By George: Cardinal sins in child protection

The Age

August 31, 2014

Annabel Crabb

Who can say where Cardinal George Pell gets his lines?

When he drew his recent analogy between church organisations and trucking companies, it was honestly difficult to spot whether he had got the idea from some parchment-shuffler in Vatican PR, or practiced it himself in front of the mirror that morning with a hairbrush.

“If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don’t think it’s appropriate – because it is contrary to the policy – for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,” he told the Royal Commission.

It is not the first time Cardinal Pell has selected an unfortunate transport-related analogy to reinforce his argument that the Catholic Church has been unfairly targeted in the matter of sexual abuse.

“We are not interested in denying the extent of misdoing in the Catholic Church. We object to it being exaggerated,” Cardinal Pell said in November 2012, responding to the establishment of the Royal Commission.

“We object to being described as the only cab on the rank.”

In the ongoing titanic struggle between Cardinal Pell and his own mouth, it’s become increasingly easy to demonise the church. Crimes against children are unspeakable enough; to complain implicitly that one’s own organisation is less free to commit those crimes than another sounds reprehensible principally because it is.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.