“I’m really sad he couldn’t say ‘We were wrong'”: Tim Minchin on Cardinal Pell 170



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He wrote a song that condemned Cardinal Pell for not coming home to face victims, and now Tim Minchin has so more thoughts on the whole situation, echoing sentiments around the world.

It was no secret that the sexual abuse victims were disappointed with Cardinal Pell’s foggy recollections of events, as were many of our readers.

Tim Minchin has spoken out about the song that has now had over 1.4 million views on YouTube, went to number one on the iTunes charts, and generated a campaign to send the abuse victims to Rome for Pell’s video link hearing.

After hearing Cardinal Pell give evidence in Rome, Minchin told the Herald Sun: “I feel sorry for (Cardinal) Pell in many, many ways but it doesn’t mean there wasn’t room for a cheeky little pop song.

“I’m really, really sad that he couldn’t say, ‘This was terrible, we were wrong, it (child sexual abuse) was systemic and endemic and we’re trying to improve and I was wrong with the Melbourne Response’.

“He doesn’t have to hang himself out to dry. He just needs to look them (victims) in the eye … he doesn’t have it in him. He doesn’t have the intellectual sophistication or the self-awareness to know how to help.’’

And could the Church sue him over his song? I don’t suppose there’s much chance of that happening. It would be a terrible PR thing for them”, Minchin replied cheekily.

In a separate interview with SMH, Minchin said the man he labelled “scum”, a “pompous buffoon” and a “goddamn coward” wasn’t the only person he felt sorry for.

“I feel sorry for everyone in this sorry affair,” he said.

He didn’t mince his words: “I wish the f—er had come back, though, because to not come back shows a massive disconnect with what the survivors need. They weren’t believed, and they need not just to be believed but publicly believed by the institution. And he’s the big guy. It’s not my fault that he’s the big guy.

“This is not a guy inclined towards a humble offering of redemption”, he said.

Tell us: do you agree with Tim Minchin on this one?

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  1. Tim Minchin not only gave us a very catchy song, he gave real help and support to victims, unlike Cardinal Pell. Pell a supposed man of God !!!, not only lacked empathy , I thought he lacked credibility. The victims of this sexual abuse will never forget but in time I am hoping for their sakes that they can learn to live with it, with compensation from the Catholic Church

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    • The churches and charities from what I hear are all rushing to reassess those victims that have been payed out for sexual abuse. They knew then that the payout where disgusting now they are covering there bums. I hope these people get proper payout and care

    • They need counseling I agree but look how far down the line it is since they were abused Jeff, this should have begun when they were children, when the abuse occurred, instead they hid it and covered it up and sent these priests to other diocese to abuse more children.. Jeff removed his comment from my post but I will leave my response to him

    • Sorry I removed it Libby. I thought it was not right to leave it as a response to your post as I was trying to make a different point to you.

    • Spot on Tim…. It is an invitation for other filthy mongrel priests to keep abusing children because Pell didnt take responsibility…😡

  2. I don’t agree with him in that I do not in any way feel sorry for this man. All of my sorrow is for the victims who continue to suffer and will suffer in some way for the rest of their lives. In my opinion Pell has not come clean, he has not told all he knows. He is continuing to protect himself and the Catholic Church.

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  3. I think person specific counselling and care well into the future is what is required. No amount of monetary compensation will resolve people’s pain and even large amounts can only be regarded as nominal. I understand that permanent ongoing support was one of the outcomes of the Irish Commission.

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    • you removed your comment from my post so I will give you my response here They need counseling I agree but look how far down the line it is since they were abused Jeff, this should have begun when they were children, when the abuse occurred, instead they hid it and covered it up and sent these priests to other diocese to abuse more children

    • I’m not trying to justify the abuse or the subsequent actions or lack of action. I’m just saying that the severe psychological pain of a victim with no financial compensation is the same as the severe psychological pain of that victim with a million dollars. The most difficult thing to achieve is reducing the victims’ distress but that is what we have to try to do.

    • Geez Rosalind Battles . The Catholic Church should give compensation. I’m not saying they shouldn’t. But if I was a victim there is no way I’d be going back to the Church for counselling. That’s not to say they shouldn’t pay for the counselling.

    • I happen to know someone who has been involved in the pastoral care effort of the Irish Commission. She is a cleric albeit not a Roman Catholic one. One of the primary hurdles that she has faced is the reluctance of many victims to accept care and counselling from anyone connected to a church.

    • About twenty years ago I had a young mother break down in my classroom during talks about keeping yourself safe with 7 year olds. She had been sexually abused from a very young age, the abuse was ongoing until she ran away at 16. No one believed her or helped her at the time, she lived in fear because of the power her abuser held over her physically and mentally. She eventually got the courage to report it to the police because she became scared for her younger sister. She underwent counselling while the investigation was happening , it wasn’t enough. The counselling should have been ongoing. After her breakdown in the classroom I helped her get more counselling. She eventually became a survivor and stronger but she will never forget what she went through. She lost her innocence, her childhood, her family and almost her life. Every assistance should be given to victims of abuse both monetary and counselling, they need to know it was not ever their fault and that there is hope for them. If their abuse was perpetrated through people in a church then the counsellor should not be connected to the church but an independent one who sends the church a bill for however long it takes. Thank goodness we (most of us) have learned to listen to children when they tell us ‘bad’ secrets or display inappropriate behaviours/knowledge for their age. We brought them into this world we owe it to them to keep them safe.

  4. Tim put into words, how one of the biggest coverups of all time has been continually perpetrated by so called holy men……

  5. Very well said Tim-I agree, Pell doesn’t have it in him-he doesn’t have the intellectual awareness to address the problem, choosing to remain in his safe, fantasy world, hoping it will all go away. Let us hope that the victims call on their strength to overcome his ignorance.

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