Cardinal George Pell appeared before a Melbourne court on July 26 to answer questions about alleged sexual abuse, including covering up for molesting priests and his own personal involvement in molestation. He has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence saying he is a victim of “relentless character assassination.” The evidence strongly supports his position.
When Pell was made Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, he was the first Australian member of the Catholic hierarchy to institute reforms. The Melbourne Response was a serious effort to stem the sexual abuse of minors. It took him less than three months to move on this issue. Since that time, he has been an outspoken critic of priestly sexual abuse.
Cardinal Pell is no stranger to vile accusations made against him. But in every case, he has been exonerated.
• A Melbourne man said he was abused by Pell in 1962 at a camp when he was 12; Pell was studying for the priesthood. The case was thrown out when nothing could be substantiated. Not a single person who worked at the camp supported the charges, and all of the signed statements were favorable to Pell. The accuser had been convicted 39 times for offenses ranging from assault to drug use. Indeed, he was a violent drug addict who served four years in prison. He drove drunk, beat people, and took amphetamines.
• In 1969, Pell was accused of doing nothing to help an abused Australian boy who pleaded for help. But Pell’s passport showed that he lived in Rome the entire year.
• At a later date, Pell was accused of chasing away a complainant who informed him of a molesting priest. The authorities dismissed the charges after discovering that Pell did not live at the presbytery in Ballarat where the encounter allegedly took place. The accuser was later imprisoned for sexually abusing children.
• In a high profile case, Pell was accused of bribing David Ridsdale to stop making accusations to the police that he was abused by his uncle, Gerald Ridsdale, a notorious molester priest. The accusation was investigated and Pell was exonerated.
• Pell was also accused of joking about Gerald Ridsdale’s sexual assaults at a funeral Mass in Ballarat. But there was no Mass that day and the priest whom Pell was allegedly joking with was living someplace else when the supposed incident took place.
What about Pell’s accusers this time? From what we know of at least some of them, they are not exactly beacons of integrity.
In October 2016, Pell spoke to Victoria police about allegations that he had inappropriately touched two boys while horsing around in a pool in the 1970s. Neither of the two boys said a word about this alleged incident for nearly 40 years. Why not? What made them come forward recently? Just as important, why have the Australian media, and the media in other parts of the world, been reluctant to report this fact?
Moreover, why have the media had so little to say about the character of these alleged victims? Here’s what we know.
Lyndon Monument was a big boozer, a drug addict, a drug dealer, and a thug who beat and stalked his girlfriend. An ex-con, he has also been arrested for burglary, assault, and making threats to kill. Damian Dignan also has a record of violence, and has been arrested for drunk driving.
Not surprisingly, Monument and Dignan have also made accusations against former teachers. These are the guys who said Pell inappropriately touched them while throwing them off his shoulders in a swimming pool in the 1970s.
Then there are the two choir boys: They claim that Pell made them perform oral sex on him after Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral almost two decades ago. Over the past few years, the police investigated this charge, and found nothing to support it. One of the boys has since died—he overdosed on drugs—though not before admitting to his mother, on two occasions, that he was never abused by Pell.
A priest who was Pell’s right-hand man, always accompanying him during this period at St. Patrick’s, told the police that it was “physically impossible for Archbishop Pell to have been alone with anyone in the Cathedral, before, during, or after the celebration of Sunday Mass or on any other occasion.”
What makes Pell such a target? The principal reason why Pell is hated is because he is a larger-than-life Australian cleric who strongly supports the Church’s teachings on sexuality. Quite frankly, he is an inviting target in a land where expressions of anti-Catholic bigotry are ascendant. Carl E. Olson writes in the Catholic World Report that “much of Australia seems to have held on rather tightly to its suspicion, dislike, and even hatred of the Catholic Church.”
Olson quotes one of his Aussie correspondents. “The Australian leftist establishment hates him, the gay lobby hates him, the atheists, liberal Catholics and feminist ideologues hold him in contempt and he has taken on the Italian mafia in trying to reform the Vatican finances.” In addition, secular militants in and outside of government are currently pushing for euthanasia and transgender rights, and are “quietly gloating over the possibility of destroying Australia’s best-known Catholic.”
It’s not just activists who are going after Pell—the Australian government has been compromised as well.
The Royal Commission promised to investigate all religious institutions, but its top-heavy interest in the Catholic Church raises serious concerns. It spent 15 days last winter on the Catholic Church. By comparison, it spent three hours on the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and just a few hours on the Uniting Church. Yet proportionately speaking, the number of sexual abuse cases in those two religions—as compared to the Catholic Church—would seem to merit much more attention.
The Catholic population in Australia totals 22.6 percent. Between 1980 and 2015, 4,444 allegations were made against members of the Catholic Church. The media would have us believe that the accused were all priests. Wrong. That number includes religious brothers, sisters, and lay people.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses comprise .4 percent of the population, and never once has it reported a single case of child sexual abuse to the authorities. Its leadership claims a religious exemption from doing so, invoking an old biblical rule requiring two witnesses to prove wrongdoing. But even with this restriction, the panel learned of 1,006 cases of alleged sexual abuse.
The Uniting Church makes up 3.7 percent of the Australian population. The panel found that there were 2,500 allegations made against its clergy during its 40 year history.
What about Islam? No data are available. It is the third largest religion in Australia, yet in the four years that the Royal Commission spent investigating religious organizations, it never bothered to question any Muslims. Islam was simply given a pass.
This is inexcusable. Why are the media ignoring this? Because the only data that matter pertain to the Catholic Church?
Nonetheless, the data on the Church are worthy of much discussion.
The 4,444 allegations include both substantiated and unsubstantiated charges. In other words, the figure of 7 percent of Australian priests who have been accused between 1980 and 2015 has not been verified. More important, it cannot be. Why? For one, the allegations extend back to the 1920s. Who is going to validate charges going back nearly a century ago?
The Royal Commission says that 1,880 alleged perpetrators were named. But this figure, by its own admission, includes 500 persons, or 27 percent of the total, for whom there is no record. That’s a huge chunk.
So how many of the 4,444 alleged victims testified? Two hundred sixty-one. Why did it take so long for these alleged victims to come forward? The average gap between alleged offense and the alleged victim lodging the complaint was 33 years. Moreover, most of the claims occurred before 1990.
Finally, who is doing the molesting? The lion’s share of the abuse has been done by homosexuals. In Australia, 78 percent of the complainants were male; the average age at the time of the alleged abuse was 11.6.
The Department of Health in Australia has determined that early adolescence begins between 10 and 13. Therefore, the average victim was postpubescent, meaning that homosexuals were the victimizers, not pedophiles.
In the United States, between 1950 and 2002, 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent were postpubescent. Less than 5 percent of the abusers were pedophiles.
Just as in the United States, there is no interest in Australia, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, of discussing the role that homosexuals have played in molesting minors. In both nations the data make it clear that this is not a problem of pedophilia, yet there is no courage to speak the truth about this matter. Frankly, this is a homosexual cover-up.
Here’s another similarity: both nations have their monster priests. In the United States, it is Paul Shanley. The serial abuser is known to the public as a pedophile, though most of his victims (just like his consensual sexual partners) were postpubescent males. In Australia, their monster priest is Gerald Ridsdale. He, too, is known to the public as a pedophile. But he is not—he is a homosexual.
The media are well aware that Ridsdale is a homosexual, but they lie about it. For example, the Daily Mail ran a piece on July 12, 2017 with the following title: “The Grinning Paedophile and His Teenage Victim: Vile Predatory Priest Gerald Ridsdale Smiles on a Bed Beside Helpless 14-Year-Old Boy He Abused ‘Every Day for Six Months.'”
A 14-year-old boy is postpubescent. Therefore, any male who abused him is a homosexual. Straight men do not abuse teenage males—only homosexuals do. By the way, Ridsdale’s nephew, David, who was abused by his uncle priest, was between the ages 11 and 15 when the molestation took place. Again, homosexuality, not pedophilia, was at work.
Gerald Ridsdale’s homosexual behavior was long known to Church officials. In 1982, Ballarat Bishop Ronald Mulkearns admitted that there was “a problem with homosexuality in the diocese.” He named Ridsdale as one of those who had been “committing homosexual acts” within the community. Had his homosexuality been taken seriously, things would have been different. But just as in the United States, active homosexual priests in Australia have long been protected, to the detriment of everyone.
Can anyone say with a straight face that if Imam Abdul were the subject of a Royal Commission investigation that he would be treated the same way Cardinal Pell has been?
No fair-minded person wants to see guilty priests—or anyone else—get away with any offense, much less the sexual abuse of minors. But justice demands that the accused, including those charged with heinous crimes, be entitled to a presumption of innocence. The evidence shows that Cardinal George Pell has not been afforded this elementary right, and has indeed been a victim of a war against him.