Cardinal Pell is another one vying for the Zero Empathy Remark of the Year Award.
Cardinal George Pell has strongly defended the so-called Melbourne Response as Australia’s first comprehensive redress scheme for victims of clerical sexual abuse at the royal commission.
Appearing at the commission via video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday night, Cardinal Pell likened the Catholic Church’s responsibility for child abuse to that of a ”trucking company”. If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, he said, ”I don’t think it appropriate for the … leadership of that company be held responsible.”
What’s wrong with that analogy? Well let’s see…
- The Catholic church doesn’t pick up passengers along the way. Its relationship to its child parishioners is not similar to that of a truck driver to a hitch hiker.
- The Catholic church sees itself as the source of absolute moral truth. Trucking companies don’t see themselves that way.
- The relationship between the Catholic hierarchy and its priests is not like that of a trucking company to its employees.
But even more to the point, it’s just so…shoulder-shrugging, indifferent, blame-shifting, evasive.
Sean Cash, a lawyer for abuse victim Paul Hersbach, challenged the trucking company analogy, saying that because the Catholic Church was an organisation of the ”highest integrity” it owed victims a far greater legal and moral responsibility. He said it should not impede victims’ ability to receive full and fair compensation.
”We were among the front-runners in Melbourne in addressing these scandals and I would suggest to you that that is entirely consistent with Catholic tradition and the teachings of Christ,” Cardinal Pell replied.
Jesus had teachings about how the church should deal with rapist priests? I missed that part.