Tuesday 7 April 2020

George Pell is Free

Photo from walk in the neighbourhood.
I went to an all-girls high school, but in my final year I met boys from all-boys schools through the teenage pro-life movement. Two or three were committed fans of the musician James Brown, who was still in prison when I met them. When he was freed on parole, I recall one or two of them running around exuberantly hollering "James Brown is free! James Brown is free!"

Well, Cardinal Pell, thank God, is now free, but I'm not running around. In fact, I feel angry. 

Perhaps the difference is that James Brown, a difficult if talented character, had received a gift (i.e. parole) whereas Cardinal Pell has been unjustly traduced, imprisoned and forbidden to say Mass for 400 days. In Brown's case, the police and courts did what they had to do. In Pell's case too many police and justices were political/ideological activists or crooks. Also, boisterous teenage boys who've seen their friends manhandled by police have thought processes different from those of middle-aged women. 

Above all it's hard to be happy when the whole child sex abuse crisis is so sad and so prevalent and there's so much hypocrisy around it. The number one sex abuser in the western world is not "Father Joe" but either Mum's New Boyfriend or Creepy Family Friend/Relative and there are so many of them. It's terrible that Catholic priests as a group are scapegoated for child sex abuse, but it's worse that the child sex abuse happens. Cardinal Pell is free, but many children in Britain are still locked up in quarantine with Mum's New Boyfriend. 

Well, enough of that. Let's just be happy for Pell and continue the fight for children's health and happiness however we can. 

Architectural detail plus pigeon.
Meanwhile lockdown continues. Yesterday morning I dragged myself away from the COVID-19 news to dig up a few dandelions before work. I began work at 10 and wrote two articles before lunchtime. The second article involved translation work, and it is a delightful story about an Italian priest who defied the police and the mayor to continue a 300 year old procession tradition, even if it was just him and one elderly parishioner following behind. Okay, it's sad that a petty mayor in Italy is persecuting a priest---but Don Camillo lives! 

At lunch I dug up more dandelions. There is definitely a dandelion theme in my lockdown. (I predict, by the way, that when All This is over there will be thousands of works of art--novels, memoirs, films, painting and sculptures--on the theme of "My Lockdown." I will set mine in Poland and  have a dandelion motif on the plates.) Afterwards I made and ate the Facebook video omelette sandwich people are posting and went to work on my third article. 

I hoped to get that done by 6 PM, but I couldn't find a political philosopher to comment in time, so I'm still waiting. Sometime after 6 PM, I pulled out a dandelion and B.A. and I went for a walk around the neighbourhood. We visited our potential future neighbours, too, one of whom was a lady missionary/teacher in India. Then we found a shortcut that really was a shortcut and came home.
Georgian dream house .

I made dinner, we watched as much of the Tintin movie as we could stand, and then we checked the news and discovered that the Prime Minister had been admitted to ICU. We found this very disturbing, and B.A. said the Holy Rosary on the P.M.'s behalf. The P.M. has not had a stellar personal life, so this was real kindness and concern on B.A.'s part.  

I edited a student's short story. How does one explain to a young author how one's addition or subtraction makes it better? Even when I was nine I went bananas if a teacher messed around with my stuff. However, I made an attempt. 

When I was done, I was cross-eyed with sleepiness, but I called my mother. I think she was making dinner. She had discovered another flower growing in her garden, and I was faintly envious, as nothing pretty has appeared in my garden since the daffodils bloomed. 

Handy shortcut home.
I prayed for both Pell and the Prime Minister before I went to sleep. When I woke up B.A. told me that Pell had been acquitted and the Prime Minister was still alive, so that was a good start to the new pandemic day. 


  1. Thank you so much for your prayers! Am praying for your Prime Minister too - please God he will pull through! So thankful our beloved Cardinal is free at last and his innocence vindicated. He has borne it all so bravely.

    1. Yes, Cardinal Pell seems to have performed a kind of prison ministry, just like pro-life prisoners of conscience I've met! Such good news during such a difficult and sad corona-week!