This is a mighty triumph for George Pell. Now prepare for a storm of rage from the cardinal’s supporters

This is a mighty triumph for George Pell. Now prepare for a storm of rage from the cardinal’s supporters

David Marr

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By the ultimate authority we recognise in this country, Pell was wrongly imprisoned. His supporters will vent but will Rome join his celebrations?

Tue 7 Apr 2020 05.37 BST Last modified on Tue 7 Apr 2020 07.56 BST

Cardinal George Pell leaves Barwon prison. ‘The unanimity of the court’s decision is crushing for Pell’s prosecutors and, of course, for the young man who brought this complaint to the police nearly five years ago.’ Photograph: James Ross/AAP

This is a mighty triumph not just for George Pell who is breathing free air for the first time in a year, and his backers who invested millions in his defence, but for the narrative of prejudice the church has spun all the years since the Melbourne police came for the cardinal in Rome.

The beleaguered church. The misunderstood church. The church under attack by secularists. The church pursued by abuse victims, police and journalists with axes to grind.

The unanimity of the court’s decision is crushing for Pell’s prosecutors and, of course, for the young man who brought this complaint to the police nearly five years ago. It has been such a long process for Pell’s accuser to reach this end.

From the start the contest was simple: who was to be believed here, the young man who said he was raped after mass in the sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral or the church witnesses assembled by Pell’s legal team who claimed it wasn’t possible.

The police, the prosecution authorities in Victoria, a jury and two judges of the court of appeal in Melbourne believed the young man. They realised it was hard for Pell to have raped that boy, but it was possible.

The high court has said: yes possible, but not reasonably possible.

Theirs was not a decision made at a lofty level of theory. As has been its practice lately, the high court dug right down into the evidence. The unanimous judgment delivered this morning involves more than a hundred paragraphs of meticulous reconstruction of the rituals of the cathedral, of doors opened and closed, of robes and processions.


The judges do not accuse the young man of being a liar or a fantasist. They do not find his evidence contained discrepancies or displayed inadequacies “of such a character as to require the jury to have entertained a doubt as to guilt”.

But they have done what the jury and the Victorian court of appeal did not do: they have trusted absolutely the evidence of Pell’s master of ceremonies Monsignor Charles Portelli. This church official said he was with the archbishop at all times that morning, first on the steps of the cathedral farewelling the faithful and then in the sacristy helping him unrobe.

The high court observed that Portelli’s evidence of having an actual recall of being with Pell on the steps was never challenged by the prosecution. Believe Portelli here and it is hard to believe the man who accuses Pell of rape.

The court did what the prosecution argued all the way should not be done: it compounded all the improbabilities to establish doubt.

Rather than adding they multiplied the improbabilities. So the judges concluded that even though they found the young man’s accusations “credible and reliable” the jury “acting rationally” should have “entertained a doubt” as to Pell’s guilt and not put those doubts aside.

“Plainly they did. Making full allowance for the advantages enjoyed by the jury, there is a significant possibility in relation to [the sacristy charges] that an innocent person has been convicted.

Tolling through their honours’ judgement is the word “unchallenged”. Pell’s acquittal relies almost entirely on the failure of the prosecution to challenge – let alone destroy – the evidence of the old cathedral officials and former choir boys in the witness box.

The prosecution found gaps but never tore down the fence protecting Pell.

Long term, the court’s decision reinforces scepticism in senior legal circles about prosecution of accusations of sex crimes committed a long time ago. The question that has yet to be fully explored is how the law operates here when time has placed everyone – the accused, accusers, police and prosecutors – at such a disadvantage.

Pell is innocent of these charges. By the ultimate authority we recognise in this country, he was wrongly imprisoned. He has issued a statement offering Christian forgiveness to his tormentors. He can leave it now to his supporters to rage on his behalf. It is going to be a mighty storm. Category Five.

What will be very interesting to watch is whether Rome joins the celebrations.

Further work awaits Pell’s lawyers and further bills for his supporters to pay. Victims’ lawyers claim eight civil suits at least are under way to make the church pay for Pell’s alleged failures to protect them from paedophiles.

And as early as today, we will discover, at last, the royal commission’s verdict on the career that took a Ballarat priest who noticed so little about these crimes on his home turf all the way to the highest echelons of the Vatican.


Pell’s conviction has been overturned because the superior court found the conviction “unsafe”.

I doubt very much if the state will run a retrial.

The overturn does not make Pell either guilty or not guilty. It means his conviction was unsafe.

Many people commit crimes that they are never found guilty of.

Many others are found guilty when they are innocent.

The Melbourne Cathedral accusation was confusing and difficult to prosecute.

I watched a programme some time ago about the accusations against Father Pell when he was in Ballarat.

I believed the victims.

There are two laws in most countries – one for the poor and one for the rich.

Pell is rich.






I am not a fan of the Windsor royal hangers on and I think the British monarchy needs to be drastically scaled back.

But I am an admirer of Queen Elizabeth II and I was impressed with her address to the nation on Sunday evening.

I admire Elizabeth because of her devotion of her duties over a 70+ year period.

Anyone, of any race, of any age, who devotes themselves to their duties and responsibilities, is a good person and deserves both respect and the acknowledgement of their service.

As I say, I do think that the Windsor hanger’s on need to go. There is a very good reason to keep the heir and heir number two on full time retainers.

But, in the 21st century, there is absolutely no reason to keep people like Anne, Andrew, Harry etc on the payroll – not to mention the whole gang of dukes and lords.

Also, there is no need for the royal family to have a whole load of palaces all over the place – costing the public multi millions

Buckingham Palace or Windsor is enough.

Let the others be turned into hospitals, schools or sold off to hotel chains.


I’m told the Shinners would object to British military doctors and nurses working in our hospitals helping to cope with COVID 19?


There is such a thing as Catholic bigotry as well as Protestant bigotry.

I would be very grateful to be treated by any doctor or nurse if I were sick – regardless of their background.

Doctors and nurses, especially, at this time, are true heroes.

We should treasure and honour every single one of them.   



The mysterious disappearance of the Vicar of Christ

by Cindy Woods


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Click on black screen.




Pope Francis greets a child as he arrives to visit the Parish of St Julius in Rome April 7, 2019. The Vatican yearbook now uses “bishop of Rome” as the only title for the pope.
CNS/Remo Casilli, Reuters

From the moment he was introduced to the world after his election, Pope Francis has emphasised his identity as “the bishop of Rome”.

The 2020 Annuario Pontificio, the official Vatican yearbook, has made the same emphasis typographically by listing other descriptions of the papal office as “historic titles”.

Like the 2019 edition, there is a page that says simply, “Francis, bishop of Rome.”

But unlike last year’s edition, the new yearbook does not precede the biography of “Jorge Mario Bergoglio” with the titles: “Vicar of Jesus Christ. Successor of the Prince of the Apostles. Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. Primate of Italy. Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Province of Rome. Sovereign of Vatican City State. Servant of the Servants of God.”

Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, told Catholic News Service that unlike in 2006 when Pope Benedict XVI had the title “Patriarch of the West” removed from the list, this time “there has been no suppression” of a title.

“The definition of ‘historic’ in relation to the titles attributed to the pope on one of the pages dedicated to him in the Annuario Pontificio of 2020 seems to me to indicate the bond with the history of the papacy,” Bruni said. All of the other titles “are understood to be tied historically to the title of bishop of Rome because at the moment he is designated by the conclave to guide the church of Rome, the one elected acquires the titles tied to this nomination.

Pope Francis’ first words to the public after his election March 13, 2013, were: “Brothers and sisters, good evening. You all know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him … but here we are.”


The Papacy, as it has evolved is a great big heresy.

The 12 Apostles were just that – APOSTLES.

They were not BISHOPS.

A bishop (originally “overseer”) was the one who emerged from the community as the senior presbyter.

With the exception of John, the Apostles were there for the whole church and not just for one church community.

There is not 100% proof that Peter was even in Rome – but even if he was, he was not the “overseer” there.

The development of the episcopate from the community to the overseeing senior presbyter is a legitimate development.

However, the development of the episcopate into a middle ages feudal lordship is an anti-Gospel and anti-Christian development.

If any “church” deserves to be the main church of Christendom it is either Jerusalem where the church started or Antioch to where the early Christian community moved to in order to escape persecution.

Rome only became the focal church because Rome was the capital of the civil empire.

In my mind, Francis, is the Roman Catholic Bishop of Rome.

That is the only title he needs or should have.

Agreeably, Francis seems to know that.

And Christ does not need any “vicars” – and if He does – we are all his vicars.

Like Cardinal Newman said: “Conscience is the aboriginal vicar of Christ”. Those words are engraved on the grave surround of The Oratory Society in Larne cemetery.



I had a call from an English priest today to say that his diocese are writing to priests and quizzing them about their savings, assets and benefits.

The priest is quite certain that his diocese is doing this so that they can deduct monies from priest’s salaries and the pensions of retired priests.

We were told on the Blog the other day that Elsie Nichols has sent an even more scary letter to his priests.

There seems to be a plan afoot in England, and possibly Ireland, to find reasons to give serving and retired priests less money.

There is also a suggestion that some bishops are going to stop paying Private Health Insurance for priests.

Furthermore, there is talk about removing retirement homes outside the diocese for retired priests and forcing those priests to live in diocesan presbyteries with serving priests.

There will also be a cut back on paid sabbaticals.

There are two kinds of RC bishop – bishops who take the care of their priests very seriously – and those bishops who bully their priests and treat them with contempt.

Funnily enough, the scary John Charles McQuaid showed great care for priests – especially priests in trouble.


  1. Amy Martin, Armagh – good to priests who toe the line. Nasty to others.
  2. Diarmuid Martin – Dublin priests greatly dislike him.
  3. Kieran O’Reilly – Cashel – ????????
  4. Neary of Tuam – Harmless enough apparently?
  5. Brennan – Ferns – Harmless culchie apparently.
  6. Deenihan – Meath – Self centred.
  7. Ray Browne – Kerry – Fussy culchie.
  8. Crean – Cloyne – as useful as tits on a bull.
  9. Phonsie – Moody Opus Dei.
  10. Doran – Elphin – Believes that homosexuality and Downs Syndrome come from the same gene.
  11. Duffy – Clogher – Harmless culchie.
  12. Duffy – Ardagh – Afraid of his own shadow.
  13. Duignan – Clonfert – New. ?????
  14. Farrell – Ossory – another tits on a bull man.
  15. Flemming – Killala – sneak.
  16. Gavin – Cork – Safe man.
  17. Kelly – Galway – under the spell of the older clergy. Weak.
  18.  Leahy – Limerick – Harmless.
  19. Mc Guckian SJ – Raphoe – safe man. In over his head.
  20. McKeown – Derry – Clown.
  21. Monahan – Killaloe – repressed little twirp.
  22. Nulty – Kildare – Big Girl. Can’t stop running around.
  23. Router – Armagh – Harmless culchie, I think.
  24. Treanor – Down and Connor – autistic, Big Spender. Door knobs and expensive wine.







DUP MLA who liked the post says he’s ‘not getting into a brickbat with media on this’

Jonathan Bell BELFAST TELEGRAPH April 02 2020

The DUP councillor who sparked outrage by suggesting the coronavirus outbreak was God’s punishment for the introduction of same-sex marriage and abortion law reform in Northern Ireland has apologised.

Ballymena representative John Carson said his comments made on social media had been “misinterpreted” by some.

“Anyone who knows me will know that l would not intentionally set out to cause hurt or offence to anyone and if l did then for that l humbly apologise,” he said.

“However l will never apologise for my Christian faith and will not be silenced by those that are opposed to the truth of GOD’S word.”
Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster was urged to denounce the remarks and the party open disciplinary proceedings.

The DUP distanced itself from the comments, telling the BBC’s Nolan Show that MrCarson was expressing a personal opinion and not that of the party.

“This is a global pandemic and our focus is on protecting lives in Northern Ireland,” the party said.

Asked at the daily Executive press conference about the issue the party’s Diane Dodds said the views were “certainly not the views of the DUP”.

She said they were a “distraction” from the serious challenges faced in fighting Covid-19 and disciplinary matters were for the party officers.
LGBT advocacy group, the Rainbow Project, slammed the comments as “disgraceful but not surprising”.

Earlier Mr Carson told the BBC he stood by his comments but refused to discuss the matter on the airwaves. He also did not return calls from the Belfast Telegraph.

Taking to Facebook to comment on abortion becoming available in Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening, he wrote: “I said when abortion was legalised that our nation would be judged by GOD because of its departure from his word and the legalisation of the murder of the unborn child as well as same sex marriage.

“I was laughed at and mocked by some but as l said at the time they laughed at NOAH until the rain started.

It is time to repent and turn again to the GOD of our Fathers.

You reap what you sow and our nation is now reaping the judgement of GOD because of an immoral and corrupt government.

“It is time to repent and turn again to the GOD of our Fathers.”
The post was ‘liked’ by scores of people, among them the DUP MLA Trevor Clarke.

He told the Belfast Telegraph he interacted with the public post from his private account, which he admitted he used for political comment.

He said he would not be commenting on what he said was a personal matter. Pressed on what his view was, he added: “I am not getting into a brickbat with the media on this.”

Mr Carson is a member of the Royal British Legion and a strong supporter of veterans, according to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s website. He is also part of the Orange Order.

The councillor works to help the elderly, build sustainable communities and sits on policing scrutiny and military reservist organisations.

Responding to criticism under his original post, Councillor Carson said he was entitled to an opinion.

He added: “They laughed and mocked my Saviour too, but some day soon their laughs will turn to screams.”

There were many posts supportive of the politician’s comments under the post.

Very patient of God to wait for Northern Ireland …. before sending judgment.

Gavin Boyd of the Rainbow Project described the comments as “disgraceful but not at all surprising that a DUP elected member would try to blame LGBT people and our partners in the women’s movement for the coronavirus outbreak just as they have blamed us for Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters in the past.

“The Rainbow Project and our partners in the LGBT sector and women’s sector are still supporting our communities at this difficult time.

“We are still providing counselling services and social support to very isolated people. It is very telling where the priorities of some DUP elected members lie when they seek to blame marginalised people for a global pandemic.

“We look forward to hearing, from Arlene Foster, a strong denunciation of this disgusting slur from her councillor John Carson and we expect disciplinary proceedings to be commenced against him immediately.”

SDLP MLA Matthew O’Toole added: “Very patient of God to wait for Northern Ireland – virtually the last part of the western world to get either equal marriage and abortion rights – before sending judgment.”

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Northern Ireland at the beginning of the year. It was introduced when MPs voted through an amendment to a Northern Ireland bill in parliament forcing the government to legislate in the absence of power sharing.

Abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland last October in a similar manner. New laws allowing terminations in all circumstances in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy came into force this week.

Before the change abortion was only allowed if a woman’s life was at risk or there was a danger of permanent and serious damage to her physical or mental health.

Nearly a million people around the world have contracted coronavirus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, and more than 47,000 people have died as a result of the pandemic.

The real figures are believed to be much higher because of testing shortages, differences in counting the dead and large numbers of mild cases that have gone unreported.

Previously the DUP Ballymena councillor Maurice Mills said the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 was God’s punishment of the city’s gay community. Katrina killed over 1,300 people.

He refused to apologise for the offence caused.

In 2015 he was made a Member of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to local government. At that time he told the Belfast Telegraph he stood by the comments.

The DUP was approached for further comment.


On this blog we normally talk about the RC fundamentalists – the Cathbots.

But its good to remember there are also Prodbots, Jewbots, Islamabots, Jehovahbots, Mormobots, etc, etc

This Prodbot Carson really takes the biscuit.

Look at his pic – says it all.

The lights are on but there’s no one home 😊



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I had a priest in touch with me yesterday afternoon who said that the Diocese of Killaloe’s wages fund had run out and some of the priests were now having to ask family, friends and strangers for financial help.

Is this true?

This priest told me that a former seminary friend of his, who was not ordained for the diocese, sent him Euro 100 the other day to keep him going?

The priest also claimed that while all of this is going on, the bishop Fintan Monahan, has left his palace in Ennis and is now driving around the countryside indulging his passion for photography?

Is this true?

The priest did point me to Monahan’s Facebook account and there certainly a lot of rural images on the account from this week.

I hope Lugs Monahan is observing all the government guidelines on combatting COVID 19?

To stay at home.

To only leave your home when it is really necessary.

To shop only when necessary.

To attend medical appointments or collect medications.

To care for elderly and vulnerable people.

To take personal exercise – with 2 kilometres of your home.

I gather that there is general unrest among Killaloe priests with Monahan.

He seems to be regarded as a cold fish dictator type and many people think he is currently concentrating on doing his best to become the next archbishop of Tuam when the current man retires soon. Monahan used to be the archbishop’s secretary in Tuam.

Personally, I never took to Monahan.

There is something about him that gives me the heebie-jeebies.


Current balance  £ 778






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Ukraine church offers premises for Covid-19 patients

by Jonathan Luxmoore THE TABLET

Ukraine church offers premises for Covid-19 patients
Ukrainian border guard officer wearing a protective suit as a preventive measure, standing inside a train with Ukrainian citizens after the evacuation. The special train from Kiev to Moscow evacuated Russian citizens to Moscow on 27 March 2020, and brought back Ukrainian citizens from Moscow to Kiev on 29 March 2020, after Ukrainian authorities shut the country’s borders amid the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

The special train from Kiev to Moscow evacuated Russian citizens to Moscow and brought back Ukrainian citizens from Moscow to Kiev after Ukrainian authorities shut the country’s borders amid the spread of the COVID-19
SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church has agreed to re-purpose its buildings as hospitals and care centres during the coronavirus epidemic, as other religious denominations also stepped forward with practical help in containing the crisis. 

“The Church’s primary purpose is pastoral care – and our medical chaplains are already working in hospitals at this tragic time,” said Fr Lubomyr Javorski, the Church’s patriarchal economist.

“But we also have many property resources which can be used during the pandemic. These can be converted into hospitals, but also made available to physicians away from their workplaces and to people returning from abroad with nowhere to quarantine themselves”. 

The priest outlined the proposals in a video message, after a Sunday homily by Ukraine’s Greek Catholic leader, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv-Halych, offering to turn parishes, churches and monasteries into health facilities and rehabilitation centres.

The Church’s Information Department confirmed the offer had been welcomed by the country’s premier, Denys Shmyhal, during talks with the archbishop, who had now set up a special Church centre to co-ordinate the initiative.

It added that its cathedral at Ternopil was already being used to store and distribute “protective equipment and essential supplies” for city hospitals, while young Church volunteers were also collecting funds for Ukraine’s health service. 

In a homily, Archbishop Shevchuk said his Church would “do everything possible” to prevent doctors “having to decide who should live and die” due to a lack of medical supplies. However, he added that the Ukrainian authorities should also “declare a political quarantine” by avoiding “decisions likely to cause social tension” during the pandemic, and “resist the temptation to use quarantine measures to harass or repress political opponents”.    

“If needed, the entire ecclesial and spiritual space will become hospitals for saving human lives,” the archbishop told Ukrainian health workers. “You must teach us how to do it – but we can learn quickly and well, so we can save lives with you”. 

Ukraine’s newly created independent Orthodox church and its Moscow-linked rival have both also offered premises for treating coronavirus victims. 



So, while Amy Martin is mincing around the streets of Armagh with her liturgical equivalent of THE HARRY POTTER WAND the decent bishops and clergy in Ukraine have offered ALL their buildings to the government to be put at the disposal of people affected by COVID 19.

The Irish Catholic Bishops are selfish bastardos – thinking only of themselves and their money and collections.

Another reason, on top of the global sexual abuse scandal, to make sure these guys NEVER get back to having any power over us in the future.  


Will still be under


New claims of child sexual abuse by Cardinal George Pell exposed in ABC TV’s Revelation

Across two compelling nights of must-see television, an exclusive interview with one of the Church’s most prolific sex-offenders, Bernard McGrath. In a tense encounter filmed in a maximum-security prison, he identifies the religious leaders responsible for the cover-up of his crimes.

And in Revelation’s cinematic, feature-length finale, explosive new allegations of child sexual abuse by Cardinal George Pell are exposed.

Click here to watch promo

The world-first exclusive reveals the gripping story of an individual from a small town in Australia, pitted against a former Prince of the Church. “I chose to remain silent, never to tell a soul, and I got through a good 40 years of that,” says the survivor of sexual abuse, who publicly reveals the story of his tormented boyhood for the first time. “I want to heal now. I’ve carried that burden for long enough.”

With him are other men describing how predatory priests and brothers took advantage of vulnerable children in the Catholic community of Ballarat.

For the first time in interviews, priests describe the attitude amongst fellow holy men at the time these crimes were committed.

“Abusing children wasn’t the desperate thing it is now,” says one Ballarat priest.

Revelation’s epic finale transports viewers to the heart of power in the global Catholic Church, as it battles for the hearts and minds of the faithful amid the cover up of crimes against children for decades.

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, tells Ferguson that at the heart of child abuse within the Church is the dark and destructive use of power. “When I look back now, I cringe. I thought I knew what I was dealing with, I didn’t have a clue.”

*Cardinal Pell was convicted in 2018 of sexually abusing two choirboys in Melbourne Cathedral in the 1990s. The High Court is considering his application to appeal the verdict. He denies all claims of sexual abuse.

Revelation concludes across 2 nights – Tuesday 31 March and Thursday 2 April at 8.30pm on ABC TV and iview. Watch episode 1 on ABC iview.Revelation is an In Films production for the ABC. Major production investment from Screen Australia. Developed and financed with the assistance of Screen NSW.



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