Saturday, 30 January 2016

Are Cardinal George Pell & the Vatican flipping the bird at Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?

Is Cardinal George Pell really so ill he genuinely cannot travel? Or is it a smoke screen allowing him to hide from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse?

Only his doctors would know with any certainty, because his very active life in Rome gives no indication.

What Pell and the Vatican are saying.....

The Guardian, 28 January 2016:

Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, is still too unwell to fly and will address a philanthropic Catholic organisation in the US on Thursday via video link from Rome.

It comes days before Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses into child sexual abuse is due to hear from Pell’s lawyers about whether he will be well enough to appear in person before the commission in February, when hearings are due to continue in Ballarat.

Pell angered Australian child sexual abuse victims in December when he cancelled his flight to Melbourne days before he was due to appear before the commission. The Vatican said Pell was too ill to travel although his specific medical condition was not disclosed.

A directions hearing will be held by the royal commission in Sydney on Friday 5 February to hear whether Pell will appear in person when hearings resume.

What the world is seeing.....

Cardinal George Pell, front row, centre left, Monday 18 January 2016

Cardinal Pell celebrated official Rome Forum mass in the afternoon of Sunday 17 January 2016.
He also gave a 10-page (3,713 words) Keynote Address at an official forum dinner in evening of 17 January.

The Guardian, 5 February 2016:

The cardinal won’t be coming. It’s his heart. A fresh medical report from Rome says it would be “difficult” for Cardinal George Pell to take the long flight home to give further evidence to the royal commission into the institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
“It doesn’t preclude his travel,” observed the commissioner Peter McClellan. “It doesn’t say he can’t come.” But McClellan has accepted the verdict of Pell’s medicos that a journey home at this time might have “serious consequences” for His Eminence’s health.
It’s an unhappy outcome all round. McClellan wants him to give evidence in person. Abuse victims are keen to confront the man in the flesh. And the cardinal, it seems, may never walk the streets of his native Ballarat again.
Just how sick he is remains a mystery. Pell is keen to keep the finer details of his heart problems secret.
His counsel, Alan Myers QC, argued against releasing the medical reports in full: “All it would do is provoke some sort of debate in the press about the medical condition of Cardinal Pell. There is no public interest in that.”
Under strict secrecy, McClellan allowed four barristers to read the latest report. Unimpressed was Paul O’Dwyer SC who told the commission the two-page document revealed “common or garden problems in a man of the cardinal’s age”.

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