Wednesday 11th of December 2019

insulting truck drivers...


pell lies...

Pell replied: “I was aware of a report in the newspapers and of course through my eventual meetings at groups of survivors and victims that was brought home to me very clear, and there were groups such as Broken Rites that were very active.

“Well, with some of those groups I took what they said with a grain of salt. But nonetheless there was evidence something needed to be done to deal with the suffering.”

He also said while he was aware of evidence given by witness Paul Hersbach to the commission on Monday – who told of horrific abuse suffered by his father, his uncle and himself at the hands of Father Victor Rubeo – he had not read his witness statement.

“Did you view his evidence, Cardinal?” Hersbach’s lawyer, Sean Cash, asked.

“No I didn’t. I have a job here in Rome,” Pell replied, to gasps and sniggers from the public gallery.

Cash also challenged Pell on comments he made to counsel assisting, Gail Furness, where he compared sex abuse within the church to a truck driver picking up a female passenger and molesting her while on the job.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for the leadership of that company to be held responsible,” Pell said.

But Cash challenged that a church was not a trucking company.

“This was an organisation of the highest integrity, one which you would expect would conduct itself in keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ, that’s right?” Cash said.

Royal commission chair, Justice Peter McClellan, also questioned Pell on the comments.

“When a priest, through the act of the parish or in any other way, gains access to a child who comes to the church with a parents … that is quite different to the relationship between the truck driver and the casual passenger, isn’t it?” McClellan said.

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One should be aware that Pell tells lies — AND HE KNOWS IT. This can be proven and has been proven. But pell is either a wriggling psychopath or an imbecile — unless he is a bit of both... To make a statement in relation to "truck drivers" is abhorrently criminal and insensitive towards victims, as he would know that his organisation, the Catholic Church, under the Canon Law, can and will hide secrets from the state — including the knowledge (and protection thereof) of the pedophile priests in its midst. 


driving a truck through his defence...


Cardinal George Pell has strongly defended the so-called Melbourne Response as Australia's first comprehensive redress scheme for victims of clerical sexual abuse at the royal commission.

Appearing at the commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday night, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church's responsibility for child abuse to that of a ''trucking company''. If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, he said, ''I don't think it appropriate for the … leadership of that company be held responsible.''

Cardinal Pell, who established the Melbourne Response when he was Archbishop of the Melbourne Archdiocese in 1996, denied suggestions that any of its three arms - the Independent Commissioner, compensation panel and counselling arm Carelink - had stopped operating independently of the other.

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WHAT A LOT OF CODSWALLOP... And this man has been the spiritual guide to our own Lying Tony...


truckies are pissed off with pell....

The Australian Trucking Association has joined child sexual abuse victims and their advocates in expressing outrage at comments made by Cardinal George Pell while giving evidence before a royal commission on Thursday night.

While facing questions from the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse, Pell said the Catholic Church was no more responsible for child abuse carried out by church figures than a trucking company would be if they employed a driver who molested women.

“If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don’t think it’s appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,” Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome on Thursday.

His comments left chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Noelene Watson, fuming.

“There are more than 170,000 professional truck drivers in Australia,” she said.

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pell is driving on empty, on a rocky road & with a flat tyre...

Rome has been good to Cardinal Pell. Soft folds of skin fall to his chin. He looks a little older, more comfortable and a very long way away. Hopes of a glimpse of St Peter’s were dashed. He sat in front of the plainest possible curtain for his two-and-a-half-hour grilling by the royal commission.

Surely it was one of his life’s mistakes to compare the church to a trucking company? It opened the cardinal to scorn on all sides. Did he have in mind truckies interfering with hitchhikers? Yes. Did the church have no more integrity than a trucking company?

“The church is not always of the highest integrity,” he said with regret. “It existed for 2,000 years and there is a long history of sin and crime within the church, and one of the functions of the leadership of the church is to control and eradicate this.”

He was against sin and crime; for victims; and full of apologies. He began his testimony from Rome with an apology. He recalled the apology he gave when he became the Archbishop of Melbourne. He apologised once more to Chrissie and Anthony Foster, the parents of the two little girls raped by Father Kevin O’Donnell. He so regretted things were not better between them and the church.

Years ago he offered the Fosters a little money and warned them any attempt to sue the church would be “strenuously” defended. The cardinal faced more questions about this word than anything else in his interrogation. He explained: “We did not encourage people across the board to seek compensation through the courts.”

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speaking in tongues ....

speaking in tongues ....

Yes Gus,

Anyone seeking to understand the ruinous decline of the Catholic Church needs only to listen to the venal platitudes uttered by its spokesperson, the sociopath Cardinal George Pell.

Pell’s odious suggestion that victims of child sex abuse perpetrated by the trusted servants of his church are akin to hapless hitchhikers who fall victim to psychopathic truck drivers surely says everything about the real value system that drives the institution & the value it places on its congregation.

By their works ye shall know them.’


insulating our homes...


See Gus comment at the end of this article...


Alan Austin was requested to present a sworn statement of evidence to the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (HIP). In the third part of his submission he explores how the scheme actuallysaved lives.

Pink batts Royal Commission submission: Part Three

Read Part One

Read Part Two

The Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (HIP) is expected to release its final report next week. However, several vital aspects of the program were not examined by the Commissioner in the public hearings earlier this year.

So what chance a fair overall assessment? Will the Commissioner examine all relevant evidence in private and report on the program’s significant successes? Or will he concentrate only on the alleged failures, which were the sole focus of the public hearings?

Alan Austin was requested by the Commission to present a sworn statement of evidence following his research into the global impact of stimulus packages published here at Independent Australia and elsewhere. This is part three of his submission, edited only for format.

Part One outlined the overall success of the Rudd government’s fiscal response to the global financial crisis (GFC) in 2009-10.

Part Two examined the need for great speed in implementing the stimulus packages.

Lives saved by the program’s rapid implementation

The four deaths which occurred installing insulation in the latter stage of the rapidly expanding 2009 home insulation program were tragic indeed. They certainly warranted the focus, the nationwide mourning and the subsequent inquiries into direct and indirect causes.

But what is the quantum of deaths which would have occurred had starting the HIP been delayed by another month, or another three or six months – or had it not proceeded at all?

Deaths averted include suicide and homicide related to unemployment or bankruptcy, coronary and cerebral injury due to anxiety, industrial deaths due to corner-cutting, deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse exacerbated by the crisis and stress-related traffic fatalities.

study in the September 2013 British Medical Journal (BMJ) investigated in detail the impact of the 2008 global economic crisis on suicides in 54 countries in Europe and the Americas.

Using data from the World Health Organization’s mortality database and elsewhere, the study used design time trend analysis to compare the actual number of suicides in 2009 with the number that would have been expected based on trends before the crisis, that is, from 2000 to 2007. [17]

The study found thousands of suicides were linked directly to the global financial crisis (GFC), with the highest numbers of people killing themselves in countries where job losses were heaviest:

“We found a clear rise in suicide after the 2008 global economic crisis; there were about 4,900 excess suicides in the year 2009 alone compared with those expected based on previous trends (2000-07).”

The researchers attributed this to soaring dole queues and bankruptcies, repossessions of houses, cars and other purchases and the attendant personal and social problems. They estimated 34 million people worldwide lost their jobs during the crisis.

Key findings were that suicides among all-age men were between 4.2% and 6.4% higher in 2009 than expected if past trends had continued. They found for women, no change in Europe and an increase in the Americas of 2.3%, smaller than that among men.

Mortality data for Australia are found in the one file at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) at document 3303.0. Refer table 1.2 Underlying causes of death (Australia). [18] For the following analysis, women will be excluded for now.

The number of suicides among men in Australia in 2008 was 1,784. Refer Intentional self-harm (X60-X84), line 1824. Assume Australia’s situation is similar to that of Europe and the Americas, an increase over this level of 4.2% – taking the lower limit – is an extra 75 fatalities. An increase over this level of 6.4% – the upper limit – is an extra 114 fatalities.

Taking the lower number, to this can be added the increased number of homicides arising from the stresses which give rise to increased suicides. According to the ABS, there were 137 male homicide victims in Australia in 2008. Refer Assaults (X85-Y09), line 1850.

Assuming the stress would lead to an equivalent small rise in homicides as in suicides, applying the lower limit of the BMJ findings, a 4.2% increase is another 6 victims per year.

Adding road trauma, there were 1,121 male fatalities in 2008. Refer transport accidents (V01-V99), line 1554. A similar 4.2% increment in traffic fatalities – continuing to assume a similar stress factor – would add another 47 lives lost.

Then adding drug and alcohol related deaths, there were 321 male fatalities in 2008. Refer Mental and behavioural disorders due to psychoactive substance use (F10-F19) at line 494. A 4.2% increment in drug and alcohol fatalities adds another 13 lives lost.

Now add fatalities from hypertensive heart disease. There were 630 male fatalities in 2008. Refer Hypertensive diseases (I10-I15) at line 722. A similar 4.2% increment in these deaths would add another 26 lives lost.

Now add gastrointestinal disease fatalities – ulcers and dyspepsia – there  were 261 fatalities in 2008. Refer Diseases of oesophagus, stomach and duodenum (K20-K31) line 882. A similar 4.2% increment adds another 11 lives lost.

The total for just these six categories of  male lives lost is 178. This excludes increases in fatalities from industrial accidents or other diseases due to stress and anxiety, such as those affecting the cerebrovascular or nervous systems. It does not include women impacted in the same way as men.

These are all likely to be substantial. It is reasonable, therefore, to estimate that a conservative cumulative total would be more than 200 fatalities. That is an annual figure, which would repeat for each year the recession continued and unemployment worsened.

How long the recession would have continued in Australia had it been allowed to get a grip is impossible to know for certain. But the experience of similar economies is instructive.

The World Bank [19] and [20] show, respectively, annualand quarterly negative GDP growth for most of the world’s economies. Of the 34 advanced OECD economies – those most equivalent to Australia’s – from 2008 onwards, only two avoided more than two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth – the accepted definition of recession in Australia.

These were Australia and Poland – the two countries which allocated the highest percentage of GDP in direct investment spending, as shown in figure 3.3, at page 6, above [in Part two of this IA series].

Only four OECD countries avoided a full year of negative GDP growth: Australia, Israel, South Korea and Poland.

Ten experienced one negative year: Austria, Canada, Chile, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Slovak Republic, Switzerland and Turkey.

Twelve experienced two negative years: Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Netherlands, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Slovenia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Six experienced three negative years: Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg and Spain. Portugal experienced four negative years and Greece five.

It is reasonable to propose that had Australia’s economy followed the trajectory of Norway, the preventable deaths would have been in the order of 200+. Had Australia followed Iceland and Finland, the deaths would have been in the order of 400+. Had Australia followed Luxembourg, the deaths would have been in the order of 600+.

All four of those economies were ranked higher on the IAREM table than Australia in 2007. In fact all four were in the top five economies. Refer chart A, page 2, above [in Part one of this IA series].

All four of those governments took stimulus action, but at a lower level and less rapidly.

It is possible to determine which OECD countries implemented the specific stimulus response advocated by Australia’s then Opposition in 2008-09 and make a reasonable estimate of the length of the recession and the number of hundreds of deaths which would then have eventuated. That is beyond the scope of this statement, however.

So what were the actual outcomes for men in 2009 over 2008 on those six variables?

  1. Suicides in Australia fell 8.6% from 1,784 in 2008 to 1,631 in 2009.
  2. Homicides rose 8.8% from 137 to 149.
  3. Traffic fatalities fell 3.2% from 1,121 to 1085.
  4. Drug and alcohol related fatalities fell 13.7% from 321 to 277.
  5. Hypertensive heart disease deaths fell 0.48% from 630 to 627.
  6. Gastrointestinal disease deaths fell 0.77% from 261 to 259.

The rate of population increase was 1.82% from December 2008 to December 2009.

It is not possible to quantify precisely the specific number of deaths averted by the HIP. But it is reasonable to claim that Australia’s stimulus program overall – of which the HIP was a vital part – served to avoid preventable deaths in the hundreds.

It seems strange that some inquiries [into the HIP by coroners, the Auditor-General and the Senate] found that the four deaths related directly to the HIP might have been prevented had the scheme started later by some months or years without noting that any delay would almost certainly have incurred far greater mortality.

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Now, what is this insulation scheme Royal Commission doing in this line of article about priests who commit the crime of sexual abuse?...


—  The amount of suicides due to abuse has been far more than that of deaths by the Insulation scheme. 

— The Insulation scheme Royal Commission has been deliberately set up by the Abbott Regime to "prove" that the scheme was a disaster, while overall the scheme was VERY SUCCESSFUL in providing employment during the GFC. As well the scheme helped many household REDUCE THEIR CONSUMPTION of electricity by up to 30 per cent.

The scheme is often not accounted for in the general reduction of consumption (see: we consume less electricity...). What should be investigated is the abuse of the scheme by shonky operators and Mumbai call centres. 


why do monks wear robes?...



The old joke is: why do monks wear robes?

because they can run faster with a lifted robe than if they'd been wearing trousers at their ankles, while chasing nuns who run away by lifting their habit...

But seriously, some people (here a certain Father Richard Umbers) write sacred crap to hide the crime of priests sexually molesting young people:

This is diplomatic sensitivity par excellence that must remain strictly secret. If a penitent thought that his conscience was subject to NSA monitoring, let alone that his confidences were able to be leaked by a "Father Julian Assange" or "Monsignor Edward Snowden," the sacrament would only be frequented by children and the lonely. This is why there is a basic agreement in the Catholic tradition that the priest must never speak of confessional sins, not even to the sinner himself, if he is no longer in confession. St. Thomas Aquinas even went so far as to say that if a priest were to divulge what is said in confession he would not only be committing sacrilege, he would also be lying since what is confessed to God cannot be said to be known by the priest as a man. As the prophet Isaiah foretold: "The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, 'Please read this', he will say, 'I cannot, for it is sealed'" (Isaiah 29:11).

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"The question that cannot be answered"... yes, Dr Who chases the soul of the wicked but "silence will fall"...

The question remains that, when priests tell of their bad deed to other priests or a bishop under the umbrella of "confession", the confessor becomes a co-conspirator in the bad deed should it be a deed with strong ramification against the social order. I know there is a certain "religious caveat" placed on confession to prevent such association but nonetheless, in reality, morally, the bad deed also belongs to the confessor once he knows about it. The purpose of confession is to share the weight of transgression and be absolved from it, but the fact remains that the bad deed has been performed and hidden from public view... 

The one item which obviously is missing from the Ten Commandments is the eleventh : "thou shall not have sexual relations with small kids" — though this concept features somewhat as a sin, in the godly dedication of celibate priests.

The confessor, in knowledge of a priest who commits sexual crimes against children, has thus to carry a very heavy burden by the knowledge of such crimes — or has HE (no women allowed as priests in the Catholic church, possibly for this sexual reason) Alzheimer's?. 

No-one in their right mind would think that such crimes would not have an effect on young victims for the rest of their lives. Silence here is not golden, but a latent participation in the life-long victimisation of such people. 

Only the exposed truth can end the process of victimisation, with proper civil punishment, because let's face it, once "forgiven" by his peer, the offending priests will offend again and again. The role of saying nothing only becomes part of the reinforcement that such crimes are not punishable in this temporal world. Often, when the knowledge of such crime has a chance to emerge in the public arena, the offending priests are sent to work in other parishes, where they continue to offend.

One has to also look at the possibility that bishops and priests gathering the knowledge of priests performing sexual crimes against minors also acquire this knowledge outside confession. In this case, many churchmen have chosen to still hide behind religious gobbledygook secrecy. 

So, to what purpose are they doing so? One has to look at the dwindling numbers of personnel. There are less and less people committing themselves to become priests — except in poor countries where it's an alternative to poverty, as they collect cash from the poor who are "in search of salvation". Salvation and cash often go hand in hand.

In a modern society with such "apparent" loose morals and easy access to "debauchery" — by this I mean there is a visible culture of understanding our sexual nature in a freer and more knowledgeable context — it would be very hard for anyone to be ignorant of such exposure and not be stirred by it. Committing to celibacy in the Catholic Church would be quite tortuously torturing in such an environment. It can be assumed thus, that the commitment to god in the priesthood invites a certain proportion of crackpots, since the premise of religious beliefs in themselves are a bit crack-potty when faced with diligent or scientific scrutiny.

Unless I am mistaken, the risks of being found out, should one be bent, have increased as the "inspections" have been strenghtened by the "moral public", which expects better from the moral guardians.

In the far distant past, I would suggest that priests did the sex crimes (and more — including war), but got away with it because the social tenets were not as astute and not media-focused as they are these days — since the only media then was the words of the bible... 

In fact sexual misconduct by priests was quite "liberal" in such times...

Back in the Middle-Ages (before and after) one has to know that "... lusty priests seduce the women who confess to them; noblemen keep mistresses; monks and nuns engage in secret liaisons while peasant couples copulate behind the hedgerows" ( See joke at top...

It is also known that some cardinals (bishops, etc) had "boys" for sex (as well as concubines) — the "boys" being well looked after. They often were groomed for becoming the next "high priests", keeping the fucking of boys tradition alive. Of course, the boys in those days had the inconvenient other choices of going on a battlefield with a great chance of being gloriously shot, maimed or killed... or stay poor and ignorant while toiling on a farm. Thus being sexually abused by the cardinal was like having a promotion.

The glittering life in the full-on pomposity of the church with gold chalices and embroided robes at the high echelons plus sex with boys, would have attracted more homosexuals or bisexuals to the priesthood... Heterosexuals would have joined the monks to have shenanigans with the nuns, as recorded in history...

One must know that in bourgeois/noble families of these times, some males were pre-designated to become priests, some were pre-designated to become lawyers, others were to follow on the family-privileged footsteps including climbing the ranks of the nobility... This was mostly designed for such families to control the workings of the nation, below the rank of king.

 Democracy has demolished all this — except, are people like Anthony Abbott trying hard to reset the ancient non-democratic values of kingdoms?... And are priests part of his grand plan? ... Though nowadays the moral imperative is to uphold the sin value of sexual crime... Thank you Julia.

Meanwhile, despite the secret of confession, in my humble opinions, offending priests and confessors should be kicked in the balls... That might make them come out of their hole. Compensation of course has to be paid to victims and offending priests have to go to prison. But the church seems to prefer to stay on the side of its priests, while hypocritically claiming to be on the side of victims... Bugger that !

So back to the beginning of the diatribe at top... The seal has to be broken without breaking it if one must... There are many ways to do this, including the odd anonymous letter and/or encouraging victims to go to the police. Unfortunately, all too often, it has been church business to give victims the "option" of going to the police or being well looked after... 

We know what this means... Pigs fly.


thou shalt not bear false witness...


For all his many failures, Ted Baillieu was a hero for being the leader prepared to take on George Pell by launching an inquiry into church sexual abuse, writes contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence.

IF CARDINAL GEORGE PELL HAS WET DREAMS, his arousal surely stems from a self-preservatory love that has publicly exposed him as little more than a corporate psychopath.

His repugnant display of arrogant onanism at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, confirmed his indecent tamperings with the truth and was an affront to the notion of the judicial swearing of the biblical Oath.

No doubt intimate with the entire of the Decalogue, in particular the ninth of the Ten Commandments, 'Thou shalt not bear false witness', Pell's disingenuous testimony and lame excuses were unconvincing that he did otherwise.

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Read articles from top toon... Note: The NSW inquiry into priest sex abuse was mostly designed to demonise Peter Fox, a police officer, for exposing that the police and the church may have had a cosy hush-hush relationship in the Newcastle area... Margaret Cunneen was the the prosecutor who grilled Peter Fox...

Former premier Barry O'Farrell appointed Ms Cunneen to preside over the special commission of inquiry into claims of interference in police investigations of alleged paedophile priests in the Hunter region.

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meanwhile in belgium... a pedophile priest gets a parish...


Yesterday it turned out that the careful process followed by the bishop – consulting both his diocesan council and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before appointing Fr. Flamez – was not as careful as it seemed. He forgot one all-important group: the victims of sexual abuse by clergy. And it was Fr. Flamez himself who made the best call possible in not accepting the appointment as parish priest of Middelkerke. A statement published yesterday says that the bishop realises that the appointment hurt the victims of sexual abuse, and that that was never his intention. Which begs the question: why did he not realise this beforehand?

The Belgian bishops use certain guidelines when dealing with clergy who have been found guilty of sexual abuse of minors. One of these is that they can never be allowed to work with children and young people again. The position of parish priest does entail working with people of all ages, including youth and children.

We can’t know what the exact motivation was for Fr. Flamez’ decision not to accept the appointment. Was it the questions in the media which made his position untenable, or perhaps a realisation that this was not the sort of duty he could take up considering his past mistakes? Yesterday’s statement only mentions “given circumstances”, which is as vague as it gets.

All in all, this whole situation, despite the apparent care expressed in certain areas, gives the impression of carelessness. The victims, be they of the priest in question or of other clergy, can not be ignored. The Church is under scrutiny in this area, and may well serve as an example to other institutions. But not when things like this happen.

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sisterly love...


Carol Cunneen was shocked to learn that she was being blamed by her older sister Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, SC, for a contentious corruption inquiry.

"It was not me who was the complainant to ICAC. I knew nothing of the accident until I read of it in the press. She never asked me if I was responsible and I vehemently deny it," said Carol.

She was referring to the investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption into whether Margaret Cunneen advised her son's girlfriend to pretend to have problems with her breast implants to stop police doing a breath test at the scene of a car accident.

Carol Cunneen, 49, is now in an invidious position. She wants her sister to win her impending High Court battle against the ICAC.

But on the other hand, if Margaret does succeed and there is no ICAC inquiry, Carol says: "I will be the one seen to be vexatious, which I am not."

A fortnight ago Fairfax Media revealed that Margaret Cunneen, 55, had sent an email to a member of the public stating: "What a malevent [sic] person my long-estranged [family member] is to take the bare bones of the terrible crash that my father told her about and do this to me."

Carol Cunneen has confirmed she is the person to whom her sister was referring but she is adamant that she didn't know about the car accident until news broke of ICAC's investigation.




Sisterly love is getting thinner here... But one would guess that ICAC had more dirt on Cunneen than a traffic offence by her son's girlfriend, would it not? Something thus is quite weird... Why would ICAC go after Cunneen?... No... no... Not because she is a tall poppy... She is not. So Why would they bother? One could start formulating a few theories — and all tend to point at her way she handled the NSW investigation into sex abuse in NSW as a prosecutor, a judge and jury at the same time.... but I am not a lawyer, thus I can't comment beyond this...


pell's heaven costing the earth...


Cardinal George Pell, who was hand-picked by Pope Francis to cut outlays and shed light on the Vatican's murky finances, has been accused of spending half a million euros in six months by flying business class and using large sums on salaries and office furniture.

The allegations, contained in leaked figures published by Italian magazine L'Espresso on Friday, suggest Cardinal Pell also spent €2508 ($3600) on religious robes at a tailor and about $6650 on kitchen-sink fittings.

After his move to Rome to spearhead Francis' mission to free up Vatican funds for the poor, the former archbishop of Sydney said he would try to save the Vatican "millions, if not tens of millions" of dollars a year.

Since then, he has flown business class and paid an assistant he brought from Australia a $21,600-a-month salary, the magazine reported, citing leaked Vatican documents. Francis, the article added, had challenged Cardinal Pell on his spending.

Despite Francis' decision to move into humble dwellings at the Vatican, Cardinal Pell has spent more than $5100 a month to rent an office and apartment at an upmarket address where he spent nearly $87,000 on furniture, according to the allegations.

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protected species...


see also more bosom buddies...



One of Australia's most notorious paedophiles, Gerald Ridsdale, was allowed to continue on as a priest despite a bishop receiving a complaint about him in his first year, an inquiry has heard.

The elderly Ridsdale is giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse in Ballarat via video link from Ararat prison, where he is serving an eight-year sentence for the rape and abuse of children.

He was quizzed at length about whether or not people were warned about his offending tendencies as he was moved between schools around western Victoria, in the 1960s and 70s.

Ridsdale told the inquiry he remembered receiving a warning from a bishop over an incident involving a boy in Ballarat.

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The time has come for George Pell to forget about the legal strategies, the honour and assets of the Church, and his personal dignity. He needs to come back home, face up and tell the truth, writes Michael Bradley.

Immoveable object meets irresistible force.

Cardinal George Pell has engaged various tactics over the years in his response to the grave allegations regarding his part in the Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse victims, but the attitude has remained the same: impassive, righteous, unrepentant, unmoved.

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See toon at top...


see also: holier than thou .....


see also: 

Ridsdale repeatedly said he did not recall key details of his interaction with Catholic clergy as he was being moved around parishes in Victoria where he committed the sexual offences.

The former Catholic priest said he did not recall living with George Pell, Australia’s most senior cleric, nor why Pell agreed to appear in court as a character reference for him in 1994.

Ridsdale told the hearing, held in the Victorian city of Ballarat, said that shortly after taking up a posting in Apollo Bay, he spoke to a man who “said they are saying things in the pub about you and kids so I thought it was time to get out, so I put in for a transfer.”

Despite being granted an early transfer, Ridsdale said he does not remember speaking to any senior church officials about this or the reasons why he was allowed to move onto another parish.

The Ballarat area was the scene for numerous child sex offences committed by members of the Catholic church, some of whom were imprisoned. Pell, now a senior cleric in the Vatican, has agreed to appear at the hearing in person after being accused by an abuse survivor of attempting to buy his silence in the 1990s.

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pell the destroyer...

Cardinal George Pell “destroyed the unity” of the Catholic church’s response to child sex abuse, an Australian bishop has told the royal commission.

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, who played a key role in developing the Australian church’s response to child sex abuse, also said pope Francis was yet to show strong leadership on the issue and one of his predecessors, John Paul II, responded “poorly” to revelations of child abuse.

Robinson worked with other bishops on an Australia-wide clergy response to abuse, Towards Healing, from 1994. When Towards Healing was close to finalisation in 1996, Pell created the Melbourne Response, taking the country’s largest dioscese out of a united response.

Robinson said Pell, then the archbishop of Melbourne, created the rival program because he wanted to be seen as a leader on abuse.

“What he came up with has a lot to recommend it, but I had very big problems with it too,” Robinson told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse in Sydney on Monday.

“The major one was that the very first point of contact for a victim was a QC in a city office ... I found the system was asking too much that people go to a city office and see a QC, and that in any case he had destroyed our unity.”

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blasts from the past...

Former governor-general Peter Hollingworth and former Brisbane archbishop Reverend Phillip Aspinall have been listed to appear at the royal commission into child sexual abuse in Brisbane.

Two prestigious private schools in south-east Queensland are the focus of the royal commission that returns to Brisbane today.

Former Anglican archbishop Dr Hollingworth resigned as governor-general in May 2003 over his handling of sexual abuse cases.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating complaints, practices and procedures at Brisbane Grammar School (BGS) in Spring Hill and St Paul's School at Bald Hills.

The latest public hearings in Brisbane will look at the experiences of former students at both schools who were allegedly abused by former school counsellor Kevin Lynch.

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an old joke...

George Pell's lawyer has told an appeals court the child sex abuse offences the Cardinal is now in jail for are "impossible" and a jury should have found him not guilty even if they believed his victim.

Key points:
  • Pell was found guilty of sexually abusing two choirboys in December and later sentenced to six years' prison
  • He has maintained his innocence and is appealing against the convictions
  • His lawyers are arguing the convictions should be overturned on three grounds, including they were "unreasonable"


Speaking at today's appeal hearing at Victoria's Supreme Court, Bret Walker SC told the court that evidence given at trial supplied Pell with an alibi.

In written submissions, Pell's lawyers listed 12 other reasons why the offending could not have occurred, including issues with Pell's location in the church at the time of the offending and with the dates of the offences in the 1990s.

Mr Walker argued Pell's clerical robe could not have been pulled aside to commit the "atrocious acts" he has been convicted of.

Pell, 77, is serving a six-year jail term for sexually abusing two choirboys when he was archbishop of Melbourne.

He fronted the appeal in person, after being taken to court in a prison van and escorted in by guards this morning.

His appeal is being heard by three Court of Appeal judges and is being live-streamed on the court's website.

Some of Pell's relatives and supporters were in the full courtroom for the hearing, as well as abuse survivor advocates and reporters.


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This reminds the world (and me) of a Catholic joke that has done the rounds since priests wore trousers: 

"Priests can't have it off with nuns as nuns run faster with their dress pulled up than priests with their trousers down... "

reasonable guilt...

Cardinal George Pell’s formidable defence team presented Victoria’s county court and the court of appeal with what they described as “13 solid obstacles in the path of a conviction”, which they said proved the abuse of two choirboys by Pell in 1996 could not have happened.

This week, two out of three appellant judges decided that those 13 reasons fell “well short” of such a conclusion. It was not the role of those judges – chief justice Anne Ferguson, court of appeal president justice Chris Maxwell and justice Mark Weinberg – to decide Pell’s guilt. Rather, the question they needed to consider was whether the 12 jurors who found Pell guilty in December must have held a reasonable doubt as to his guilt based on the evidence before them; not that they could have, or should have. This was vital to Pell’s appeal on the key ground that the jury made an unreasonable decision.

Ferguson and Maxwell found the complainant’s evidence against Pell was “rightly characterised” by prosecutors “as compelling, both because of the clarity and cogency of what [he] said and because of the complete absence of any indication of contrivance in the emotion which [he] conveyed when giving his answers”.


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the ugly truth...