As depressing and predictable the Cardinal’s evidence is, it is exceptionally important in the light of the global scandal that child abuse by members of the Catholic clergy has become.
This is the third most powerful man in the Catholic Church, a Cardinal and therefore man who could, potentially, become the Pope, a man who must surely speak for the church and to claims he has the confidence of the Pope
He is speaking about the manifestation of a global problem in his Archdiocese where he was both a Bishop and the Archbishop. He was a personal friend of at least one of the people who is now in jail for his crimes and he probably knew most of the others. he established the “Melbourne Response” which was designed to be the Catholic Church’s answer to the problem. We can therefore assume that he has a good knowledge of the problem, probably better than he is admitting for the Commission
We can also assume that this is the official voice of the Catholic Church on the issue of child abuse. No one in the Catholic Church has stood up and contradicted nor condemned what the Cardinal is saying.
The evidence that is being presented has a tragically similarity to it. Some of the details may vary in their horrific inhumanity but it is a litany of sadism, depravity and inhumanity.
Yet, there is scant recognition of this from the Cardinal. Instead, we get a litany of blame shifting, excuses, indifference and an almost total lack of recall. There is no expressed recognition of the fact that this is a systemic problem within the Catholic Church despite it occurring all around the world. There is also no expressed recognition of the Church’s responsibility for this gross failure of care.
Cardinal George Pell is the official voice of the Catholic Church on child abuse. There is no other to be heard.