George Weigel on “Two Georges” and future persecution

Do you remember what the late Card. George of Chicago said about future, successor bishops?

George Weigel makes a connection is a recent piece.

Makes you think.

[…]

The acceleration of Cardinal George’s prediction of cardinals-in-jail should also give pause to those who blame the abuse crisis on “clericalism.” Clericalism – the evil misuse of the respect those in Holy Orders rightly enjoy because of their sacred office – facilitates abuse; it doesn’t cause it. Like the charge of abuse, the “clericalism” trope has been weaponized by the Church’s enemies, to the point where it is becoming difficult for any Catholic cleric charged with misconduct to receive a fair hearing or a fair trial. The vicious public atmosphere on display in Australia whenever the words “George Pell” are spoken is not improved by senior churchmen, in Rome and elsewhere, blaming abuse on “clericalism.”

From his present station in the Communion of Saints, I have no doubt that Francis George is interceding for George Pell, and for the vindication of justice by the judges who will hear the Australian cardinal’s appeal – even as the American cardinal regrets how prescient he was.

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20 Responses to George Weigel on “Two Georges” and future persecution

  1. FrAnt says:

    Cardinal Pell shows future Cardinals given the charge of straightening out the Vatican finances the degree to which hatters of the Church will go when you expose the annual waste of $52,000,000 in the Vatican. Drumming up false charges of sexual abuse is so much easier these days than dragging a large Cardinal’s body through the halls of the Vatican on the way to the Tiber.

  2. Ipsitilla says:

    “Drumming up false charges of sexual abuse is so much easier these days than dragging a large Cardinal’s body through the halls of the Vatican on the way to the Tiber.”

    Would the latter approach be referred to as “cadaver synodality”?

  3. arga says:

    Well, Card. George was right but for the wrong reason; it is intensely ironic that bishops are not now vulnerable to jailing because they have been faithful shepherds, but precisely because they have not been faithful (the Pell case aside), and have abetted corruption in the priesthood. In other words, state prosecutors, to the extent they are punishing bishops who are guilty of failing to do their duty to protect the faithful for sodomite priests, are actually doing what the Roman curia SHOULD have been doing! Brad Gregory pointed out (in the Unintended Reformation) that monarchs in the 16th century often were forced to take similar measures to clean up corruption in the Church.

  4. Dismas says:

    I wonder if Cdl. George’s statement ever made his successor flinch.

  5. veritas vincit says:

    Dismas: “I wonder if Cdl. George’s statement ever made his successor flinch.”

    I don’t know for sure. But I can’t see the current Cardinal in Chicago going to jail for anything having to do with the defense of the Faith, which was the sense of Cardinal George’s statement.

    Cardinal Pell is of course a far different story, as George Weigel perceptively points out. He’s not exactly being jailed for defense of the Faith, but submission to any unjust imprisonment, is a powerful witness.

  6. Dismas says:

    @veritas vincit – Oh, I’m aware of the intended reason Cdl. George thought that. I also agree on your assessment.

    That said, it could still happen, and the irony would be apropos…

  7. Ultrarunner says:

    When 7% of priests in a country are found by a royal commission to have had sex primarily with children under their care over a 60 year span of time, and all the while church leadership, including Pell in particular, compounded the injustices to horrifying public affect, it’s rather obtuse to blame the resulting society for being a.) largely secular and b.) firmly anti Catholic. Good people in Australia watched George Pell run roughshod over their friends, their families, and their neighbors for decades and their was nothing they could do about it. A great many of them concluded that if that was Catholicism, they wanted no part of it.

    Payback is hell. It’s not any more complicated than that.

  8. Liz says:

    There are rumors going around that Cardinal Pell has been hospitalized with the flu.

    I don’t know if it’s true or not, but increasing prayers cannot hurt. He is an older man, apparently with heart issues, he just had a double knee replacement recently, and is in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, not being able to say mass. He definitely needs our prayers.

    I pray that our Lord, our Lady, and saints and angels visit him and comfort him in this vale of tears.

  9. APX says:

    It says he was taken to the host and tested for the flu, but tested negative. Anyone know which correctional facility he’s in?

  10. Gab says:

    “Good people in Australia watched George Pell run roughshod over their friends, their families, and their neighbors for decades and their was nothing they could do about it. A great many of them concluded that if that was Catholicism, they wanted no part of it.”

    I don’t know who you are or why you think you can speak on behalf of my nation, but everything in that sentence is ill-informed and disordered. It may be your perception but it is not reality.

    A lot of catholics of the Left-bent hated Pell because he put order into a particular seminary that was playing fast and loose with instructions to the seminarians. Pell advised them that in future, seminarians were to pray and fast and attend daily Mass. The soft Left staff revolted and resigned. Pell accepted their resignations and staffed Corpus Christi seminary with orthodox instructors.

    From the Lefty ABC (aren’t they all?) in Australia https://www.abc.net.au/religion/thank-god-for-george-pell/10100946

  11. Gab says:

    From the link above:

    “When Pell became Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, “Catholic Lite” was the order of the day throughout the country, with the usual results: goofball liturgy (one bishop celebrated Mass made up as a clown); dumbed-down catechesis; a collapse in religious vocations and seminary applications; the Church bureaucracy joined at the hip to the hard left in Australian public life.

    Reversing this drift toward theological and moral incoherence and public irrelevance was going to be very hard work. Then Pell caught a break: when his seminary faculty threatened to resign en masse because he insisted that the seminarians attend daily Mass, Pell called their bluff, accepted their resignations, filled the seminary with new faculty – and never looked back.

    Religious education was reformed; new and vibrant orders of religious women were brought into the archdiocese; a John Paul II Institute of Marriage and the Family was launched; orthodoxy, no longer optional, became interesting again.”

  12. un-ionized says:

    I wrote to Cardinal Pell in prison. George Pell c/- Corrections Victoria GPO Box 123 Melbourne VIC 3001 Australia. Important: no title should be on the envelope or it will not be delivered. In prison he is George Pell.

  13. un-ionized says:

    Please note. Cardinal Pell is in solitary because he is in protective custody.

  14. APX says:

    Thanks, un-ionized. I’m assuming all mail is read, do you know?

  15. Gab says:

    I’m assuming all mail is read, do you know?

    Yes it is.

  16. un-ionized says:

    Also do not send any enclosures! That will cause the entire letter to be thrown out. I didn’t address him by title in the letter, just in case, realizing how much he is hated. If he were not in protective custody dire things would happen.

  17. Ultrarunner says:

    And yet, Pell’s jury of peers wasn’t comprised of 100% lefties who hated Catholic orthodoxy. Every single juror survived elimination by Pell’s top flight defense team before the trial began. They could have weeded that out if it was a concern. Chief Judge Peter Kidd, on the other hand, did have to warn the jury not to punish Pell for the failings of the Catholic Church before deliberations began: “You must not scapegoat Cardinal Pell.” That warning was necessary because for many people, Pell is the national poster child for how the church botched the child sexual abuse crisis. The scandals he’s been involved in have been making headlines for years. Defense attorneys can’t elimate what is culturally engrained in society from a jury pool.

    Nationally, weekly mass attendence for all Catholics in Australia averages 12%.

  18. un-ionized says:

    Ultrarunner, I think you’re a little off the mark about how much concern anti-Catholicism is and the ability to weed out jurors. Cardinal Pell has been attacked for 20 years for his defense of traditional marriage. That is the main source of the vendetta against him in the press.

  19. Titus says:

    Every single juror survived elimination by Pell’s top flight defense team before the trial began.

    If Australian trials are like U.S. trials, you only get to eliminate so many prospective jurors unless you get someone to admit he won’t follow the judge’s instructions about the law and assess the evidence impartially. People very rarely admit that. I don’t know that it’s here or there, but that’s the case.

  20. Gab says:

    “The scandals he’s been involved in have been making headlines for years. ”

    More lies. Cdl Pell hasn’t been involved in any scandals. The media has exhibited histrionics for years about him, they are steeped in hate. Cdl Pell has been accused many times over the years and each time the accusations were thrown out. On one occasion because it was proven he was not even in the country at the time an alleged incident occurred. Another time, it was proven he was no where near a town during yet another alleged incident. And so on.

    When Pell became Archbishop of Melbourne, he sacked a Fr Searson, who had many things to answer for in regard to abuse allegations in a parish, and Pell refused to abide by a Vatican decision that he be re-instated.

    A few months after becoming Archbishop, he set up the Melbourne Response compensation scheme to handle clerical child sexual assault in 1996. His fellow archbishops and bishops established Towards Healing the following year in the rest of Australia. This means the Catholic Church was addressing this crime about six years before the revelations in The Boston Globe about the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston; and thus the veil was lifted on priests offending under (Pell’s predecessor archbishop Frank) Little.

    Cdl Pell was and is hated by liberal catholics both in the clergy and the laity because he is a conservative Catholic.