfunctional, it is barely able to keep the lid on its pandemic malfeasance.
I make no defense of Pell, who may very well be as much of a creep as the fallen Soviet officials and Chinese landlord from the past. But that does not mean that his libertarian laissez-faire critics have anything whatever to crow about.
They are far more insidious than Pell, for they are the latterday drivers of the ideological garbage that started to undo the world of Pell’s youth and served us up a world with almost no disciplined governance whatever.
This tide will eventually turn, as all unsustainable things do, eventually. And for its perpetrators and fellow travelers, there will not be much mercy, because if I am not mistaken, a New Reformation is coming…and everyone will be playing for keeps.
Opining on the strong views of QC Richter on drugs and taking into account how many of our Catholic young men resorting to it’s use due their abuse, it will be interesting to see if he takes this into account if applying it to their testimony as unreliable if proven they be or have been affected by it’s use .......http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/overdose-awareness-day-a-mothers-fight-to-fix-the-system-that-failed-her-son-20160829-gr3qht.html.
Noting a further link not complete.
#28 “Cynical I know…”- and probably will be a bit disappointed when - ok ‘if’, just to help #23 out- - Cardinal Pell appears before the Court?
#27 Thank you for your comment
My point is that firstly, there is a presumption of innocence until the outcome determined by the court.
If Pell is found to be innocent, then I do hope and pray he can continue his life in a good an productive way.
If he is found guilty, then he should suffer the full weight of the law and any consequences that go with it.
I do feel though, that we should all avoid the temptation to be dragged into the vortex of condemnation before the matter is settled before the courts.
For God’s sake Chris, I can’t believe your choice of words claiming +Pell is a regime fall guy for a society sexualizing it’s children.
It goes much deeper than that for Catholics at least.
#32, thankyou also for your reasoned response. I agree for several reasons we ought abstain from entering too far into debate now charges have been made.
The last thing I would want to hear is a defence application that accused Pell cannot recieve a fair trial because mustering an unbiased jury is now impossible.
Thanks for the feedback and the link Lynne.
I have some interest in show trials from my Soviet and Chinese revolution studies.
When doing an analysis of the ‘Bringing Them Home’ report by HREOC, I noticed that it had a lot of the characteristics of a Chinese communist ‘Speak Bitterness’ trials, which hauled the local landlords into the village square for some serious naming and shaming. Their tenants and their landless laborers were encouraged to speak out about the lousy treatment they had suffered at their hands.
Now these ‘trials’ may have been cathartic and undoubtedly very real perfidies were revealed, but they were not justice in any sense other than the revolutionary witch hunting one of discrediting the old regime. And of course, examining the perfidies of tenant farmers and day laborers was not on the agenda, naturally.
This led to some further work on the 1930s show trials, and it turns out that ‘the victims’ were actually pretty nasty and vicious pieces of work who had not only done some awful stuff, but had outlived their usefulness. They were perfect dummies to carry the can for the crimes and excess of the previous policy regime.
It was much the same with Thomas Cromwell after Henry had had enough of the awful little sod, who had served his purpose and reached his use by date. He was as guilty of most of the crimes he was accused of as Pell probably is.
Pell reminds me of Thomas Cromwell in some ways; a hatchet man for an ancien regime that is now disposable and can provide a diversionary entertainment that covers up just how bad the current one is.
We all enjoy a bit of schadenfreude at seeing a real prick get his comeuppance, don’t we? What we do not see however are the underlying politics that is being run by regime libertarchs, who have been in power long enough to have accumulated a really unattractive track record of totally screwing their ‘clients’ and turning their culture and social infrastructure into garbage. A ‘culture’ of disinhibition has that effect on people, and not merely the poor and the oppressed. It is just that the more privileged get more chances and more fat to live off for a bit longer than the already marginalized.
That one was brought into really brutal relief when The Northern Territory ‘Little Children Are Sacred’ report came out, which broke the silence about just how much of a mess aboriginal communities were in, and what the children had been brought home to… And it showed up the extent that the earlier HREOC exercise had been a way of pinning post-1960s aboriginal distress and dysfunction entirely on the old white racist order…so that no one would dream of asking awkward critical (racist) questions about the status quo.
What is particularly delicious about the corrupt handling by the Catholic Church hierarchy in general and Pell in particular, of a fundamental part of their institutional brief, is that it gives the lie that a disinhibited society is a pretty good alternative to a ‘repressive’ ‘authoritarian’ institutional relic, as a model of social governance.
And what is significant about this is that we are living through a collapse in social governance. Check out the SA Royal Commission into Child protection. Its conclusions are horrendous.
Behind the Dylan Vollers are a ‘whole generation’ of children who haven’t had any moral toilet training, because their domestic social infrastructure has been nobbled by the human rights lobby and then handed straight across to the sales and marketing department of Indulgence Capitalism Inc.
And what goes under the radar is that the Church has been no more immune to the depredations of a culture of disinhibition than anyone else. It started to fall to pieces almost straight after Vatican 2, which of course is when Pell and his pedophile mates in Ballarat started their sexual rampage, just as the ‘sexual revolution’ got into full swing.
I am not for a moment suggesting that these sexual malfeasances weren’t happening throughout the history of the Church and our species for that matter, but periods of ‘relaxation’ of social mores stand out. The late Medieval Church had a really noxious reputation for sexual abuse and misbehavior, which was one of the corruption triggers that brought on the Reformation.
Church sexual practices were a standing joke throughout society. Rome had numerous brothels that specialized in servicing priests and the curia….
But I can tell you, when the Church cleaned up its act during the counter reformation, they really cleaned up their act, with the Jesuits leading the charge. Going after children and vulnerable women, or each other, went off the menu, and priests, brothers and nuns had to make do with furtive and guilt ridden masturbation instead, for the next three to four hundred years.
And make no mistake Lynne, such a counter reformationary swing back is not far off. If I were a betting man, I’d wager the house on it.
Thanks for not taking it personal Chris, I’m aware of the depth of many of your comments overtime and appreciate them always something to learn…...
In relation to the Reformation…...Recently in an act of reconcilation, Justin Welby begged for forgivess for the violence, death and destruction against the Catholic Church during that period presenting him with a crucifix of nails to usher in a common unity between the two faiths.
This given link below may appear a little biased on the surface, but has certain truths that can be followed through and I’ve often wondered how many Anglicans are aware of what’s being done on their behalf.
#18 Let us all hope that the Cardinal consults the same doctor regarding his air travel who said he was well enough to fly to London a couple of months ago. Sadly, I wouldn’t bet on it.
I fear what we will see is a sudden relapse, the Cardinal wearing nasal prongs, a public carrying of vomit bags. And a clouding on neural functions.
Australian public figures have as we all know an amazingly and truly tragic record of developing serious illnesses after charges are laid against them.
@ 29. Chris, after forwarding on the article and your points following “But I can tell you, when the Church cleaned up its act during the counter reformation, they really cleaned up their act, with the Jesuits leading the charge. Going after children and vulnerable women, or each other, went off the menu, and priests, brothers and nuns had to make do with furtive and guilt ridden masturbation instead, for the next three to four hundred years”.
I was reminded of Steven de Weger below.
Having just completed his Master of Justice (Research), Stephen de Weger is about to continue his research into clerical sexual misconduct involving adults, as a PhD student. His main areas of focus will be Church, and criminal justice responses to victims/survivors of CSMIA, with some focus on male victims/survivors.
And on record, Jesuit victims not excluded elsewhere I may add.
#37 Better be careful what “we” say.. TGC is out to get us at #31.
It is very hard however not to reflect on our past history of medical events as you have suggested. Even poor Kyrgios had to pull out when he was two sets down.. oh dear… I must cease my cynicism. So sorry Trevor - I slap my wrist.
Thanks for that Lynne #38.
Yes, the Church militant is a unique case in the sense that it is supposed to be a special human agency of divine providence. That implies the highest possible standards of conduct, because its authority and legitimacy stem from and rest on that. That gives it a special status of trust, which makes its betrayal all the more profoundly morally heinous, devastating for its own standing and injurious to the victims.
#40 ... and once the trust is broken, it is like trying to get the excess squeezed toothpaste back into the tube.
Yes Geraldine and how deep does it go…... even justice is an exception to the rule, a long time coming [if ever]. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-28/trace-priest-seen-covered-in-blood-near-maria-james-crime-scene/8652936
I understand Cardinal Pell is now in Australia- I guess that’s one down!
Amazing how the religious jump to provide denial and apologetics in desperation to support their unsupportable stance. They jump in every time to denounce the truth and try to put forward more lies and deceptions, regarding the reality of the belief in a non existent god of war, along with never ending abuse and destruction of life.
As one who spent time in a religious jail (boys home)as a kid, because I refused to go to church, denied it was a loving god after being forced to read the bibles and discovering the truth within them. Have first hand knowledge of the debauchery and degeneracy carried out in the name of god, by its followers and you will find every kid who was inside a religious institution (torture jail), has the same experience, male or female.
All I can do at laugh at the depth of their elitist primitive fear and understanding, along with their blind denialist faith.
Pell like all who preach lies and deceptions of there being a god, is guilty by association, failing to report crimes against children and women, along with aiding, abetting and protecting their deviant criminals to avoid prosecution.
Not one, of the mythical war god yahweh followers can provide one piece of evidence to support its existence, or that it is a loving god. When all the facts are the complete opposite, historically and in every other way.
Now they are demanding a trial by judge only, which will bring in massive conflicts of interest, we all know how dedicated to yahweh the judicial and legal system is. So if they get their god supporter judge only trial, Pell will probably walk free.
It’s the same reason why the elites in every faction are never brought to justice for protecting abusers and non reporting of heinous crimes against children, the justice and political system protects them to maintain its control.
@ 44. “Now they are demanding a trial by judge only, which will bring in massive conflicts of interest….”
I’m not sure about the demanding a judge only but will follow it up and lets see what others views are.
And although you don’t want sympathy .....I’m glad you’re strong enough to stand up fight back. Sometimes the pen is/can be mightier than the sword.
All power to you my friend.
@44. Something to break the ice…..
If God was so clever why didn’t he write the rules on the back of a Corn Flakes Packet?
by Brian Coyne , LINDEN, NSW, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 12:15 (4 hours, 4 minutes ago)
If God was so clever why didn’t he write the rules on the back of a Corn Flakes Packet? Why did he write one of the longest books ever published ... and with all its paradoxes and contradictions?
Thank you, Lynne (#42) for this link. Father Bongiorno’s name is vaguely familiar to me, as my wife and I both came from Thornbury, though we attended Holy Spirit Catholic Church, about a mile away, rather than St. Marys. Without knowing what truth there is/isn’t in the ABC news item that you provided a link to, I can say that at Holy Spirit we had a serial abuser, a paedophile called Father Glennon. He was convicted, jailed, released, reoffended, jailed and had more charges facing him when he died in prison, in 2014. You can read about him [Here]. I recommend that people read it, firstly to understand what Derryn Hinch did. As far as I recall, he never manned up and took responsibility for what he (Hinch) did from his radio booth. And it’s also instructive to note the comments of one of the mums who saw her son in bed with the priest, how she even then trusted him, because we all seemed to trust men of the cloth in those days. Did she trust him? “Of course I did. I’m a Catholic aren’t I? I mean, you go by the cloth… Who else do you trust in this world? ...He came around to our houses and we used to sing and we used to talk all hours of the night and enjoy each other’s company because he was just good to talk to… I thought this world was good when you talked to a priest.”
I was a postman in the suburb of Northcote (of which Thornbury is a neighbour) and effectively a part of Northcote itself. I knew the bookshop, but had not been in it as a customer, save maybe once or twice to deliver mail or to stick letters under the door if it was shut. I think this was when I was ‘relieving’ on another postie’s round due to him being on leave or something like that. A bookshop - I think it was second hand – was something outside my experience in those days and I didn’t know how to fit it into my ‘world view’ of little old High St, Thornbury, the Thornbury I grew up in in the 50s and 60s and worked in in the 70s.
We posties all heard about the murder – everyone did. It was shocking. I would sometimes look at the shop as I went past and somehow the building itself gave me the creeps and I didn’t want to stop or be seen to stop my push-bike and look in. Maybe I did, maybe not. You see, I don’t know what the other posties thought, I can’t remember us talking about it much, though you’d think it’s the sort of thing we would have gossiped about as each morning we all stood at our sorting frames in the back room of the post-office and ‘shot the breeze’ as we sorted the letters. Actually, in my own mind, I always thought that it was some killing focused on Maria James herself, as a single mum, or as a vulnerable woman who had a shop or whatever else. I felt that it must have been some sort of pervert who’d decided to kill her for reasons perhaps sexual, perhaps not.
I never knew about this story of Father Bongiorno having blood on him that day and I never heard before that the woman’s son (Maria James’s) had been sexually assaulted by him. There is a parallel between Bongiorno and Glennon: as priests they were trusted more than others. A detective involved on the Maria James murder case said “I don’t think there’s any police officer that I worked with, especially back then in 1980, who would have suspected that a priest from the church could have been responsible for the death of Maria,” he said.
“Even that he could have been responsible for assaulting a child — that just didn’t come into our minds.” A recent ABC article on the murder can be found: [Here]
And I’ll close with an anecdote from my school days. One day, one of my mates at our Christian Brothers (boys) College said to me that Brother Cummins had tried to kiss him. It seemed an unusual thing. Why would a man want to kiss my mate, a young male? I don’t know if I thought Brother Cummins was after sex, or what. Maybe he was lonely or having some sort of breakdown. I don’t know what I thought then - it’s 50+ years ago = 1965. My mate laughed it off and I don’t think we ever spoke about it again, though I’ve never forgotten him having told me. That was the only instance that I knew of in my school of a Brother behaving in that sort of way. Now and then over the years I’ve recalled it, as the ongoing revelations have rocked the religious orders. Blow me down, you see, maybe we didn’t see things for what they really were…
I was thinking about my days in the Cadet Corps at school. How we’d have cadets once a week and also go away on camp and on bivouac. I was remembering those showers that they had there in the shower blocks at Puckapunyal. We boys (cadets) were being treated as if we were soldiers. And those showers were so cold and the sheds were draughty. While I was thinking about the shower block, with its lack of cubicles and its row of shower heads above the long concrete floor, I remembered how one day we had to go there for ‘short arm inspection’. [The term “short-arm inspection” is a military euphemism referring to the routine medical inspection of male soldiers’ penises (“short arms”) for signs of sexually-transmitted diseases and other medical problems.] I wasn’t looking forward to it, as I was uncomfortable about having others view my private parts. My memory is of being in boots and greatcoat and filing into the block to have my name ticked off by Brother Cummins who was sitting there at a desk and having to open my greatcoat and show him my genitals. I forgot to say, in the cadets, he was actually ‘Major Cummins’. I can’t remember if he had anyone else there with him to assist with the ‘inspections’.
All those years I took it as just a natural thing – that that’s what they do in the army. Just recently I thought, well no, hang on, I was just a kid … 13-14 years old. So were my mates. Was there any real reasons why we all had to be inspected for venereal disease? Maybe Brother (Major) Cummins was a ‘perv’, pure and simple?
47.Thank you, Lynne (#42) for this link.
I think Ron Iddles is on to it again, nothing misses his eye coming from a family of dinky dye Presbyterians if my memoery serves me right.
And I’m so glad you have nothing bad to report re Northcote.
As far as Glennon goes, I recall walking into chambers and having a chat to his legal counsel suggesting he advise his client to admit his guilt if he was in fact guilty, because truth sets one free.
What a dork I was when I think back when my belief in the institutional church was strong….....but then I recall God spoke to Balaam out of the mouth a donkey and they’re not stupid.
STOP PRESS: there has been a startling development in the case, this very day. Tonight’s news informs us that Vic police have apologised for mixing up a DNA specimen years ago, which had resulted in Father Bongiorno (and others) being erroneously eliminated as suspects in the murder of Maria James.
@50. I could never understand the vindictiveness of a cleric suggesting the mother was a prostitute, that today wouldn’t surprise me considering.
He’s a bad egg whether he did it or not and his sister who was a nun if my memory serves me right, refused to have the DNA test that Ron sought that would’ve proved his presence. I have an old Brokenrites piece on him from founder Chris Wilding’s day when reports began coming in that as yet hasn’t recently been updated to my knowledge and is still online.
#50. Garry, the cynic in me went into overload yesterday when I heard that astounding news re the wrong DNA being used to eliminate said suspect! Did you hear how the error just happened to happen? Hmmmn. Now police say they are embarrassed that it occurred. I suggest they ought be more than embarrassed. Maybe I’ve been observing police modus-operandi (or is that mudus-operandi?) too long. Now, I am eager to know how the mix-up was only recently discovered and not then?
Btw — as you write in #47-48, I too held those leading our church and schools in the utmost trust and never questioned their motifs or raison d’être. Having seven brothers who attended Christian Brothers’ (CB) schools during late 1950’s — early 1970’s, I heard their idle chat, thinking it was just boys’ talk. Then, my son went through CB-run schools in the 80’s, as at that time they were still on my pedestal of respect!
The beginning of the end of my personal naïveté began shortly after this — the metamorphosis from trusting loyal follower to reality and part-time cynic was difficult.
“If God was so clever why didn’t he write the rules on the back of a Corn Flakes Packet? Why did he write one of the longest books ever published ... and with all its paradoxes and contradictions?”
Mythical stories are always full of contradictions and paradoxes, fact is straight forward and verifiable.
The bibles are made up of many different mythologies and folk stories, in a deluded attempt to make out they are all from the same source. They come from Egypt, Sumeria, Greece, India and include many stories from the Canaanite era.
Anyone who has any idea of chronological history, knows where all theses stories came from and how they came about. Most don’t understand how society worked back then, as 99% couldn’t read or write. There were people who carried news between villages and towns, they would arrive at places and spin the yarns they had to the towns people. Scribes would wrote out the versions of each story and they always differed, hence the difference between the different versions in the NT.
That’s why no believer can explain the difference between what they claim and the actual written facts. The hierarchy of those believing in Yahweh, are all abusers, pathological liars and have yet to meet a believer that can be trusted or speaks the truth.
Try getting a preacher to explain biblical history and to explain why they worship a self confessed mythical god of war. Then ask them why their versions don’t correlate with the verifiable historical, chronological and anthropological facts. They get really upset and don’t have clue, because they are in the job for one reason only, self gratification at everyones expense.
@44.“Now they are demanding a trial by judge only, which will bring in massive conflicts of interest, we all know how dedicated to yahweh the judicial and legal system is”.....There wasn’t too much being said publicly in relation to the above, but what I did find misleading is the comment in paragraph 2 The Age July 11, [Fears that George Pell might not], “two QC’s not connected to his case have raised their doubts”. One at least is with the same group of legals as the QC defending him. http://www.crockett.com.au/www/content/default.aspx?cid=742 and one can’t help but ponder the impartiality on anything when you consider the annual Red Mass and the cream of the legal fraternity and politicians who attend for innstance….. http://melbournecatholic.org.au/Melbourne-News/video-annual-red-mass-at-st-patricks-cathedral.
Continued…...and NSW in earlier days.https://www.sydneycatholic.org/news/latest_news/2012/2012125_1521.shtml
The writer a Catholic himself trying to deal with all the fallout like everyone else had a sense of humour….
Tony, mankind is very confused.
#55 — the photos in the link you provided are somewhat sickening, and/or frightening.
Meanwhile, let’s not forget reasonable recent happenings before our Tasmanian eyes — a suspended sentence?
On this afternoon’s ABC news, Police admit that the mix up between samples occurred because two containers of evidence from two separate but similar cases were in storage adjacent to each other and a sample was placed in or taken from the wrong container. They seemed quite insistent that it was straightforward human error.
Or at least, that’s how I heard it.
On Pell’s court case, it is said that truth and justice march together, so it will be interesting to watch Pell’s QC roll out the bag of tricks and to observe to what extent the truth falls victim to the legal technicalities. (Evan Whitton ...
... has a very informative book published on this site that details the catalogue of dubious tactics and strategies available to the defense team ...
“it is said that truth and justice march together”
And the law and church breed the same pontificates who are known predators, in some instances, of young children.
Read the admission of Blanche D’Alpuget and her first experience at a very young age.
“the photos in the link you provided are somewhat sickening, and/or frightening”.
Posted by Geraldine Allan
I guess it’s all about the expectation/s of impartiality…..At least Adam Cooper of The Age who wrote the article should’ve checked his informant Peter Chadwick…..unless Remy van de Weil had a sea change and his image hasn’t been removed from Crocker Chambers website.
In that case I shall have to apologise…...
#62 by “sickening” & “frightening”, I meant that in days gone by I was in awe, when in the presence of said Cardinal thus I feel frightened for the then-me, as I was so naïve and trusting; I feel sick for the now-me, knowing what I (now) know, if that makes sense.
@63. Well Geraldine there would be many who would’ve felt the same so you’re not alone. The Cardinal had no affect on me meeting him only once as archbishop…....Ian Waters the Judicial Vicar was the one I was intimidated by, he set me right off that I mistook the glass of water I’d requested for the microphone I was supposed to speak into now humorous looking back.
A right bully that one, I ended up marching out of the room in disgust at his behaviour and came home.
And for anyone here appearing before Tribunals…....their Confidentiality policy are a misnomer so long as it’s not there own.
Damned cheek when you consider what his brother was up to on public record….....
#64 — Lynne if you watched 4Corners this week, why would we think Catholic policies & trouble-shooting procedures were any different in Australia? Rhetorical question of course.
I did watch it and went to bed with exactly the same thoughts.
It was heatening to learn of one priest with the moral fortiude to break ranks…...some do and it usually comes at a price.
Not sure if you’ve heard of Chris Wilding, she was hated with a vengeance and got the ball rolling here in Australia back in the early 1990’s. She caught the eye of philanthropist Dame Phyllis Frost who became her benefactor, strangley though; when Chris stepped down she withdrew her support….... http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/in-depth/let-victims-sue-church-rights-group-leader-chris-wilding-urges-inquiry/news-story/ace9c0c6330b793ffcad608e14c850bc
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