A well-rehearsed media pantomime, part 2

Vexilla Regis has posted his second post on the subject of the long-lived attempts of the Australian secularist “lifestyle” media to destroy Cardinal George Pell:

http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/the-persecutors-rabid-dogs-from-strange.html

And even Damian Thompson is picking up the topic:

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/damian-thompson/2015/05/the-hounding-of-cardinal-pell-things-australias-liberal-media-dont-want-you-to-know/

But remember you saw it first on CP&S!

The first blog article by Vexilla Regis on the secularist media’s long- drawn-out attempts to “get” Cardinal Pell can be seen here.

About GC

Poor sinner.
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68 Responses to A well-rehearsed media pantomime, part 2

  1. toadspittle says:

    “But remember you saw it first on CP&S!”
    …Vanity of vanities,,,

    But seriously folks, (as the great Frankie Howerd was wont to say) Damian’s piece provokes rather more suspicion than it allays – to me, at least
    such as:
    “Of course, I’m not suggesting Spigelman or Scott are responsible for biased reporting, or that they in any way condone pederasts, just that they should have stepped in or made a public statement demanding balance and admonishing rogue clergy.”
    Oh really, Damian?
    …But I suspect we are looking down the wrong end of the telephone on this particular episode of “media hounding”.
    I will return after dog walking with yet more drivel, I fear.

  2. kathleen says:

    Thank you for bringing this to light GC.
    This is an evident case of singling out a prominent and faithful Catholic cleric in a further attempt to undermine the whole Church.

    Vexilla Regis sums it up well in his closing paragraphs:

    “What is his offence against the ABC and the Media ? He is the most senior Australian Catholic cleric, a staunch defender of the Catholic Faith and Catholic Practice, and a social conservative and he does not kow tow to Climate Change Religion.

    So “Strike the Shepherd” is the name of the game. And the Left/Green/”Gay”/Pro Euthanasia/ Pro Abortion ABC and Media rejoices in being handed the decades old clerical abuse stories as a stick to beat the Church and its Champion for as long as they can.”

  3. toadspittle says:

    Is a hefty part of the Australian media attacking Cardinal Pell? Looks that way. Is it fair? Matter of opinion.
    Are various information sources attacking Pope Francis? Looks like it. Is it fair? Depends on how we view what we read or see, I reckon.
    Is the attack on Pell “rehearsed”? Highly unlikely. Is it justified? Very much a debating matter.
    Are some Aussie journos out to “get” Pell? That’s highly possible. Is it all a veiled attack on The Church? I very much doubt it. But, it’s faintly possible. Is it all right for the media to attack things they might see as evil – Communism, say, or crooked bankers?

    Damian frankly and honestly (naturally!) tells us:
    “As Henderson says, Cardinal Pell has admitted to mistakes in the handling of child sexual abuse cases: ‘He concedes the issue of compensation could have been better handled. And Pell acknowledges that he should not have walked with Ridsdale to court in Melbourne in 1993, having previously declined to present character evidence on Ridsdale’s behalf.’”
    Do errors of this magnitude justify attacking Pell? Virtually all I know about the case is what I’ve read on CP&S. So I don’t know much. But it’s clearly possible, even from what Damian writes, Pell might, just might, have had it coming.
    It’s always the same, isn’t it? If we do it, it’s “..fair, scrupulous, and unbiased reporting about an unmitigated scoundrel.” If the others do it, it’s “…scurrilous, rehearsed, biased, unjustified, cowardly character attacks on a saintly man.”
    And Toad is at least as guilty as anyone of doing this kind of thing.
    Except, he admits it.
    (Be nice if Damian were to read this. I’ve been wondering about him.)

  4. GC says:

    Thanks, kathleen, I should have included that quote in my introduction to Vexilla Regis’ blog article.

    After my usual gossip yesterday with old Ozzie friends from the rather long period I stayed in their country, I gathered the article is really quite accurate.

    What’s left out of the article is the fact that Dr Pell also has enemies “red in tooth and claw”, but who somehow still put themselves over as members of the Church. These are rather a bunch of snowy-haired ex-priests and other assorted elderly these days, of course, so we shouldn’t disturb their retirement by naming names and giving addresses. Everyone knows who they are, anyway, including themselves. Many of them were very closely associated with the ABC and the Fairfax press (and some were even employed by them), the “lifestyle” media of which Vexilla Regis spoke. Now there’s a clue. The Fairfax media, for instance, often run articles entitled something like “ten ways to be nude that you never thought of while sipping our wine of the month”, things like that.

    The fact is that Dr Pell, unlike so many bishops over the last 40 years, actually took measures to support orthodoxy and build up the Church. Of course, he had to be stopped, or so they thought.

    One day, kathleen, we might see the story about all the academic staff who resigned from the Melbourne seminary apparently after Dr Pell, as archbishop there in the latter nineties, required that all students there actually attend daily Mass and prayers in the chapel!

  5. toadspittle says:

    “Everyone knows who they are, anyway, including themselves. “

    …That’s a blessing, at least. Stops them sending themselves Christmas cards.

  6. toadspittle says:

    Maybe the Auusie hacks don’t “hate” Pell. They just think he’s a dolt.
    I have no idea, of course.

  7. toadspittle says:

    “What is his (Pell’s) offence against the ABC and the Media ? He is the most senior Australian Catholic cleric, a staunch defender of the Catholic Faith and Catholic Practice, and a social conservative and he does not kow tow to Climate Change Religion.”
    …and, it would seem from the above, [DELETED BY A MODERATOR. Watch your manners Toad – this sort of talk is unacceptable.]

  8. GC says:

    Yes, Toad, an Oxford DPhil these days is just not worth the parchment it’s inscribed on, is it?

  9. toadspittle says:

    Don’t know what you are talking about GC, I’m sorry to say. I’ve been censored, as you can see. But from the above clip, I’d have to agree with you.
    Can’r remember what got blue-pencilled, but I think I was suggesting, or implying, that the jolly old cardinal might not be “up” to it, as he seems to know less about human biological history than a ten year old schoolboy. (Will that do, Mr. (or Mrs.) Moderator?) On the other hand, why should he need to know such stuff?… Nothing to do with him, is it? He’s a man of God.

  10. toadspittle says:

    Interesting that the Cardinal asks where we can find a Neanderthal (from which he believes we are descended) today. I will say no more, for fear of incurring yet more censorship.

  11. toadspittle says:

    Yes, yes, Richard – OK, but where are the Neanderthal cardinals?

  12. toadspittle says:

    Look Toad, either give up – or find a chimp to do it. You can’t.

  13. GC says:

    he seems to know less about human biological history than a ten year old schoolboy.

    That might depend on which of the scientists you get to read, Toad. Perhaps Cardinal Pell had just read C. Loring Brace, the Ann Arbor professor of physical anthropology, on the Neanderthal problem and the schoolboys didn’t.

    Brace has remained a vigorous proponent of the idea that Neanderthals are ancestral to modern humans. He also argued that the fossil record suggests a simple evolutionary scheme whereby humans have evolved through four stages (Australopithecine, Pithecanthropine, Neanderthal, and Modern humans)

    You were saying, Toad?

  14. Tom Fisher says:

    The Cardinal’s misunderstanding about Neanderthal’s was unfortunate, but it’s fair to say that he doesn’t claim to be especially interested in Physical Anthropology. Nor does GC, perhaps.

  15. toadspittle says:

    You, and Prof Loring Brace, have got me bang to rights, GC! Yes, why inded shouldn’t we all be descended from Neanderthals? Dawkins doesn’t know everything, does he? I’m quite prepared to accept that, you, Cardinal Pell, and I are descended from Neanderthals. Quite recently too. To watch watch Pell debate, or Toad eat a pork chop, would convince even the most sceptical observer.

  16. toadspittle says:

    I’m indebted to GC, for rightly challenging me on the question of Cardinal Pell’s (and my) Neanderthal ancestry. I was doing exactly what I’ve occasionally been known to tease people on here for – accepting blindly what “experts in the field” – of science, no less than religion – tell us is true.
    In order to satisfy myself that I’m an offspring of Neanderthals or not, I’d have to do a great deal more personal research on the matter. And still might not come to a conclusion worth a damn.
    So the Cardinal might well be right. He, and us, possibly owe our intelligence, good-looks, and cheerful dispositions to our Neanderthal ancestors.

  17. GC says:

    Or, alternatively, it was actually Toad right in there with those ten year old schoolboys, along with – possibly – Richard.

  18. toadspittle says:

    Crediting Toad with the intelligence of a ten-year-old schoolboy is according him too far much honour, GC. He’s only a toad, after all.
    …But it’s a kindly thought.

  19. toadspittle says:

    Off Topic here – but nobody seems to be visiting Off Topic – deplorable.
    Off Topic needs your input!
    Wrench yourself away from the practically-extinct Neanderthals Toad and Pell, just for a jiffy, and enjoy 2.35 minutes of pure Marxist fun!
    God won’t mind!

  20. GC says:

    Toad, I see Ann Arbor, Dr Brace territory, is only an hour’s drive from Toledo. One is alarmed, therefore, that you knew not a thing about his theory concerning the evolution of modern humans from the neanderthals.

    To be virtually a next-door neighbour of such a famous physical anthropologist yet to know nothing about the possible descent of the pithecanthropine from the australopithecine is unfortunate. But also to be ignorant of Dr Brace’s strong views on the evolution of neanderthals into modern humans is simply carelessness.

    And what are we going to do about your earlier “dolt” remark?

  21. toadspittle says:

    Yes, GC, I’ve driven to Ann Arbor many times in the past, to eat Chinese food, mostly.*
    But the idea that, simply because a nice (but huge) university town was 50 miles away, I should be aware of everyone and everything that went on there – is incredibly silly, even for you, these days.
    Are you all right? I worry when you write pointless stuff like this. You didn’t, at one time.

    (What “dolt ” remark? I didn’t call anyone a dolt.)

    * Did go to hear Seamus Heaney say some of his poems, once.

  22. toadspittle says:

    This man Pell is a bit of a character, isn’t he? I’m beginning to get interested in all this myself, thanks to good old CP&S.
    Question: If it transpires Pell really was shielding extremely naughty priests like the man Ridsdale, would it not be the media’s job to hound him unmercifully?
    As Damian Thompson, a defender of Pell, put it,
    “As Henderson says, Cardinal Pell has admitted to mistakes in the handling of child sexual abuse cases: ‘He concedes the issue of compensation could have been better handled. And Pell acknowledges that he should not have walked with Ridsdale to court in Melbourne in 1993, having previously declined to present character evidence on Ridsdale’s behalf.’”
    Now, we can read all manner of inferences into this, can’t we?
    Whiff of smoke, it would seem. Fire? Don’t know. Ought the media conveniently ignore it? Doubt if I would.

    http://www.brokenrites.org.au/drupal/node/55

  23. The Raven says:

    Toad

    You’re definitely catching a whiff of smoke, but there is more than one fire out there (and let’s just abandon that stupid phrase: it’s been used to justify any number of innocent souls; I recall it being regularly deployed to defend the vile travesty of the Birmingham Six convictions).

    If, say, your son (not that I even know that you have a son, but bear with me) had been accused of a wicked crime, would you be morally guilty if you had continued to love him as your son? Perhaps going so far as to take him to the courthouse to hear sentence passed on him?

    I don’t think that you would have been.

    As his accusers acknowledge, Pell refused to give testimony in support of the criminal; the very worst that he could have been accused of is an act of kindness towards a man who did not deserve it.

    I think that we will agree that Pell and others in authority failed abuse victims, but if you can point to an organisation or individual leader of an organisation that was dealing with abuse any better in the early 1990s, please be my guest; having had personal experience of the aftermath of the Frank Beck cases, in which many of his hundreds of victims were offered just enough money to drink themselves to death with, I’m personally struggling to see it.

    I am sure that you, as a professional journalist, can see that there is a story here. I’m just a little surprised that you think that the story is the one that the rest of the media flock (and I do mean “flock” and not “pack”) is trying to retail to you.

  24. Brother Burrito says:

    Dear GC, re Neanderthals: In Summer 1996 I was standing outside Dusseldorf airport having a cigarette, when I saw a man resembling a Neanderthal in face, hair, and habitus leave the airport building heading for the car park with long strides and long arms a-swinging. He really did look like this:

    though less casually dressed.

    A while later, I discovered that the Neander valley is only a few miles from Dusseldorf. Perhaps they are still living amongst us.

  25. GC says:

    You don’t like Wilde much, Toad?

    Lady Bracknell: To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.
    Jack: I don’t actually know who I am by birth. I was… well, I was found.
    Lady Bracknell: Found?
    Jack: Yes. The late Mr. Thomas Cardew, an old gentlemen of a kindly disposition found me and gave me the name of Worthing because he happened to have a first class ticket to Worthing at the time. Worthing is a place in Sussex. It’s a seaside resort.
    Lady Bracknell: And where did this charitable gentlemen with the first class ticket to the seaside resort find you?
    Jack: In a handbag.
    Lady Bracknell: [closes eyes briefly] A handbag?
    Jack: Yes, Lady Bracknell, I was in a hand bag. A somewhat large… black… leather handbag with handles… to it.
    [pause] An ordinary handbag.
    Lady Bracknell: And where did this Mr. James… or, Thomas Cardew come across this ordinary handbag?
    Jack: The cloak room at Victoria Station. It was given to him in mistake for his own…
    Lady Bracknell: [Shocked] The cloak room at Victoria Station?
    Jack: Yes. The Brighton line.
    Lady Bracknell: The line is immaterial.
    [begins tearing up notes]
    Lady Bracknell: Mr. Worthing. I must confess that I feel somewhat bewildered by what you have just told me. To be born, or at any rate bred in a handbag, whether it have handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life which reminds one of the worst excesses of the French revolution, and I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to?

  26. GC says:

    Hello Burrito. Over here we can often see instances of even a closer physical resemblance between homo sapiens and any supposed simian ancestors, but rather less hirsute, it must be said. Well, Java Man and all that.

    It’s quite astonishing at times, particularly when looking at some of the infants.

    I suppose we shouldn’t be too hard on old Toad for missing Dr Brace’s (admittedly minority) view on the Neanderthal problem. It seems Dr Pell probably didn’t miss it.

    But one may wonder, perhaps, who may be more deserving of Toad’s own “dolt” epithet?

  27. GC says:

    I see you like pantomime, Toad. I must admit I enjoy it myself too.

  28. Tom Fisher says:

    I suppose we shouldn’t be too hard on old Toad for missing Dr Brace’s (admittedly minority) view on the Neanderthal problem. It seems Dr Pell didn’t.

    Interestingly these days it’s considered possible by geneticists that there might have been some genetic mixing (candlelit dinners) between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals in Eurasia. And at the time of their extinction they were certainly our closest living relatives. In arguing that Homo Sapiens are directly descended from Neanderthals (rather than being evolutionary ‘cousins’) Dr Brace is sticking to a position he staked out (roughly) in the early 60s. The last half century of research in several fields has pointed overwhelmingly in the other direction.

  29. GC says:

    I think you’ll find Dr Brace was sticking to his views in the 2000s also, Mr Fisher.

  30. Tom Fisher says:

    Yes, I know. That’s why I said “sticking to a position he staked out in the 60s”.

  31. GC says:

    And as I said, Dr Brace’s view appears to be a minority one, but one held by a big name in anthropology, not a “dolt”. His view therefore presumably still has some followers and a bishop is allowed to be one of them. But as the Cardinal said himself, he’s actually “not much fussed” by any of it.

  32. Tom Fisher says:

    Absolutely, I’m not on Toad’s ‘dolt bandwagon’!

  33. Tom Fisher says:

    I only commented because I do happen to be interested in human origins.

  34. toadspittle says:

    “You don’t like Wilde much, Toad?”
    Where on earth did you get that from, GC? Not from me.
    I like him well enough, these days. As a 15-year old, I thought he was great. Time has tempered my enthusiasm, somewhat, on that score – as with other things.
    But the play, wot you quote, still ranks as one of the best ever written ( in my opinion, of course).

  35. toadspittle says:

    “Perhaps they (Neanderthals) are still living amongst us.”

    Very likely Burro. Some as Cardinals, some as Toads, and some as Physical Anthropologists, for all we know.
    …All made in God's image,as your snap demonstrates.

  36. toadspittle says:

    Fie, GC! I didn’t call anyone a dolt – not Pell, nor the world-famous anthropology man in Ann Arbor. (True, I see that did suggest that The Loony Media of Australia might consider the Cardinal in that light. But then they might not. And anyway, they’re all loonies aren’t they, so what can we expect?)

  37. Tom Fisher says:

    Did go to hear Seamus Heaney say some of his poems, once

    Fantastic, great poet

  38. toadspittle says:

    Raven, I don’t know the details of this story, other than what I read here. Yes, I should find out for myself, but I haven’t so far.
    But can someone tell me this: When Pell accompanied his fellow priest to court, did he already know the man had committed horrific crimes? And do we know if Pell did know?
    And if Pell did know, had he reported this to the police?
    If not, we must clearly ask why not. Isn’t Pell accused of a cover-up? Did he cover up crimes?

    You say, “Pell refused to give testimony in support of the criminal; “ So, Pell, it seems did know the man was a criminal. Had he already informed the police of the man’s crimes, in order to prevent new ones, if for no other reason?

    “I’m just a little surprised that you think that the story is the one that the rest of the media flock (and I do mean “flock” and not “pack”) is trying to retail to you.”
    OK, we all agree I’m a dolt, so you must patiently explain what the real story is, Raven, please.

  39. toadspittle says:

    Don’t care for pantos, myself – GC.
    Nor circuses. (Except media ones,of course.)
    Matter of taste, though – as we agree.

  40. JabbaPapa says:

    In point of fact — excepting some black Africans — we are in fact descended from Neanderthals, at least partially anyway, as around 20% (average – varies individually) of our specifically human DNA is of Neanderthal origin.

  41. JabbaPapa says:

    The taxonomy of human species and sub-species is a difficult topic — including politically and ideologically, as it has become completely taboo to describe modern humans as exhibiting any kind of differences in this regard.

    Academically, there are two opposite trends at work — the first being that some people are overly keen in seeking to discover new species ; the other being that some scientists are starting to think that some particular groups have been incorrectly classified as species.

    And there is a theory that Neanderthal man was not actually a different species, but rather a sub-group of homo sapiens. (don’t buy that theory personally)

  42. The Raven says:

    Toad,

    When Pell accompanied Ridsdale to court, he already knew that he was going there to plead guilty (going to court is usually the end of the legal/investigative process, not its beginning): Pell was accompanying Ridsdale to give him pastoral support, which is why I gave the example of a parent accompanying their child to be sentenced.

    From the record, Pell shared a presbytery with Ridsdale for a time in 1973, when Pell was an assistant priest. It’s not clear how much time he and Ridsdale spent in each other’s company.

    Ridsdale was appointed to a different parish in 1974 and Pell was given his own parish a little while later; Pell was appointed Episcopal Vicar for education (which meant that he had oversight of education, he would not have been in the room for decisions about the deployment of clergy or for discussions about concerns about clerical wrong-doing), before leaving for Melbourne, where he took up the role of auxiliary bishop.

    Pell was never in authority over Ridsdale and, by the time that he was taking Ridsdale to court, Ridsdale had been exposed and his guilt was pretty well established.

    The only charge that can be seriously levelled at Pell is that his kindness to Ridsdale was ill judged.

    The wider charge, that the Church catastrophically bungled its handling of child abuse in the period from 1960-2000, is entirely fair.

    Part of the point that Damian Thompson’s article is making, is that the accusations against Pell are being made to fight a culture war in wider Australian society, and that many of those “in the trenches” against Pell were themselves in positions of responsibility connected to institutions in which abuse was taking place, often in direct supervisory roles.

  43. The Raven says:

    To be clear, Toad, the “real” story here is that the diocese of Ballarat utterly failed to protect children from a predator: the stuff about Pell is nothing more than a distraction from that.

  44. Tom Fisher says:

    Several very good points there Jabba. I have an interest in this topic, but on this thread it’s become tangled up with all sorts of other issues. If we get a chance I hope to pick your brain another time

  45. Tom Fisher says:

    I’m pretty sure you called Pell a dolt🙂

  46. toadspittle says:

    What it seems to boil down to Raven, is – Did Pell know that Ridsdale was a highly dangerous criminal – and fail to tell the police the man was on the loose, which enabled him to commit more assaults?
    ….Or Not?
    Or is that question what is in dispute, here?
    “Ridsdale was appointed to a different parish in 1974 ..”
    Was he moved to get him out of the way? Did he then continue his capers in a different parish where he wasn’t known, with a new set of kids? Did Pell have any say in this move? Was any reason given for it?
    Or is that another disputed issue here?
    Was Pell never responsible for anything that went on on his watch?

    “Pell was never in authority over Ridsdale and, by the time that he was taking Ridsdale to court, Ridsdale had been exposed and his guilt was pretty well established.”
    Had Pell known for years before the unfortunate “court walk photo,” what Ridsdale was getting up to?
    My guess is yes. …But it’s only a guess.
    But, what’s your guess, Raven?
    Was Pell’s only fault being too nice to a rapist?

  47. toadspittle says:

    Very enjoyable, GC, – But what’s it got to do with Cardinal Pell and Neanderthals?

  48. GC says:

    Tobler’s First Law:

    Everything is related to everything else

  49. The Raven says:

    Toad

    Pell was in his first posting as a junior priest when he and Ridsdale shared a house, he wouldn’t have been consulted about the move (would you have consulted a junior reporter in the lifestyle section about moving the head of lifestyle to theatre reviews?).

    Pell wasn’t “on watch” when the decisions concerning Ridsdale were taken, as I’ve already pointed out to you.

    Pell had known Ridsdale since 1973 when the “court walk photo” was taken, I understand that they were on friendly terms. Did he know about his proclivities? Pell says that he didn’t have any suspicions in that department.

    From the sound of things, Pell is likely not to have been in a position to hear rumour and gossip about Ridsdale.

    I suspect that Pell was guilty of naïveté about the nature and scope of Ridsdale’s offending at the time that he did the “court walk”.

    The point that you’re overlooking is that many of these wicked swines are very good at presenting a credible face to adults, which leads their friends and acquaintances to discount the reactions of children to such people; that’s why the parents of the victims are often very slow to understand what the perpetrator is up to with their children.

    But the point remains that the real story, the one that’s getting obscured here, is that the Ballarat diocese culpably mishandled this case and children were left at risk.

    I am aware that, from a newsman’s perspective, that isn’t a compelling “splash” like “Pell was in it up to his neck”, but then a lot of the compelling “splashes” over the last few years have turned to dust on closer inspection: for example, the story of the “thousands” of babies’ corpses dumped in a cess-pit (actual story, children were buried in the grounds of a mother and baby home which had a lower mortality rate than the surrounding area – the stuff about the cesspit and the bodies being dumped was extrapolated by the journo looking for a splash).

  50. toadspittle says:

    “Only connect,” eh, GC?
    Well I absolutely agree. Even though it makes the concept of “Off Topic” somewhat meaningless.
    But, as Tobler’s Law points out, Cardinals are related to Neanderthals. Quite closely, by all accounts.

  51. GC says:

    Raven, Fr Frank Brennan SJ (the eldest son of Australia’s former chief justice, Sir Gerard Brennan) wrote just earlier today on the media’s hounding of Cardinal Pell. Brennan is certainly no great ally of the Cardinal, but he characterises the media’s behaviour as a witch hunt.

    He uses the expression “baying for blood”, an expression rather redolent of “a pack of dogs”, I feel.

    (The link is to a summary of Fr Brennan’s article only. The original article is behind a paywall.)

  52. toadspittle says:

    “The original article is behind a paywall.”
    …And there it will stay.
    Of course there’s a witch hunt going on for Pell – that’s obvious. That’s not the point.
    The point is whether such an action is justified or not.
    Some witch hunts are. What happened to Nixon was a witch hunt.
    There should have been one for Sir James Wilson Vincent “Jimmy” Savile, OBE, KCSG, but there wasn’t. And it’s hard to say if such hunts are justified until they’re over. Some aren’t.
    Should there be one for Pell? Possibly. There are some fishy things in his story, it seems to me.
    But I’m out of it all, thank God.
    Someone else can Hunt the Pell.

  53. JabbaPapa says:

    Pope Pius XII, via an Encyclical, has urged the Catholic Faithful to consider properly the theories regarding the physical origins of our bodies, whilst reminding us that our Souls are of “immediate” Divine Creation and Origin.

  54. Crow says:

    The Australian media have always hated Pell, and they have been handed a club with which they can beat the church with the abuse cases.
    The interesting thing is that it reveals a real anti-Catholic viciousness, disguised as liberal tolerance. There is something repellantly illiberal about their ‘tolerance’. They attack Pell and the church because they do not accept their agenda. There is no respect for, or accomodation of, a view that differs from theirs – there are merely slogans and stereotypes. They have no grasp of the concept of a debate about important issues, where a person may hold a view that differs for reasons that are based on sound principle. Of course, their inability to engage at this level may be because their agenda is based on emotive slogans that do not stand up to scrutiny.
    For example, can we really say that educated, middle-class males in our society, who constitute the wealthiest group, are ‘discriminated’ against? Is it more likely that the media are trumpeting the cause of the powerful?
    The observations by Vexilla Regis are accurate – the Fairfax press are virulently anti-Catholic and have printed articles in which attributions have been made to Pell which are demonstrably false. On one occasion, Pell was represented as stating in the Royal Commission that he would favour insurance of priests. This was reported with an anti-Catholic spray that went back in its rant to the Inquisition. Upon an examination of the transcript, it was apparent that it was the Commisioner, not Pell, who had made the statement. This could not have been an accident on the part of the reporter, it must have been a deliberate misrepresentation as a means of propaganda for the agenda of the SMH. Another newspaper associated with the SMH, the Sun-Herald, has a columnist who ranted about the Catholic Church for weeks, under the guise of abuse and caring for victims and finally came clean and stated that Catholics were ‘WEIRD’ because the relics of St Francis Xavier were taken to two schools.
    I stopped reading the paper, as I realised that I was receiving propaganda, not information. The interesting thing is that, evidently there has been a huge fall in readership of basically my demographic and the SMH have engaged in telephone campaigns trying to get more readers. They attribute the fall to the Internet,& yet, when I have been at school functions, I was intrigued to find that, on one occasion, all the mothers present (about 15 of them), did not read the paper, and to my comment that it was anti-Catholic, they agreed. I would like to see the Catholics establish their own media. I am sure it would be successful, as I cannot be the only person who wants to see real intellectual engagement of issues, rather than this pretence to which we are subject.

  55. The Raven says:

    Toad,
    You keep telling us that all you know of the Pell case is what you read here, and then you tell us that you think that there is something fishy in his actions. What are you possibly drawing your conclusions from?
    As you know, I am a lawyer; I have spent my entire adult life tearing apart the stories that other people tell, to see if those stories add up to the sum of the parts presented to me (all of which makes me a bad Catholic and a terrible husband).
    You cite Nixon, but for every Watergate there is a Birmingham Six, Guildford Four, Bridgewater Four or Stefan Kiszco; while James Saville, Frank Beck and, allegedly, Greville Janner get away with it for the greater part of their lives.
    Your erstwhile colleagues, the press flock, have sent more innocents to gaol and gobbet than they have ever exposed wrongdoing.
    Or are you going to defend your predecessors in their handing of the accusations against Roscoe Arbuckle?
    You know, no smoke without fire?
    Perhaps we need a professional press, as opposed to us rank media amateurs turned weekend journalists at CP&S, who look critically at the baying mob and say “what is that all really about” instead of attempting to elbow their way to the front, accompanied by a snapper, of course, to document their own participation in the frenzy that they are busily projecting back at the rest of us.
    Your suspicions about Pell are based on the fact that journalists are suspicious of Pell, and their suspicions are based on the fact that someone else is suspicious of Pell. It doesn’t make for a compelling case!

  56. GC says:

    They attack Pell and the church because they do not accept their agenda. There is no respect for, or accomodation of, a view that differs from theirs – there are merely slogans and stereotypes.

    Handy to look back at what Vexilla Regis wrote in his original blog piece about the snarling dog pack, Crow:

    Who are the players in this elaborate drama :

    The principal “player” is the Catholic Church which has more active members at Mass every week than all the other religious bodies in the country combined. Her schools educate more children than all other Private Schools combined . Her Hospitals care for the majority of AIDS patients in the country. Her Aged Care facilities are spread throughout the country. BUT ….she is opposed to Contraception, Abortion, Homosexual Activity, Same Sex “Marriage”, Divorce , Euthanasia…….in fact she is the opponent of every banner immoral cause the modern mainstream media espouse. She is the enemy in their view.

    As the highest ranking Australian Catholic Prelate Cardinal Pell became for the media the “face” of the Catholic Church they hate. And, as if that were not enough, he had the gall(!) to repeatedly state that “I do what the Catholic Church does, teach what the Catholic Church teaches….and let the chips fall where they may.” If I may mix my metaphors that was a “red rag” to a pack of rabid dogs.

    “Contraception, Abortion, Homosexual Activity, Same Sex “Marriage”, Divorce , Euthanasia”.

    Yes, that does indeed read like the “little list” of the editorial board of the Fairfax press and their close cousins in the ABC.

  57. GC says:

    I rather think it’s not even a decent media witch hunt, Toad and Fr Frank, but more like a “panto”, as the title cleverly suggests.

    If the media want us not to weary of their performance, then they must bring us new claims and insinuations and photos; not just repeat and show the old ones and pronounce the same tired lines for 20 years.

    This is not a proper witch hunt, as I’m sure you will agree.

    Besides, they’re confusing poor Toad.

    Signed,
    “Disappointed”

  58. toadspittle says:

    “Toad, You keep telling us that all you know of the Pell case is what you read here, and then you tell us that you think that there is something fishy in his actions. What are you possibly drawing your conclusions from?” ..from what I read here, of course, Raven. Unfair? Very likely. I don’t have to be fair.
    I didn’t know you are a lawyer. When I need one, you will be the one for me.
    Pell may be “innocent.” Certainly he’s getting a rougher ride than many would. That’s because he’s a cardinal, and we’re more interested in what they, and actors, and princes do – than in what plumbers, postmen, and ploughmen do.

    Maybe it’s not a “real” witch hunt, GC. Next time possibly.

    “There is something repellently illiberal about their ‘tolerance’.” says Crow. Funny, complaining about illiberal attitudes, when we on CP&S all roundly detest liberals.

    .”They attack Pell and the church because they do not accept their agenda.”
    What’s wrong with that? Catholics attack Atheists because they don’t accept their agenda. And contrariwise. Quite right, too.
    Yes, of course some people “hate” the Church – not many I think; most people aren’t interested enough enough to bother hating – but there we are. That’s life. Better learn to live with it. Howling with rage is often counter-productive. It often simply provides the enemy with fresh ammunition to use on you. Humour is often more effective. (I’m told.)
    (Thanks for the kind advice Toad, you old green hypocrite.)

  59. toadspittle says:

    Oh, all right Tom – have it your way – he’s a dolt. But he’s a Neanderthal one, so that excuses it.

  60. GC says:

    Pell may be “innocent.” Certainly he’s getting a rougher ride than many would. That’s because he’s a cardinal, and we’re more interested in what they, and actors, and princes do – than in what plumbers, postmen, and ploughmen do.

    Oh don’t, Toad, lest someone say that was a “doltish” remark.

    Everybody knows that the loony media are just trying to help the world of industry & commerce sell more beer and shampoo.

    (Were there neanderthal toads too? I trust you’re au fait with all the literature on that particular question at least.)

  61. mkenny114 says:

    ”They attack Pell and the church because they do not accept their agenda.”
    What’s wrong with that? Catholics attack Atheists because they don’t accept their agenda. And contrariwise. Quite right, too.

    There’s quite a difference between two groups with different ideas about the world either critising one another’s ideas or even people’s motivations for holding them, and smearing the name of an insitution or persons because you don’t like them. The former cases are natural, and, to the extent that the debate is open and conducted with a willingness to listen, can be constructive. The latter is the action of those who do not wish to conduct argument at all, but want to simply ‘take down’ their opponent so they no longer have to deal with them.

    As GC noted via the excerpt from Vexilla Regis people are quite happy to let the Church get on with doing its enormous amount of charitable work in schools and hospitals, but dare they ever suggest that a great deal of people in the West are living immoral lives, harmful to themselves and society at large, and the hate rises to the top. Deep down they know the Church is right to speak out on these things, so they continue the anti-debate, anti-intellectual, pro-emotion tradition of the last fifty or sixty years and sling mud instead of engaging with the Church’s points. As with the SSM issue, genuine debate is precisely what they want to avoid.

  62. toadspittle says:

    “Everybody knows that the loony media are just trying to help the world of industry & commerce sell more beer and shampoo.”
    Absolutely right, GC. Shame really, but there we are. That’s how Toad’s life of poverty in an adobe hovel is paid for.
    (Were there Neanderthal toads too? I trust you’re au fait with all the literature on that particular question at least.)
    Were, and are, GC. I’m one myself, in fact. may well change my atavar to Neandertoad.

  63. GC says:

    For any interested, Fr Frank Brennan’s article yesterday about the media’s witch-hunting of Cardinal Pell has today been rescued from behind the paywall:

    http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=45042#.VXAsztKqqkp

  64. toadspittle says:

    “The latter is the action of those who do not wish to conduct argument at all, but want to simply ‘take down’ their opponent so they no longer have to deal with them.”
    Yes, Michael, utterly deplorable behaviour – to which no one on CP&S would ever dream of stooping (except Toad, of course).
    Still, enough of Pell and Neanderthals. The depths have been plumbed, surely? And I will agree the Australians, who are largely descended from the English criminal classes, (the ‘intellectuals’ anyway) are probably being far too nasty by half to Poor Old Pell.
    And a flamin’ good kick up the khyber from an angry emu is no more than the bleeders deserve.
    …There. Peace.

  65. GC says:

    And I will agree the Australians, who are largely descended from the English criminal classes, (the ‘intellectuals’ anyway) are probably being far too nasty by half

    Do not neglect generous contributions from Wales, Scotland and Ireland too, Toad.

    Stop me if you’ve heard it before, but I heard this from an English professor working here some ten years ago:

    — A certain gentleman arrived at Melbourne airport with his British passport. When queried by the Immigration officials there why he had neglected to fill in that part of the arrival card that asked about any previous criminal convictions, the gentleman replied:

    “Oh, I didn’t think we needed those any more to come to Australia.”

  66. toadspittle says:

    Neanderthally remiss of Toad to ignore the vital contribution to Australian culture by criminal Micks, Jocks and Taffys, to be sure, GC.
    Particularly the last-named, whose recipe for Welsh Roast Chicken begins, “First steal your chicken…”

  67. mkenny114 says:

    Still, enough of Pell and Neanderthals. The depths have been plumbed, surely?

    Well, let’s hope so…but one can never rule out further amphibian curiosity I suppose🙂 At any rate, yes, it seems to me that the actual facts of the matter have been very well presented here by many excellent comments above, as well as the extent to which Pell’s detractors are not really interested in those facts at all.

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