Breaking News From Down Under
I'll continue my right brain, left brain commentary tomorrow, but this is more important as it might be a glaring example of no brain.
Cardinal Pell misled abuse victim: ABC
July 7, 2008 - 11:02PM
Senior Catholic cleric George Pell allegedly misled a victim of sexual assault and sought to dismiss his complaint, according to documents obtained by ABC Television.
The allegation comes just days before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI - and an expected 200,000 pilgrims - in Sydney for World Youth Day.
According to Monday night's ABC Lateline Program, Cardinal Pell, the head of the Catholic Church in Australia, gave misleading information to a sexual abuse victim in 2003.
The victim, Anthony Jones, claimed to have been abused by Catholic priest Terrence Goodall 20 years earlier.
In a letter obtained by the ABC, Cardinal Pell told Mr Jones the allegation had not been substantiated because the church had not received any other complaints against Father Goodall.
"No other complaint of attempted sexual assault has been received against Father Goodall," the letter allegedly said.
But another letter from Cardinal Pell, signed the same day and obtained by the ABC, was sent to a second man who also claimed to have been abused by Father Goodall.
In the second letter, Cardinal Pell told the man his complaint had been substantiated.
Mr Jones accused Cardinal Pell of getting it wrong.
"Cardinal Pell misrepresented the truth," he told ABC Television.
"I now hate Catholicism because of what Cardinal Pell has done to me, more so than what Father Goodall did to me."
Father Goodall was later convicted of indecent assault, according to the ABC.
The ABC said Cardinal Pell had not responded to a request to appear on the Lateline program or make a comment.
Cardinal Pell said the Pope was likely to apologise to victims of sexual abuse during his visit to Australia. The Pope will be in Sydney from July 15-20.
I imagine admitting the legitimacy of the abuse claim for one victim and not the other might have been Pell's way of keeping more money in the Archdiocesan coffers. One less law suit. If that's true, it's only Karma that this be exposed one week before the start of WYD. If Pell really did believe the claim was unsubstantiated it might have done him a world of PR good to appear on the program instead of blowing them off. From reading comments from people who viewed the program, they all seemed to think that Anthony Jones came across as credible.
It appears Benedict XVI is going to have to do more than just apologize to sexual abuse victims in a general sense. He now has a very specific situation to deal with and the whole world will be watching, not just those 200,000 or so youthful pilgrims. I imagine the T-shirt police will have their work cut out for them.
I wonder if we'll see George Cardinal Pell promoted to Rome and transferred immediately just like Archbishop Burke. Good thing Benedict is going to take three days to acclimate to Australia before the big show gets off the ground. Gives him more time for a little damage control.
Speaking of that, I also learned that Benedict will be staying at an Opus Dei compound for those three days. I'm sure that in keeping with their codes of silence and secrecy, Benedict won't have to worry about 'leaks' and paparazi. It does appear that he will have to worry about this latest example of the pastoral abilitity of senior clergy in 'dealing' with abuse victims. Maybe the Holy Spirit will strike, and instead of meeting with Cardinal Pell, Benedict will decide it's time he listened to Bishop Robinson. That would be very right brained of him.
If I was Bishop Robinson I would be chuckling just a little right now. Maybe there really is such a thing as Karma.