A well-rehearsed media pantomime

Some may have noticed this week that the usual committed secularist media in Australia have recently again set out to “get” Cardinal George Pell. Well, no surprises there. Strident secularist forces and certain like-minded Catholics have been together at this for some time now.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse is now sitting in Cardinal Pell’s home town, the rural city of Ballarat in Victoria. Dr Pell was never bishop there, but an assistant priest and episcopal vicar for education in the Ballarat diocese in his earlier days before assuming responsibilities in the Melbourne archdiocese and then. of course, in Sydney.

In media reports there have been the usual errors of fact (for example that he was a parish priest in Ballarat, that he was the “head ” of the Church in Australia, that as episcopal vicar for education in Ballarat he was the principal of Catholic schools in the diocese). One wonders if the media persons cannot even get facts right what worth their media reports may have at all.

The Australian blogger, Vexilla Regis, gives a good account of what’s really going on, yet again, way down there.

Please read Like rabitd dogs: the persecutors.

… So we have gathered the players, The Church herself, her principal Australian representative and a host of hostile media and political forces sullenly observing her progress, resentful of her opposition to their causes and of  the apparent  strength of her position. But what is this? She stumbles, falling into the mud and they pounce and begin to tear at her .

Powerful stuff! ← (© Frere Rabidt)


About GC

Poor sinner.
This entry was posted in Bishops, Famous Catholics, The Persecuted Church and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to A well-rehearsed media pantomime

  1. Tom Fisher says:

    So there you have it. Forget the shenanigans that everyone is bored of anyway. The real victim in all this is a Cardinal enduring some bad press. It’s a terrible thought that countless Cardinals the world over may also have suffered the same ordeal.


  2. toadspittle says:

    A reasonable enough precis – a bit heavy on the “rabid dogs” metaphor perhaps, but allowable for emphasis.
    Yes, sadly – there are anti-Catholic people around. Always have been. And as the Church’s temporal power and influence has waned, in The West at least, the institution has become vulnerable.
    Same thing happened to the Communists in Eastern Europe, The Fascists in Spain, and now The Labour Party in Britain. That’s life. Series of ups and downs.
    Any, or all, of these organisations could make a comeback. Never know, do we?.


  3. The Raven says:

    Tom, I think that I agree with you that the article is insufficiently clear about the harm done to the victims of the crimes committed by clergy, but i agree with the general thrust of the piece: the attackers have “weaponised” these crimes; the attack long ago ceased to be anything to do with the victims of crime.


  4. The Raven says:

    Toad, that’s a pretty dumb historical analysis: Eastern European communism collapsed because it always was nothing more than a mechanism for soviet domination of Eastern Europe (or, in the cases of Romania, Albania and Jugoslavia, had started out that way), these regimes had never really had any kind of popular support. The case of Iberian Fascism is somewhat different, in that the regimes there were able to stumble on for another thirty-odd years after the fall of their main sponsors (perhaps a little like the Cubans), mainly on the basis of their internal control of the country, but, to some extent, propped up by US fears of communist takeover.

    I suspect that the parallel with the Labour Party is closer: the Church has spent the last thirty years taking its supporters for granted, while failing in its core mission.


  5. toadspittle says:

    If you read carefully Raven, you will see I didn’t suggest these “Structures” didn’t all wane, or collapse for the same reasons – just that they ultimately did so.
    Everything has its season. It seems we are currently enjoying, or enduring, one of Godless Secularism. This too, will pass no doubt. Not in my lifetime, perhaps.
    Meanwhile the some of the younger Irish seem to be revelling in it.


    …Can’t imagine why. I couldn’t be bothered to walk to the end of my back yard to vote for Gay marriage.
    Unless the young gobshites find what is often perceived as the old, cheerless, blue-nosed, repressive, Hell-fearing, hypocritical, priest-ridden, Ireland – inimical in some fashion. No accounting for taste, is there?
    And maybe it goes deeper than a handful of Gays getting hitched.
    But who knows? Not Toad.


  6. toadspittle says:

    By the way:
    “A well-rehearsed media pantomime,”
    …is, in my opinion, just yet another manifestation of the, nowadays almost daily, parade of paranoia and hysteria on CP&S and elsewhere, involving Catholics.
    I could make a reasonable case for this assertion on my part, but what’s the point?
    Nobody would credit it.
    People who crave to be “persecuted” (but not get to their heads cut off in the process) will get their wish – and be persecuted.
    …So, ultimately – everyone’s happy.

    (Way off topic, but a small investment on “Nearly Caught” in the 2.00 at Haydock, might prove profitable. You read it here, first.)


  7. toadspittle says:

    Assuming this to be “kosher” – what are we to make of it?
    I got it utterly wrong – I thought nobody with half a brain could care one way or the other about gays getting married or not.
    But it’s all rather vaguely pleasing, isn’t it?
    …Triumph of democracy, vox populi, and all that.
    But I suspect a similar referendum in the U.K. would re-introduce hanging, and take us out of Europe. Neither of which would make me all that cheerful. God know what a referendum in the U.S. might not accomplish.
    But that’s democracy, I suppose. Vox populi, indeed.
    An Irish lad has just split a bottle of “boobly” with me, in my local bar, in anticipation.
    Any old excuse, eh?


  8. The Raven says:

    Come now, Toad, I don’t think anyone is squealing “persecution”, instead pointing out the horrible weaponisation (TM Ed Miliband) of the issue by certain sections of the political and media establishment.

    I think that the concern is with what lies down the road from here.


  9. GC says:

    Tom Fisher @ May 23, 2015 at 06:38

    I’m sorry, Mr Fisher, but was that intended to have any meaning at all?


  10. toadspittle says:

    “I think that the concern is with what lies down the road from here.”
    …And do you know what that will be,Raven? You do not. Nor do I. You might guess. So might I.

    “I’m sorry, Mr Fisher,”
    Why – when we read statements like that – do we immediately suspect that the last thing the speaker really is – is sorry? And why not call him “Tom,” GC? He won’t bite you.
    (Not very hard, anyway.)


  11. GC says:

    Toad @ May 23, 2015 at 12:02
    … in my opinion, just yet another manifestation of the, nowadays almost daily, parade of paranoia and hysteria on CP&S and elsewhere, involving Catholics.

    Thank you, Toad. I’m sure we will charitably try to attribute as much value to that remark as we possibly can, given that, as you yourself say, we cannot know anything except for certain properties of equilateral triangles.


  12. toadspittle says:

    “Thank you, Toad. I’m sure we will charitably try to make as much sense of that remark as we possibly can…”
    Naturally you will, GC. I have come to expect nothing less from my chums on CP&S.
    Nor am I ever disappointed, or ever expect to be.
    Of that I’m certain (up to a point, more or less).


  13. toadspittle says:

    I don’t like to be the one to break this to you, GC – but somebody must.
    There are other types of triangle than equilateral – just as there are types of “Christian,*” other than “Catholic.”
    Not only that, there are all sorts of other “shapes” – like squares, rectangles, circles and rhomboids, even. Scary, yes. But there we are.

    *But then, maybe not. Maybe C. S. Lewis was even wronger than we thought.


  14. GC says:

    Oh do you, Toad? But how can we know that, hmmm?


  15. Tom Fisher says:

    I’m sorry, Mr Fisher, but was that intended to have any meaning at all?

    No need to apologise, Raven got my point, so that’s good enough for me.


  16. johnhenrycn says:

    Sarcasm Alert (Tom Fisher’s, not mine):
    “The real victim in all this is a Cardinal enduring some bad press. It’s a terrible thought that countless Cardinals the world over may also have suffered the same ordeal.”

    Tom Fisher: is “bad press” different than calumny? Of course it is, but the above linked article about Pell’s travails – is it in reference to bad press or to calumny? Is calumny an awful thing or not?


  17. Tom Fisher says:

    That’s a case by case issue. You’d need to cite specific claims in the Australian media


  18. johnhenrycn says:

    TF says that I “need to cite specific claims in the Australian media” against Pell. The Australian media is choked with claims against Pell, as you infer in your comment opening this post, or do I do you a disservice? Are you aware of mainstream Australian media reports in his favour? You need to cite specific claims in the Australian media.

    I don’t need to cite “specific claims” because I’ve no opinion on Pell’s situation, one way or the other. It’s sufficient, for me, that he’s never been convicted of anything, but you lot aren’t satisfied with non-conviction. You lot don’t seem to have a problem with that calumny thing. Anyway, it wouldn’t matter to me if he was the Only Gay In The Village (well, maybe a little) so long as he was celibate.

    The article linked by this post refers to innuendos. He is not under investigation, still less under charge, still less under conviction. What more do you want? He is as welcome a part of the Catholic Church as you or I, and just as qualified to be a prince thereof as you or I, especially keeping in mind that he speaks with the mind of the Church. A sinner he is . Go figure.


  19. Tom Fisher says:

    We don’t really seem to have any dispute JH. My only issue is with the notion (furthered by the blog this article links to) that Pell is the victim of Rabid dog persecutors — I don’t think he’s being persecuted by anyone, or is the victim of anything. I’ve got nothing against the man.


  20. johnhenrycn says:

    As long as you don’t disagree with me, Tom Fisher, I’ve decided you may continue contributing comments here.


  21. johnhenrycn says:

    …uhm…for any casual visitors…I do not have any control over this august blog, and you should continue visiting it even if you were alarmed by my last (^) comment, meant in jest.


  22. Tom Fisher says:

    and you should continue visiting it even if you were alarmed by my last (^) comment, meant in jest

    It’s true; it’s a friendly bunch. In fact when Toad retired from the Blade he invited us all to see him off:


  23. toadspittle says:

    I think that’s my hat in the bottom left corner.
    True, we are just one big, happy, disfunctional family on CP&S. Not a hint of malice in any of us, not even in JH.
    Some call him the Toronto Torquemada. We do not. We know better.


  24. johnhenrycn says:

    Very sweet, TF. As for me, the only regular on this blog whom I’m intimidated by is Geoff from Perth, who was featured in the 1958 (pre-Vatican 2) epic: 7th Voyage of Sinbad:


  25. toadspittle says:

    Interesting, Geoff got poked in the eye with a sharp stick. It’s my suspicion that what happened in Ireland was really all about a lot of voters doing exactly that to the Catholic Church.
    Not much about gays at all.
    They were just the stick.
    Why should the Irish want to do that? We can only surmise.


  26. geoffkiernan says:

    JH: Don’t know why you would be intimated by me. Just a poor punter trying to make some sense of the current state of the Church and being concerned for my grand kids….. I do have only one horn however not like the two some of our gutless princes have. Those in Ireland readily spring to mind…


  27. johnhenrycn says:

    Well said, Geoff. As you admit, like the cyclops, you “only have one horn“. But it is a formidable one, and your grandchildren are fortunate that is so. Toad’s remark about you being poked by me in the eye by a “sharp stick” makes no sense, but what else is new?


  28. toadspittle says:

    JH – watch the video you posted. I didn’t say you poked Geoff in the eye with a stick.
    What an idea. A little man in the clip did, at the one-minute mark.
    A burnt stick, to boot.


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