Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sins of the Cardinal, Redux.


Four years ago I published only my third blog-post taking to task a certain Dr George Pell, Cardinal, Prince of the Catholic Church and Archbishop of Sydney. At the time I was furious with Dr Pell for denying that he had covered up abuse by a Sydney priest, Father Terence Goodall, as new claims emerged about what he knew of that priest's long history of sexual assaults. In particular, he apologised for a letter he had personally written to a victim saying there had been no history of complaints against the priest, when he had written a letter to another victim the day before admitting prior assaults by that same priest. 

"There was no cover up" He said, just an "innocent error".

Now, four years of obfuscations and cover-ups and lies later, the bucket of betrayal, abuse and sordid complicity is so full there is to be a Royal Commission to investigate. Anyone who knows me knows this a painful and unhappy subject for me. I had a happy childhood. But I've worked with and known far too many people who did not and I can no longer bring myself to pay much attention to what will be a long, painful and probably dissatisfying project. So, in a spirit of nostalgia for Dr Pell's earlier lies, obfuscations and frauds, I re-post this poem (lightly edited) first posted in July 2008:

The Sins of the Cardinal

I do not like you Doctor Pell.
I think you’d rather reign in hell,
Than ever choose to bend the knee,
Before the world and humbled be.

Your neck is stiff, your breast puffed up,
With pride and pomp. Such righteous guff,
You spout with casuistic glee,
Unlike the man from Galilee.

Your church has princes far too proud,
Who trumpet its good graces loud,
Yet smothers those who's tears it caused,
And wriggles loose with slippery fraud,
From ever dealing simple truth,
To those it preyed on ‘neath its roof.

Honest mistakes are made by those
Whose interests everybody knows
And sees put truth and lessons hard
‘Fore money, pride, and self-regard.

Do you believe, dear Doctor Pell,
Your mealy-mouth can make all well?
That subtle prince with cunning word
Can pull the wool o’er dimwit herd?
That Cardinal sin of haughty pride
From the Lord your God can hide?

Can cleric’s guilt absolve-ed be
By you, when vile complicity
Lies in plain sight of everyone
Who's ever heard your double-tongue?

So bend the knee and kiss the ring
Of Benedict, your earthly king,
And smile at bright unwary youth.
But do not claim to speak the truth.
The hand that writes moves on it’s true
But we remember what you do.

Luke chapter twelve, verse one to three.
Brands you as the Pharisee,
Our eyes through all your lies can see,
You Prince of Vile Hypocrisy.

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