Cardinal Pell to Stand Trial for Child Abuse
Cardinal Pell is the leader of Australia’s Catholic Church. Pope Francis made him the Church’s #3 man, putting him in charge of its finances and making him a key advisor on Vatican reform. The Australian court just declared that there is sufficient evidence to try Cardinal Pell for abusing children. These charges only concern his own abuse of children. Nothing was said about his covering up the crimes of others. But since Australia’s Royal Commission found that child abuse and its cover-up was widespread in the Catholic Church, it is likely that its leader was involved.
Major media such as the Washington Post and the N.Y. Times (here and here) covered the story. Much of the religious press covered it as well, including RNS. Evangelical media, such as The Christian Post and Christianity Today did not cover it. The Catholic Press obviously covered it. The editor of CRUX, John Allen, covered it himself (here). At the end of his story he added, “Editor’s note: this story has been updated to reflect the comments of Vatican spokesman Greg Burke.) Pope Francis hired Greg Burke from Fox News to head up his propaganda machine; he has extensive experience covering up messes. I assume the other reporters also received the Vatican briefing, but failed to mention it.
All the coverage emphasized that many of the charges against Cardinal Pell were dropped. None of the articles made any attempt to bring Pope Francis into the story. This is remarkable since he chose Pell despite objections about his history of child abuse. Pope Francis was recently forced to apologize for his passionate defense of a Chilean bishop, who he also promoted despite widespread protests concerning child abuse. The pope’s record, going at least as far back as his position as archbishop of Argentina, is consistently bad on the subject of child abuse. But none of the articles mentions that.