Remembering Cardinal Pell

A choice for Christ can easily lead to persecution and white martyrdom, as Pell personally experienced. He was such a champion of the choice for Christ he became a lightning rod for anti-Christian sentiment and ultimately its ideal choice for a scapegoat.

Australian Cardinal George Pell pictured celebrating the White Mass for medical professionals and health care workers at the Diocese of Phoenixís Virginia G. Piper Chapel in Phoenix Nov. 20, 2021. (CNS photo/Jeff Grant)

In one of my last conversations with Cardinal Pell we talked about Margit Balogh’s biography of Cardinal Mindszenty, titled Victim of History. Balogh chose as the opening epigraph Mindszenty’s statement: “I shall keep on fighting…until the coffin closes above me”. When I mentioned this to Cardinal Pell his eyes lit up and he smiled. He clearly empathized with the great Hungarian confessor of the faith.

So often conversations with Cardinal Pell would end with his exhortations to “keep punching” or “keep up your guard” or other boxing metaphors that registered little to me but the consolation that he thought I was at least capable of fighting.

In his youth he had been selected to play A grade football but he turned down the offer and entered a seminary instead. Later in life his friends would joke that his leadership style was that of a football coach. In his “ecclesiology” faithful Catholics everywhere were members of his football team and exhorted to keep fit and to play fair. In his mind there were definite “teams”, goodies and baddies, but in conversations he would never allow ad hominem or otherwise uncharitable statements to be made against those playing on an alternative team. He once corrected a friend for referring to a new age nun as ‘feral’.

In theological terms one could say that he had a strong sense of the fact that each person is born into a cosmic battle. Each has a choice to make, for or against Christ. The fact that we live in a post-Christian age that is rapidly becoming expressly anti-Christian in many ways intensifies the dramatic thrust of human existence. A choice for Christ can easily lead to persecution and white martyrdom, as Pell personally experienced. He was such a champion of the choice for Christ he became a lightning rod for anti-Christian sentiment and ultimately its ideal choice for a scapegoat.

By academic training he was an historian. He held a D.Phil in Church History from Oxford. He was interested in both “meta-history” in Christopher Dawson’s sense, as well as in the historical fine details. He seemed to be a practitioner of what academics call the Cleopatra’s nose approach to history – the idea that random factors like the shape of a woman’s nose can alter the course of history. This approach makes personal free will the dynamic of human history, not abstract materialist forces.

Conversations with George Pell were like an Oxbridge tutorial. He would begin by asking questions like “what have you been reading” or “what are you writing” and then he would talk about what he had been reading. His coffee table was always stacked high with current affairs magazines. He somehow managed to keep abreast of numerous different social worlds. He gathered an enormous amount of intelligence by simply having friends in different countries and in different professions.

He came to prominence in the Church in Australia during the pontificate of St. John Paul II. While some despised John Paul II for his uncompromisingly Christocentric stance on moral theology it was precisely this clarity of teaching, and its unabashed Christocentrism, that impressed the young Bishop Pell. When the Catechism of the Catholic Church was released in 1992 and Veritatis splendor in 1993 and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in 1994, Pell strongly promoted each of these documents, notwithstanding the fact that there was considerable clerical opposition to each of them. He thereby became the champion of Catholics who wanted clarity in Church teaching and a reading of Vatican II according to what Cardinal Ratzinger described as a hermeneutic of reform (not a hermeneutic of rupture). By loyally defending St. John Paul II and his Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger, Pell became a hero of faithful Catholics across Australia, not only in his home state of Victoria. At the same time he became the ready target of criticism in liberal theological circles.

In 1996 he was made the Archbishop of Melbourne. People often ask ‘where were you when you heard the news of the appointment? I was in Cambridge. I arrived home on my bicycle to find my husband performing star jumps in our garden and waving his hands in the air like some kind of air traffic controller. As I got closer he shouted “George Pell is the Archbishop of Melbourne”. We put on a disc that included Mozart’s Laudate Dominum and multiple versions of the Te Deum and somehow we cobbled together enough British pounds for a bottle of champagne. The next Sunday we met up with other Australians at the Brompton Oratory and there was another celebration at the Polish Club. I can remember Joanna Bogle congratulating the little huddle of happy Australians and proposing Westminster as Pell’s next appointment.

The following Summer the Linacre Bioethics Centre held a conference in Cambridge and Archbishop Pell rounded up about a dozen young Australian scholars and brought them with him to the conference. Archbishop Conti from Glasgow joked that he had come from Scotland with an entourage of two, while, judging from the number of Australian accents in the auditorium, it would seem that Archbishop Pell had filled an entire Qantas jumbo with his team. Conti also walked along the breakfast queue listening for Australian accents and when he found an Australian he would ask the student for his or her best “Pell story”. He thereby acquired loads of comical stories for his introduction to Archbishop Pell’s lecture. Pell later told me that he thought we had all been a tad indiscreet.

We however were proud to have him as our leader and enjoyed sharing our stories about him. Quite simply he had the gift of making people want to play on his team. He knew how to lead. He could foster comradery and get people working together. He was fun and mischievous and young people responded to that.

A typical Pell story recently doing the rounds was occasioned by the Pachamama affair. During the Amazonian Synod several statues of a pagan fertility goddess known as “Pachamama” appeared on altars inside a church near St. Peter’s Basilica. Although the church is a stone’s throw from the Vatican no priest, bishop or cardinal seemed to know what to do about it. This was a scandal in itself. No matter how fractured the Church’s moral teaching may be almost everyone can agree that doing homage to wooden idols violates the first commandment. Moreover, these objects were not even aesthetically pleasing. They looked like black witches with engorged sagging breasts and a swollen belly. Finally a young layman took direct action. He walked into the church, removed the pagan idols and dumped them into the Tiber. The story is that when this young Catholic (Alexander Tschugguel) was introduced to Cardinal Pell some time later as the pagan idol dumper, the Cardinal looked at him sternly and said words to the effect that he had done the wrong thing. After a comic pause of a couple of seconds the Cardinal changed his expression to a smile and said you should have burnt the things before you dumped them! Young Catholics loved these kinds of mischievous comments. He could be fun and paternal at the same time and he was a spiritual father to many.

In 2001 he was transferred from Melbourne to the Archdiocese of Sydney and a red hat followed in 2003. At a public dinner he described the difference between Melbourne and Sydney as the difference between women who wear cashmere cardigans and those who wear hot-pants. Melbourne is the more European of the two cities, more intellectual and more ‘old money’. Sydney is more of a commercial powerhouse and more new money. Sydney is regarded as the Primatial See in Australia, hence the transfer (back then) before the red hat.

It is said that in 2005 he was the campaign manager for the election of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. He loved John Paul II and saw Ratzinger as John Paul II’s wingman and thus the man best equipped to carry on the legacy of the Wojtyłian papacy.

In 2008 he welcomed Pope Benedict to Sydney for World Youth Day and half a million Catholics from around the world descended on Australia, notwithstanding the fears of many parents that they would be bitten by an assortment of wild animals not found in the cathedral cities of Europe. Poor Pope Benedict was not merely invited to pet a koala, which are at least cuddly, but to pat one of the pythons that normally live in the Australian rainforests. The pythons are sleepy animals and non-venomous but still a bit confronting to someone more accustomed to cute and furry alpine creatures. I don’t know whose idea the python was but I do know that the experience was seared into Pope’s Benedict’s memory of his trip to Australia.

In 2014 Pope Francis gave Cardinal Pell what is arguably the most difficult job in the Church. He was charged with cleaning up the financial corruption within the Curia. No doubt whole books will be written about his efforts in this space and the counter efforts of corrupt clerics and their friends in the Italian mafia. I once ran into Cardinal Pell at Santa Marta and he said, “my job today is to try and find out what happened to a missing 20 million Euro”! At least part of the answer to that question now seems to be that it went to keeping some femme fatale in luxury handbags and holidays! His sparring partners in the Curia called him ‘the kangaroo’.

At the Synods on the Family (2014-15) he defended the moral theology of St. John Paul II against moves to promote the very ideas which Veritatis splendor targeted. This battle for and against the moral teaching of the magisterium of John Paul II is far from over. When the history of this battle is written no historian will ever be in any doubt as to which side Pell was on. He believed in moral absolutes and in the indissolubility of sacramental marriage. His knowledge of history was such that he was acutely aware of the price that the Catholic martyrs in England and Scotland paid for their defence of this principle. He wasn’t about to exonerate Henry VIII or cheapen the blood of the English martyrs. He also believed in the authority of scripture and would not accept the fashionable idea that we can ignore whatever the Scriptures say that Christ said, because ‘no one had a tape-recorder in the first century’. In recent times Pell constantly referred to the concept of the “apostolic tradition” and argued that no bishop, pope or theologian, indeed no person of any kind, has the authority to teach anything to the faithful that is contrary to the apostolic tradition. To think otherwise is to reduce the Church to a political club.

When in 2018 he was imprisoned unjustly, the left-liberal establishment in the Australian media and in the organs of government in the state of Victoria (otherwise known as the People’s Socialist Republic of Victoria under the leadership of “Chairman Dan”) was jubilant. They had their arch-enemy in a prison cell. Many faithful Catholics responded by increasing the number of holy hours and fasts and rosaries and prayer vigils held for their “captain”. Such vigils were held not only held in Australia, but in London as well. Priests all over the world were offering Masses for him. Most of the Australian bishops were silent, perhaps fearful that if they said a word in his defense, they might be the next martyr. The lay “hobbits” however kept up the prayers and hundreds of letters of support arrived each day at his prison. Fr Frank Brennan SJ, a son of an Australian High Court judge and trained lawyer, wrote articles in the Cardinal’s defense. He had sat in on the trial and thought there had been a grave miscarriage of justice. Fr Brennan is not known for his support of many of the theological positions championed by Cardinal Pell, but he is a very competent lawyer, and while he may not be on board with all for which the cardinal stood, he was quite sure that the cardinal was not a child molester. When the matter finally reached the Australian High Court all seven judges were of the view that no reasonable jury could have convicted Cardinal Pell and he was released from prison.

The Cardinal and I were joint Patrons of the Australian Catholic Students Association. It is for me a matter of pride that all through the 405 days of the Cardinal’s imprisonment the students insisted on keeping the Cardinal’s name in a position of honor on their webpage, and as soon as he was free they invited him to speak at their next conference.

The Cardinal had a special affection for students. He clearly enjoyed the idealism and enthusiasm of their youth. One of his top concerns in recent years has been the situation of the faithful Catholics in China and the pro-democracy students in Hong Kong. The Vatican’s secret agreement with the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party is regarded by many as a shameful betrayal of the Chinese Catholics and especially of their martyrs. Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong, a man with the courage of five lions, has said of the agreement that it has ‘herded the Chinese faithful into a Communist cage’. With the death of Cardinal Pell, the Chinese Catholics have lost one of their strongest advocates on the stage of the world but they still have Cardinal Zen and the friends of both cardinals throughout the world.

No doubt Cardinal Pell is now enjoying the fellowship of other hero cardinals like Mindszenty, Sapieha, Wyszyński, Stepanic, Slypij, Todea and Kung, that is other men who kept on fighting until the coffin finally closed above them. It’s an elite club and one that many would not wish to join because the cost of admission is years of personal persecution. For these men the pallium with its crosses, and the Cardinal’s color of blood red, were no empty symbols.


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About Tracey Rowland 17 Articles
Tracey Rowland holds the St. John Paul II Chair of Theology at the University of Notre Dame (Australia) and is a past Member of the International Theological Commission. She earned her doctorate in philosophy from Cambridge University and her Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. She is the author of several books, including Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI (2008), Benedict XVI: A Guide for the Perplexed (2010), Catholic Theology (2017), The Culture of the Incarnation: Essays in Catholic Theology (2017), Portraits of Spiritual Nobility (Angelico Press, 2019), and Beyond Kant and Nietzsche: The Munich Defence of Christian Humanism (T&T Clark, 2021).

28 Comments

  1. Ms. Rowland,

    First off, my condolences on the loss of your great friend and spiritual mentor. Your tribute confirmed everything I thought and felt about Cardinal Pell from my shire in New Hampshire. And it was so uplifting to read about his personal witness under such great duress.

    Thank you for your great courage, clarity, charity, commitment, and sacrifice.

    God Bless,
    Jim Gill

  2. It is unfortunate that Pope Francis referred to those wooden statues thrown into the Tiber River as “Pachamamas.” I know he was used that term only because the Italian Press was identifying the statues that way. The reference to the “Pachamamas,” however, gave fuel to the narrative that idolatry took place during the prayer service in the Vatican Gardens of Otober 4, 2019. During that prayer service, though, the wooden statues were placed on a circular mat along with other symbols of the Amazon, which were identified by a Franciscan friar as symbols of earth, water, seeds, and martyrs. Unless you know that the people who bowed before these symbols in prayer were worshipping a goddess named Pachamama, it is rash judgment to say that idolatry took place. Yes, we must repudiate idolatry, but we must also avoid rash judgment, which is a violation of the eight commandment (see CCC 2477-2478). The Catholic writer, Dave Armstrong, posted an account of a discussion of the alleged Pachamama idolatry that took place on the pages of Catholic World Report:https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2020/03/dr-fastiggi-defends-pope-francis-re-pachamama-idolatry.html I don’t like to criticize Cardinal Pell so soon after his death. In so many ways his life was a great testimony to the truth of the faith. I also don’t like to criticize Dr. Rowland, who is a great theologian. Both of them, though, did not do adequate research into the alleged Pachamama idolatry, and their uncritcal reference to the wooden statues as “idols” is objectively speaking a violation of the eighth commandment. May Cardinal Pell rest in peace and may God have mercy on us all.

    • I apologize for the typos. Here is my comment with the typos corrected:

      It is unfortunate that Pope Francis referred to those wooden statues thrown into the Tiber River as “Pachamamas.” I know he was used that term only because the Italian Press was identifying the statues that way. The reference to the “Pachamamas,” however, gave fuel to the narrative that idolatry took place during the prayer service in the Vatican Gardens of October 4, 2019. During that prayer service, though, the wooden statues were placed on a circular mat along with other symbols of the Amazon, which were identified by a Franciscan friar as symbols of earth, water, seeds, and martyrs. Unless you know that the people who bowed before these symbols in prayer were worshipping a goddess named Pachamama, it is rash judgment to say that idolatry took place. Yes, we must repudiate idolatry, but we must also avoid rash judgment, which is a violation of the eighth commandment (see CCC 2477-2478). The Catholic writer, Dave Armstrong, posted an account of a discussion of the alleged Pachamama idolatry that took place on the pages of Catholic World Report:https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2020/03/dr-fastiggi-defends-pope-francis-re-pachamama-idolatry.html I don’t like to criticize Cardinal Pell so soon after his death. In so many ways his life was a great testimony to the truth of the faith. I also don’t like to criticize Dr. Rowland, who is a great theologian. Both of them, though, did not do adequate research into the alleged Pachamama idolatry, and their uncritical reference to the wooden statues as “idols” is objectively speaking a violation of the eighth commandment. May Cardinal Pell rest in peace and may God have mercy on us all.

      • They did not listen then
        They are not listening now

        https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/historic-child-abuse-silence-lambs-bobby-martin

        Historic Child Abuse! Silence of the Lambs…
        bobby martin
        Consultant / Facilitator/ Advisor

        Published Jan 16, 2017

        With the issue of historic child abuse currently being recognised in the wider society both in sports and within the context of the IICSA (Independant Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse), it is important to remember many victims who have now been caught up into the negative side of the criminal justice system. Being currently involved in supporting many victims of these atrocities, it is important to remember that some have had to for years hide or ignore (if that is ever really possible) the horrific events that took place and are now having to relive them. Many of these victims were wards of care (LAC) and the authorities were by all regards their “parents”. Not only was there sexual abuse but in some cases extreme violence and racism. Often these children’s cries would go unanswered or ignored, this in turn created an internal hostility to society and all that it represented, making them vulnerable to the elements of crime, drug abuse etc. I include the violence as the IICSA to some extent has ignored this. As there is evidence of some children being physically and racially abused to put fear into those being sexually abused and in some cases they would unnecessarily be sent to secure units and this would also be used as a threat to other children to comply to the whims of the perpetrators.

        But I raise this to ask several questions:

        What have today’s Social Workers learnt from these historic atrocities?
        How safe have local authorities made it for victims to come forward?
        How safe is it for current prisoners who themselves were victims to come forward?
        Does society owe these victims?
        What of the children of these victims who may also have been impacted?
        I believe all of these questions are important not just for professionals but for society as a whole. We often talk about the need for good parenting. We’ve even created parenting courses for those who we (society) believe may be struggling or require additional support/help. However when the parent is the government or local authority, what is our expectation? Often children can end up becoming like their parents. Even the ones that the despise..

        It is therefore important that the voices of those bruised, battered and slain be heard and not silenced by beaurocracy, fear and apathy. For professionals and society to learn they/it first have to listen despite how uncomfortable the listening may be, because I assure you it does not compare to that of the once innocent lamb. Only then can we truly measure if we’ve improved when we know and fully understand what we are comparing with. It’s rarely, if ever comfortable for a parent to be criticised or challenged about their parenting skills. This to can be said for corporate parents….

      • Along with Robert Fastiggi, I now apologize for all of the myriad typos I have inflicted over recent years on an unwary and captive audience of CWR. I also apologize for cognitive dissonance…

        After the garden party, about which thou doth protest, had not Pachamama been elevated to a niche in St. Peter’s Basilica (!!!) before a captive audience, how could she/it have been stolen from there and then baptized by immersion in the Tiber River, a forced conversion for which Pope Francis offered a public apology? Not an idle gesture, or is it spelled idol?

        Yours truly doth not protest the courteous apology, but doth have difficulty harmonizing the earlier and inseparable sequence of events with your pronouncement of sinful “rash judgment” by others who favor Tracey Rowland’s assessment of the preliminary Vatican Garden-party.

        And, as for possibly burning the idle/idol, in olden times the refusal to toss a pinch of ash (ass?) at an imperial idol was enough to merit martyrdom, about which Masses are said even today, possibly even in St. Peter’s Basilica.

        • Dear Peter,
          Thank you for your thoughts, but Cardinal Pell and Professor Rowland seemed to assume that the wooden statues were idols. Pope Francis, though, said these statues were in the Church of the Transpotina “without idolatrous intentions”:https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-10/pope-francis-comments-on-statues-stolen-from-church.html

          Idolatry involves the intention to worship something other than God as divine. Perhaps the placing of the statues in the Church of the Transpotina was ill-advised, but to call the statues idols is an example of “petitio principii” or begging the question. Unless people know the inward intention of those in the Vatican Garden ceremony of October 4, 2019, they should refrain from claiming that idol worship took place. This is simple justice. I am sure Cardinal Pell, and Professor Rowland are sincere in their desire to combat idolatry. This is why I said the accusation of idolatry is “objectively” a violation of the eighth commandment. I don’t claim to know the subjective culpability of those who call those wooden statues “idols.” All I am saying is that idolatry involves the intention to worship something other than God as divine. But neither Cardinal Pell nor Professor Rowland can claim to know the inner intentions of those who prostrated themselves and prayed before the symbols of earth, water, seed, and martyrs on a circular mat in the Vatican Gardens on October 4, 2019. To paraphrase Wittgenstein: “On what a person does not know, a person should remain silent.”

          • “On what a person does not know, a person should remain silent.” So, the advisor to the “hierarchical communion” of the Church, accountable to the incarnate Christ, is now Wittgenstein! Fluid synodality on parade?

            Pope Francis’ response to the dubia was…silence.

            Recalling that the dubia raised a question—a legitimate and formally presented question!—about the compatibility/contradiction between parts of Amoris Laetitia and all of Veritatis Splendor (VS)…Because VS addresses such themes as your appeal to what is “‘objectively’ a violation” (e.g., of the eighth commandment). Objectively? Moral absolutes distinct from, say, intention, or circumstances of proportionality and consequentialism, even? What’s all that stuff?

            Moreover, is the other larger issue of the Pachamama event less about “intention” than it is about scandal—to 1.2 billion Catholics left behind while “ill-advised” outreach (a vast understatement, just possibly!) is extended to controversial aspects of Amazonia? Any fine-grained and scholarly parsing of “intention,” “objectivity,” and “subjective culpability” sounds hollow if the book itself has been defenestrated…

            Undistracted by Wittgenstein, we do know that silence also betokens consent…”Qui tacet consentiret”: the maxim of the law is “Silence gives consent.”

            Far be it from me to untangle the silent goat entrails of the past six years since the dubia. But, why do we appeal to Wittgenstein when we have the same oracle from a higher, earlier, and much more populist oracle: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”–Disneyland’s smiley-button moralist, Jiminy Cricket!

      • Mr. Fastiggi:

        If any man, including in this particular case the Pontiff Francis, orchestrates a series of idolatrous actions among Catholic people and in Catholic Churches, and thinks he can get away with that because he has some sort of position power in the Church, then that man is kidding no one but himself.

        All necessary research into the First Commandment is accomplished when we are in 1st grade.

      • The absurd lengths to which some people continue first to justify, then to deny, the obvious idolatry of the Pachamama images that took place in the Vatican! May God, in his good time, put an end to this farcical, tragic and godforsaken papacy, and all its defenders and enablers.

      • “the wooden statues were placed on a circular mat along with other symbols of the Amazon, which were identified by a Franciscan friar as symbols of earth, water, seeds, and martyrs. Unless you know that the people who bowed before these symbols in prayer were worshipping a goddess named Pachamama, it is rash judgment to say that idolatry took place.”

        If they were bowing before symbols of earth, water, and seeds, they were committing idolatry regardless of the Pachamama statues. And what exactly were the statues symbolizing?

        • Dear Leslie,

          I think we need to recall the words of Scripture: “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” Bodily postures such as prostrations can take on different meanings. I personally believe the people were prostrate in prayer before the symbols of the Amazon region. They were asking God to bless the people of the Amazon and the Synod for the Amazon. The wooden statues of a pregnant woman symbolize life and fertility, which are gifts from God. Some, though, believe the statue of the pregnant woman was identified as “Our Lady of the Amazon” by the woman who presented the statue to the Holy Father. I could not quite make out her words, but I did hear something like “La Madonna de Amazon.” In any case, you interpret the prostrations differently. The key, though, is what was in the hearts of those participating in the bows and prostrations. Unless you have the praeternatural ability to read hearts and minds from afar, I think it’s best to leave the judgment of the intentions of those people to God.

          • Balderdash.

            You’ve just, in effect, announced that you wouldn’t dream of disapproving of any action anybody takes ever because you don’t have the preternatural ability to read hearts and minds from afar.

            I’ve seen pictures of that circular mat around which they were bowing. Know what I didn’t see on it? Even a single Christian symbol.

          • “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7).

        • Dear Leslie,

          We can certainly judge actions, but we must be careful about judging subjective culpability. This is basic Catholic moral theology. Idolatry by its very nature requires an intention to worship something other than God as divine. What took place in the Vatican Gardens on October 4, 2019 cannot be said to be idolatry unless one knows the heart and mind of the participants. If we follow CCC, 2478, we should first try to understand what took place in a favorable way rather than conclude there was idolatrous worship.

          • Wondering, here, if there’s anything in the Catechism about culpably cavalier behavior, defined as: “If you describe a person or their behavior as cavalier, you are criticizing them because you think that they do not consider other people’s feelings or take account of the seriousness of a situation.”

            Having in mind a pattern of: (a) silence toward the dubia, (b) acceptance of a Marxist crucifix from Peru, (c) repeated photo-ops for Fr. James Martin, and, oh yes (d) at the synod on youth, exchanging the crozier for a Wiccan stang, and then (e) Pachamama inside St. Peter’s Basilica.

            All “unintentional” informality when measured formally against sinful false images and “idolatry,” but what about simply offering papal self-imagery as more than a facilitator (like synodalized bishops), consider[ing] other people’s feelings or tak[ing] account of the seriousness of a situation.”

            The unintentional glitch, still real, is that while Pope Francis attends truly, yes truly, to persons directly in front of him (“I look people in the eye”)—something all of us can do better—might it be that there’s also a myopic imbalance, or worse, at the expense of the marginalized (the real “periphery”?) rest of the Church?

  3. Holy infant so meek and mild
    Its getting hard to smile
    So much has changed between you and I
    Since I was a child
    Ive had to see life through the eyes of a man
    And I’ve had to understand
    The garden of eden is a far off land
    And the fall is where we stand.

    ( words from a song I wrote and performed at the launch of The Melbourne Response )

    We are a covenant people
    The New Covenant is the promise that God makes with mankind that He will forgive sin and restore communion with those whose hearts believe in His Son, Jesus Christ.

    May Cardinal Pell rest in peace and the assurance of salvation through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and may God have mercy on us all.

  4. Dear Tracey,
    many thanks for your personal testimony and tribute to the great Cardinal George Pell. May the Lord be praised for the late Cardinal as a man of unwavering living faith and for his life devoted to Christ’s Church!
    Pax,
    Fr Sławomir Nowosad

        • Pope Francis today is acknowledging Jesus Christ as exemplar evangelist – “unsurpassed”. Jesus accepted homage from the pure of heart but I also see that He, Who is purest in heart, paid no such homage whether to images or ideas or otherwise.

          Just because you reference something, like Him or intentionality, it doesn’t make everything turn into right.

          He doesn’t just want intention, it has to show forth. So why is anyone praying before the false image? They’re trying to appease who? Xi Jinping?

          There is no worthy and sensible answer.

          Why practice a hypocrisy and then vainly defend it? And vainly have other defend it for you?

          As we are on the point, by the way, I think the word “unsurpassed” in relation to Jesus does not do justice.

          There are bad things happening here, see the quotation from PATHEOS. I believe the Pachamama affair will come to a bad end for those who do not repent, for those who persist in helping mislead them and for those who keep trying to engulf others in it. Fastiggi is ill-served by his own methods and sources.

          Repent.

          ‘ The ceremony was profoundly Catholic. The representative of REPAM recited a prayer of consecration of the Amazon Synod to St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Turkson (in Italian) spoke of the shared commitment of Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew to the care of the earth, our common home. Cardinal Humes (speaking in Portuguese) highlighted the importance of St. Francis of Assisi as the patron saint of ecology, and he then recited the Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi in Italian. A religious sister gave some reflections in Spanish, and she recited a passage from the prophet, Jeremiah. Another speaker (in Italian) referred to the Canticle of Creatures of St. Francis of Assisi and then recited Psalm 148, which bears a resemblance to St. Francis’s Canticle. ‘

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2020/03/dr-fastiggi-defends-pope-francis-re-pachamama-idolatry.html

          https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/253378/pope-francis-jesus-is-the-unsurpassed-model-of-evangelization

  5. ‘ White martyrdom ‘ – The 24 hour Passion meditations mention same too – how our Lord suffered more in one fiber of His Heart , than all of His external sufferings combined …
    The Precious Blood devotion from Nigeria also draws attention to same, including devotion to the Agonising Crucifix – Lord alone to know the place and extent of same in each soul ..and the prayers for the departed as well as their prayers likely blessing the living to be more in conformity to same for its reparative and transformative roles ..
    The Passion narrative mentions our Lord being prostrate on the ground – not to worship the rocks and trees around , but to lift up His children and creation , in the purity and Pure Love of the shed Blood –
    http://www.preghiereagesuemaria.it/DV-inglese/THE%20HOURS%20OF%20THE%20PASSION%20FINAL%20EDITION%202014.pdf

    Holy Father, in a similar role , well familiar with the Agony of the Eucharistic Heart of The Lord , in the oneness in the hearts ofall, including those who jourenyed from the Amazon, with symbols of gratitude as well as agonies of their hearts and lands and people – to lift it all up to The Lord, along with the Holy Father , our Lord and The Mother ..all of creation itself as does the Priests and people in every Holy Mass .. in a ceremony in a garden consecrated to St.Michael and St.Joseph by the Holy Father ..

    May The Precious Blood continue to bring into hearts the Light of The Spirit to repent together what may not be of the Spirit ..
    Likely too that the Cardinal could have suffered from ‘salt ‘ deficiency – not of the conventional sodium kind but of Magnesium – which can lead to more fears , anxiety, depression etc: , as effects of stress and jail terms of previous years too .. the hip fracture , heart attack all can be sequels of that deficiency too ..
    hoping that the aging as well as all ages would look into same , which is easily correctable also – an inexpensive easy format is magnesum chloride flakes from the ocean ( sold on line ) applied as salt water massage and left on the body for a while …

    Hoping that those caring for the Holy Father have looked into same as well as role of collagen,sublingual b12 etc: in healing joints and ligaments .. that he would be with his beloved Church for many more years ..blessed to see the Reign of the Divine Will with its peace and goodness all around..even in lands under Bishop/Patriarch dressed in white , yet in need of more True Light !
    Mercy !

    https://theconversation.com/two-orthodox-christian-countries-at-war-heres-an-explanation-of-the-faith-tradition-shared-by-russia-and-ukraine-179270

  6. Dear Tracey,

    Thank you for this stellar tribute to the great Cardinal Pell. I did not know him as you did, though I followed his trajectory as best I could, and am grateful for your beautifully crafted personal account. A stalwart defender of the faith, her champion, Cardinal Pell fought the good fight all the way home. May he rest in peace.

    Sincerely,
    Martha Rice Martini

4 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. En souvenir du Cardinal Pell
  2. Remembering Cardinal Pell – seamasodalaigh
  3. Remembering Cardinal Pell – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman
  4. Remembering Cardinal Pell - JP2 Catholic Radio

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