Phil Lawler defends Convicted Child Molester George Pell

Phil Lawler: The preposterous case against Cardinal Pell (Feb 27, 2019)
Mr. Lawler is a schismatic who has rejected the authority of Pope Francis, calling him a “Lost Shepherd” who is “misleading his flock”. He has also rejected the authority of the body of Bishops, saying: “Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful”. Those quotes are from the titles of two books by Lawler.

Lawler claims it is unlikely two choir boys could slip away from the group. Has Phil never met a child in his life? That is the modus operandi of all boys that age, slipping away and getting into mischief. In this case, drinking altar wine.

Lawler claims: “He said it was red wine. But the only altar wine in use was white.” Well, maybe the white wine was in a dark colored bottle. They were drinking from the bottle. The boy may have been mistaken about the color of the wine, or he may have misremembered. Getting details wrong in old memories is very common. It is ridiculous to respond to a mistake in a memory from 20 plus years earlier, the memory of a then-13 year old boy as if to say, “Ah-ha! You said red wine, but it was really white wine! Liar!”

Lawler says: “But the cardinal was invariably outside the cathedral after ceremonies, greeting the congregation. When he did return to the sacristy, he was always—always—accompanied by other priests.” Wow, what a lie. I’m a life-long Catholic, and I’ve been to innumerable Masses. The word “always” does not apply to how priests and even bishops say Mass. A priest might usually be at the doors of the Church, to greet people as they leave, but only usually. And the idea that the bishop was “always — always” with other priests is absurd. Does he never leave to use the bathroom? Does he never step aside for a private conversation with a member of his flock? Does he never step away to use the phone? He was “always” with other priests? Not believable.

You know what is believable? A bishop hears a noise in the sacristy, so he steps away from everyone else to see what is going on. He finds himself alone with two boys, and with some advantage over them as they have been caught doing something wrong. So he abuses them. Read these other allegations against Pell. It all fits.

Then Lawler offers this absurd defense: “He claimed that the cardinal parted his vestments and molested them. But the vestments that the cardinal wore did not allow for the movement the alleged victim described.” Was the bishop (he was not a Cardinal at the time) wearing a chastity belt? How do Bishops use the bathroom? The idea that his garments would not allow sexual abuse is ridiculous.

Why is Phil Lawler defending a convicted child molester? Is it really so hard to imagine that a person with conservative views could commit grave sins? Is the confessional only for liberals? This reminds me of liberals defending Bill Clinton, despite his grave transgressions with women. It reminds me of conservatives defending Donald Trump, despite his grave transgressions with women.

But Catholicism is not a political party; it is the path of salvation. It is the way of Jesus Christ. And if you can’t condemn someone for abusing children, because he has the same views on controversial topics in religion as you hold, then you are not following Jesus Christ at all.

Lawler is a schismatic, who is automatically excommunicated for the sin of public formal schism. He also should be denied Communion based on Canon 915, as he is obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin by his public attacks on the Pope. But defending a convicted child molester is a severe abandonment of the moral teachings of Christ. Jesus did not defend the conservative Pharisees, and only criticize the liberal Sadducees; nor vice versa.

— Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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10 Responses to Phil Lawler defends Convicted Child Molester George Pell

  1. Kevin Wilkinson says:

    Dear Ron
    I am from Ballarat, Australia – the town where Cardinal Pell comes from and the town where some of the allegations against him were supposed to have happened. In fact, Ballarat was one of the worst places in Australia for sex abuse in the Church. It occurred under the “leadership” Bishop Mulkearns.
    It seems to me that you have let your displeasure with Phil Lawler get in the way of doing what is required (the research) to make up your own mind on the matter. Just because Lawler is a “schismatic” does not mean that his views can be automatically discounted on every issue. The Pell case is a serious issue that deserves closer attention than you have given it. As an Australian and faithful Catholic, I am very worried about what has transpired with the Cardinal Pell case. Not being a local, you are obviously unaware of the depth of anti-Catholic bias that is out there in the Australian media. Cardinal Pell has been HATED because he is a conservative and has had the courage to actually stand up for the Church’s teachings. Unfortunately, he is also not a good media performer so he comes across as a bit arrogant and cold. I am not going to provide you with the reasons why I believe that the conviction is a miscarriage of justice because those reasons are clearly out there if you wish to look for them. Virtually none of the Church faithful and leaders (liberal OR conservative) in Australia believe that he was guilty. Some prominent Churchmen like Fr Frank Brennan SJ are no allies of Cdl Pell but they are deeply worried (he published a very interesting article which I can send you if you are interested). Furthermore, the legal profession is also very worried because it has been quite evident that he was never afforded the possibility of a fair trial. There are some peculiarities in the local legal system here that worked against him. Nevertheless, his case will be appealed and I am highly confident that the conviction will be overturned. Still, his reputation will remain in tatters.

    • Ron Conte says:

      First of all, it has nothing to do with Lawler. I formed my opinion before I read anything from him on this topic. Second, conservatives abuse children, just as liberals do. Being a conservative does not make him immune from this type of sin. See the list of allegations in the previous post. There’s a long pattern of behavior with Pell, and it cannot be attributed to media bias.

  2. Kevin Wilkinson says:

    I apologise for my last post… I lost my cool for a moment. I do think you are mistaken on this matter. I agree that it has nothing to do with being conservative or liberal. I never said anything of the sort in my earlier post – you have just assumed that was my reasoning for defending Pell. I have been around long enough to recognise that we are all sinners – including me and I have had plenty of moral challenges through life. We will part ways here, but I would encourage you to look into it. FYI – Bernie Swartz is the religion reporter of the Age newspaper. If you knew him and the anti-Catholic bias of the Age newspaper you would not be so quick to accept just one side of the story. You say that there is a long pattern of behavior from Pell – but we only have unsubstantiated allegations. In fact, the judge in the last trial acknowledged that the offending of which he was convicted was a ‘one off’ – there has never been the typical patterns associated with sexual abuse with respect to Pell.

  3. Joshua says:

    Mr. Conte, I don’t want to get into an argument, but I would like to ask that, when you’ve got the time, to please watch this video on YouTube from The World Over Live. Here is the link:

    I still don’t think that the man is guilty. Of course, I could be wrong. The only ones who know the truth for certain are Cardinal Pell, the accusers, and God.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I know he’s guilty. I’ve read what his accusers have to say. It’s exactly like real disclosures of abuse. It’s exactly the pattern of behavior that so many abusers show.

  4. Joshua says:

    But did you at least watch the video?

  5. Joshua says:

    Do you watch the part where one of the witnesses admitted that they lied? I suggest that you watch the whole thing from start to finish.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I watched the whole video. One of the two victims recanted his accusation some years ago. Usually victims do not come forward publicly at all. It is very difficult for victims to disclose abuse. So it’s understandable that a victim might recant his testimony, so as to not have to endure the scrutiny of the media, the police, and the courts. Nothing in that video was at all convincing to me. I’m writing another post on the topic.

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