Monday, July 17, 2017
The Victoria police in his native Australia have now announced that they are filing “multiple charges in respect to historic sexual offenses” against Pell. This has come as no surprise to those familiar with the fantastic campaign of false allegations of sexual abuse that has been conducted against the cardinal: allegations of which he has been consistently exonerated. But despite that fact — or perhaps because of it — the campaign has recently intensified Down Under, creating a thoroughly poisonous public climate exacerbated by poorly sourced but widely disseminated allegations, no respect for elementary fairness, and a curious relationship between elements of the Australian media and the Victoria police during the two years the investigation leading to the current changes has been underway. So it may be worthwhile, before offering a few of my own thoughts on another angle in this tawdry business, to note several recent comments from Australians who have not been caught up in an atmosphere of hysteria and persecution that inevitably invites comparison to Salem, Mass., in the 17th century.