Come home, you pompous buffoon

Tim Minchin’s wish is coming true. George Pell is coming home!

Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric, Cardinal George Pell, has been charged with historical sexual assault offences and ordered to appear in a Melbourne court.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said the Vatican-based cardinal was required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on July 18.

Pell has a collection of direct, personal sexual abuse allegations hanging over his head from years ago. He was an associate of Gerald Ridsdale, and while living in a house with a notorious child rapist does not make him guilty of the same, it did make him well practiced in the art of plausible denial and presenting apologetics for the church. He then acquired a reputation for platitudes and avoidance, rather than action, in dealing with the Catholic Church’s history of sexual abuse in Australia.

He’s not a nice man, but somehow he has been promoted upwards within the Catholic hierarchy. He’s in charge of the Vatican’s finances — it seems to me that being the top man in charge of papal excess and loot ought to be another crime.


  1. Moggie says

    There’s still time for his doctors to declare that he’s not fit to travel.

  2. Snoof says

    Moggie @2

    There’s still time for his doctors to declare that he’s not fit to travel.

    Ah, the Skase Gambit. A proud tradition of Australian criminals wealthy enough to afford it.

  3. whheydt says

    Re: Moggie @ #2…

    You beat me to it. I’m betting his doctors will assert that he’s too sick to travel and he will remain holed up in the Vatican.

  4. Rich Woods says

    And if the Vatican should turn out to be a little too hot to hold him*, perhaps he could abscond to the Ecuadorian embassy there. They’re bound to have a spare broom closet he could take up residence in.

    *I’m not holding my breath.

  5. bachfiend says

    Not being fit enough to fly from Rome to Melbourne shouldn’t be enough to prevent Cardinal Pell returning to Australia. There are cruise ships making the trip from Europe to Australia. In 2015, I went on one from Fremantle to Rome for the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing in World War I (and some of my fellow passengers were very old. And decrepit).

    He should be able to find one making the trip, even if he needs to seek a postponement of the court appearance. And needs to use a train at the start and end of the voyage to get to the departure port and from the arrival port.

  6. robro says

    Does Australia have an extradition treaty with the Vatican, or Italy?

    From Wikipedia about an attempt to get Pell to Australia to testify in other cases: “Pell’s heart condition was again in the news in late 2015, when it was judged serious enough to prevent air travel from Italy to Australia to appear before the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse. He was expected to be well enough to travel in February 2016. However, in the end he testified from a hotel in Rome through a video link up.” They had abuse victims attended that session.

    However, Pell has stated he will return to Australia for the 18 July hearing in Victoria. He’s 75…perhaps he’s thinking he won’t make it.

    Vatican finances have been the focus of a lot corruption. It’s probably a good job for him.

  7. mostlymarvelous says

    Yes with Italy. No with the Vatican. He’ll have to come home voluntarily.

  8. jrkrideau says

    I’d suggest he consider a request for refugee status in the USA. Surely your president would understand?

    Re the Vatican finances, assuming Pell is even moderately honest, putting a nasty batsd like him in charge was probably a smart move on Pope Francis’ side. At least the money may go to charities, etc, rather than cardinals’ lifestyles.

  9. rietpluim says

    Tim Minchin is a friggin’ genius.
    Despite the sadness of the occasion, this put a smile on my face.