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Book Review: Cardinal – The Rise and Fall of George Pell by Louise Milligan

Where to start, except against a backdrop of a toilet where this guy belongs. What a staggering account of systemic failure – of the Catholic Church to protect society’s most innocent and vulnerable people, its children – this book is. And all the while nasty, nasty George Pell was hiding his own grotty little secrets.

Fair skin hand holding the book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell over a toilet

A Royal Commission eventually heard that between 1950 and 2010, a staggering 4444 people alleged to 93 Australian Catholic Church authorities incidents perpetrated by 1880 church figures, teachers, priests, bishops, and so on. Read that again.

The Church spent tens of millions of dollars over many, many years fighting individual cases on behalf of its members, denying any wrongdoing yet all the while paying off victims; and Pell, as its then-head and one of the Church’s most senior figures worldwide, was leading the charge.

And – you can’t make this stuff up – the same shit was going down all over the USA at the same time.

Dozens and dozens of victims have committed suicide over the years, many of them from a single generation and the same Victorian country town, leaving their families in tatters. Dozens more lead tormented and difficult lives – directly or indirectly – because of the abuse they sustained.

Sexual abuse never goes away – it’s a (sometimes imperceptible) scary, grimy lens through which you’re forced to view the world and life forever more. Such is the trauma and shame the abuse triggered in these CHILD VICTIMS, the average time it took them to come forward was 33yrs. To have the abuse denied only perpetuates the trauma.

Pell was eventually also personally accused of several sexual abuse crimes, by multiple people, found guilty, sentenced, and jailed, THEN RELEASED ON APPEAL. Because filthy rich. And technicalities. But we see you, George. Your God sees you. And you and all of your despicable cronies are going straight to Hell. But y’all know that.

Buy it here.

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