A cry for no more silence from the Church: Will it help? 278

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“I’m not here to defend the indefensible… The Church has mucked things up, let people down,” said Cardinal Pell from Rome as he testified this morning at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse.

The Cardinal, said to be one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church, was unable to return to Australia due to poor health. However, he has been compelled by the public and authorities to give evidence by video link in a hotel room in front of a room full of survivors who have made the journey to look him in the eye.

He has sworn on the Bible that he will tell the truth. Many ask what the benefit of truth is now to those that have been to hurt by the actions of the Church for so many years. Others say it’s time that the damage done by the Church to so many people’s lives needs to be fully uncovered.

Cardinal Pell will answer questions for several days about his knowledge of pedophile actions of Priests in Melbourne and surrounding areas when he served there, according to The Australian.

The group of survivors and their spokespeople were gathered in Rome in protest and said to The Australian, “We need the hierarchy of the Vatican to stand up and take responsibility and not hide behind legal processes. Please, we don’t want to see survivors in 50 years; we want to be the last survivors.”
They wore red and green tshirts proclaiming ‘No More Silence’ and according to media reports want Cardinal Pell to tell his story truthfully and in detail.
Last week, Cardinal Pell insisted that he would ‘of course cooperate’ with Victoria Police’s new investigation into allegations that he sexually abused between five and ten boys.

Today we want to hear your thoughts:

Do you believe it is time for Pell to speak on his own behalf about the thing he saw and do you think he will?

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. His memory appears to be terribly faulty, the number of times he has said he doesn’t remember. Surely he should not be in a position of power if he has bad memory loss. I was a practising catholic most of my life, and did everything for the church that a lay person could do. Just as my marriage broke down, Pope Benedict said divorced people must go to mass, but are unworthy of receiving communion. The church is so far from the teachings of Jesus, they may never find their way back to the truth. Now I just live my life according to Christ’s teachings, but only set foot in the church for funerals, etc.

    1 REPLY
    • I was sexually abused by a member of the Plymouth Brethren church in the 1950”s so it’s not only Catholic Church hierarchy guilty. I am not a Catholic

  2. He sure doesn’t look ill.to ke. He is lying through his teeth any catholic who is watching this farce should withdraw from this faith its nothing but disgusting what happened.

    2 REPLY
  3. I have no faith or confidence at all in Pell to tell the truth, I am no expert on the scales of Catholic sins but I suspect a lie would be minor compared to pedophile activity and they had no problems doing that for centuries

    8 REPLY
    • I like the way they, including Pell, say they can’t remember certain times but can remember other times.. Personal selective memories…What a joke..Don’t rely on him to tell the truth, the whole truth !!!!

    • He seems to remember one thing on a given day, but not another thing on the same day. Selective memory alright

    • Yes agree, and I think he feels he is not really lying if he has selective memory. Swearing on the bible is selective for those in power and with something to hide.

    • Listening to him this morning I believe he knew what was happening but will not admit a thing. He has to admit he made mistakes this is the only way of getting closure for all the young people who suffered at the hands of all the colleagues he lived with and honestly he must have been naive or protecting them. These people now need to hear something productive in his speech pattern and answers.

    • He’s backed himself into a corner and it’s interesting to see what carefully chosen words he will now choose to try extricating himself. Too late for that…we are not so easily swayed by his selective memory or vagueness.

    • Jeanette Southam should be treated the same as any criminal jeanette, and im sad for those who have had their trust betrayed as well as the victims, how can they ever make that right?

    • Oh he can say whatever he likes then go to confession and bingo all his lies and sins are forgiven!!!
      It sucks..he needs to stand up and take whats coming to him and not hide behind his garments his religion and his selective memory!

  4. The time has long since passed for the truth, they now need to fix the problem and expose the guilty and compensate the victims

    3 REPLY
    • I agree with your comment Lyn! I think the only way to fix the problem is to allow the clergy to have a ‘normal’ life. To expect men – and women – to remain celibate is ridiculous really. This problem with the clergy isnt something that started 20,30,40 years ago – it is a problem that has always been there. When I was 9 or 10 – a very very long time ago, the catholic priest used to get the religion class (about 6 of us) into his car and take us for a drive. He used to ask the girls if they wanted to sit on his lap and ‘steer’ the car. On separate occasions, two of the girls did – and while holding the steering wheel, his hands used to wander up and down their thighs and up to their chest. None of us ever said anything about that…….

    • Compensation how much do you honestly think would compensate for the crimes that have been commited. The christian brothers aka( the catholic church child molesters asscn) have made a couple of payments which cover their ethics . My politest word for the church ,the other organisations that have been found out is your not child abusers yr child rapists,kid fukers ,and no taller than a low life rock spider . every day one of you scum die of guilt or old age . I rejoice on these days.

  5. He has such a selective memory. He is so frustrating to listen to. However, the questioning is very persistent and thorough.

    5 REPLY
    • Going on what I heard this morning on TV he does seem to have a selective memory claiming his memory is not so good anymore. Will wait to see the outcome of Royal Commission. Doubt the Vatican is going to pay compensation to victims.

    • I guess he thinks that if his memory is selective swearing on the bible is not really lying. I just hope those poor people get some sort of closure by attending.

    • And so it should be persistent and thorough ‘ He seems to have selective memory on certain events :/

    • It’s very obvious to me that he has been or is continually being coached as to what he is saying. 😡

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