Friday, September 29, 2017

Smoke in the Sacristy 27

Smoke in the Sacristy

The third ranking official in the Catholic Church, Cardinal George Pell, 76, head of the Vatican’s Secretariat on the Economy, stands accused of multiple acts of sexual assault in Australia.

Accused pedophile Cardinal George Pell, age 76, chief, Vatican Secretariat on the Economy. Muswellbrook Chronicle.

Cardinal Pell took a leave of absence from the Vatican and appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court in July 2017 and pled not-guilty to multiple charges of historical sexual offenses. 

Prosecutors presented their briefs and evidence to Cardinal Pell and his legal representatives on September 8. Cardinal Pell’s next appearance in court is scheduled for 6 October 2017. 

Channel 9 News in Australia noted, “Never before has a Cardinal appeared in a courtroom to answer charges of sex offenses. Not in Melbourne, not in Australia, not anywhere else in the world.” 

Cardinal George Pell, said to be the Vatican’s financial czar, forcefully rebutted charges of pedophilia, saying that “the whole idea of child sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.” 

Cardinal Pell stated that he was returning to Australia to defend himself in court, claiming that charges of pedophilia are false. 

“I repeat that I am innocent of these charges,” he said. 

Cardinal Pell said that he was eagerly anticipating his day in court after an investigation that took 2 years, “leaks to the media,” and “relentless character assassination.”

Media reports allege that two men who are now in their 40’s accused Pell of inappropriately touching them at a swimming pool in the late 1970’s when he was a senior priest in Melbourne.

A police official in Australia stated, “Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process.” 

His Holiness accused defender of pedophiles Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal George Pell. SBS.

Newspaper reports emphasized that Pell is the highest ranking Vatican official to ever stand accused of pedophilia.

Pell is typical of ranking Catholic Church authorities in another respect. He is accused of mishandling reported cases of clerical child molestation when he was the archbishop of Melbourne, and later, Sydney. 

When asked by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2016 why “so many child sexual abusers aggregated in Ballarat East in the 1970’s,” Cardinal Pell’s response was that it was a “disastrous coincidence.”

“Last year, Pell acknowledged during his testimony to the commission (Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse) that the Catholic Church has made “enormous mistakes” in allowing thousands of children to be raped and molested by priests. He conceded that he, too, had erred by often believing the priests over victims who alleged abuse.” 

An article in The Daily Beast observed that “Pell made it clear from the start that he was “not here to defend the indefensible.” He said, “The church has, in many places, certainly in Australia, mucked things up, has let people down … but I’m not here to defend the indefensible.”

Cardinal Pell confirmed that he knew that a cleric named Brother Edward Dowlan abused a young boy in 1974. Instead of reporting Dowlan to secular police authorities, Cardinal Pell swallowed the secret, and he ascended the church hierarchy. 

Convicted pedophile former Christian Brother Edward Dowlan aka Ted Bales 1994. Pedophiles look like this. Herald Sun.  

In 2015, Dowlan was convicted on 16 counts of indecent assault against 11 separate boys at 4 different Christian Brothers’ schools and was sentenced to 6 years and 6 months in prison, with a 4 year period where he was ineligible for parole. 

Cardinal Pell in his testimony to the Commission confirmed that he failed to act when he was informed that a young girl was compelled to kneel between the legs of a priest, Father Peter Searson, during her weekly confession. 

Father Peter Searson was said to enjoy making children sit on his lap or kneel between his knees during their confession. Father Searson was also alleged to be a “violent man,” who “also enjoyed belting” children, striking them with a belt. 

During Cardinal Pell’s testimony to the Commission, Father Searson was accused of frequenting the boy’s toilet, serial rape of an altar boy, stabbing a bird with a screwdriver in front of children, and torturing a cat.

Incredibly, “Pell agreed that he knew Searson was a “serious problem,” but did not think that he should be removed as a priest. At most, the cardinal’s error was that he might have asked questions more vigorously.”

The Catholic Education Office delivered a list of long grievances against Father Searson to George Pell in 1989. Cardinal Pell, at that time, felt that the list “did not contain enough information about the situation for him to act.” 

In the end, it was Pell who finally pushed Father Searson out of holy orders in 1998, even though the move was not supported by the Vatican. Searson died in 2009, apparently never otherwise held to account for decades of child sex abuse. 

Faces of pedophiles. Gerald Francis Risdale. Pedophiles look like this. PR IMAGE

Another priest, Father Gerald Ridsdale, was convicted of sexually assaulting 54 children, one as young as age 4, over a timespan of 30 years. 

Cardinal Pell shared a home with Ridsdale, Pell participated on a committee that shuffled Ridsdale from parish to parish after allegations of child sex abuse came to light, and it was Pell who accompanied Ridsdale to court after he was finally charged. 

One survivor of Father Ridsdale’s abuse, his nephew David Ridsdale, recounted a conversation with George Pell in which Pell asked Ridsdale for his silence. The conversation went:

“Ridsdale: “Excuse me, George, what the fuck are you talking about?” 
Pell: “I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet.”
Ridsdale: “Fuck you, George, and everything you stand for.”

George Pell, of course, denied that the conversation ever took place. “To the best of my belief this conversation did not happen,” he said in a statement. 

“I was, and remain, extremely sympathetic to David Ridsdale, who because of his uncle suffered horrible abuse. I continue to regret the misunderstanding between us. At no time did I attempt to bribe David Ridsdale or his family or offer any financial inducements for him to be silent.”

When asked why he walked with Ridsdale to court hearings in the 1990’s, Cardinal Pell said, “I walked with him following the Christian conviction that it’s an appropriate activity to be kind to prisoners.” 

But not apparently to protect defenseless children in his charge. 

In his testimony, Cardinal Pell admitted that he was prone to dismiss reports of predatory priests. “I must say in those days, if the priests denied such activity, I was very strongly inclined to accept that denial.”

Links in order of precedence. 

This is my 27th installment on the pedophilia epidemic. 

Read dispatches 1-26 and forthcoming segments at, or on Medium:

Faces of pedophiles. Former Christian Brother Robert Charles Best. Pedophiles look like this. Herald Sun


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