Both George Pell and the facts are victims of ‘left-right’ culture wars
By Chris Mitchell
April 20, 2020
The police and media campaign against him was part of the culture wars, Cardinal George Pell told Sky News’s Andrew Bolt last Tuesday. He is correct.
Policing and journalism were once dominated by Catholics, partly because both were open to people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. That has changed as more women with excellent university results have joined the media and editors have hired specialist reporters from the law, finance and accounting fields.
Jack The Insider, this digital site’s Peter Hoysted, has written here and in his book, Unholy Trinity: The hunt for pedophile priest Monsignor John Day, about the history of Victoria Police protecting pedophile priests. The Age’s crime-writing doyen, John Silvester, has made the same point.
Discussing the High Court’s 7-0 quashing of Pell’s conviction, Silvester wrote on April 7: “The police record on these cases is lamentable. For many years, rather than do their job, there was a key group of senior police who actively sabotaged prosecutions against priests.”
In the media, there was a long tradition of ignoring such stories. Last week, this column discussed a seven-year series about pedophilia by priests, brothers and politicians published by Brisbane’s The Courier-Mail from the mid-1990s. These stories culminated in lengthy jail sentences for abusers, and school and church payouts to victims upwards of $100m.