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Understanding the Rage Against Cardinal Pell

Cardinal Pell

As the culmination of years in criminal law proceedings, Tuesday the High Court acquitted Cardinal Pell of child sex abuse charges, allowing Australia’s best known Catholic to be released from prison.

On the unanimous judgement reached, Tony Abbott was most felicitous: “I think the judgement speaks for itself.”

Pell’s innocence aside, the left-wing rage against him–which has continued despite its divorce from any semblance of reality–raises some pressing questions.

The most obvious of which: why does the left harbor such hatred and opposition to this particular man? Because that is all the continued objections against Cardinal Pell come down to, hatred. In case you needed any reminder or were unaware as to the scope of this left-wing animus:

A left-wing explanation of the rage

A leftist, processing inconvenient events more coherently than the likes of Clementine Ford, might respond that Cardinal Pell symbolises child sex abuse. Even if he was innocent, Cardinal Pell is associated in the public mind with these abominable crimes. As such, left-wing opposition to Cardinal Pell reflects a detestation of pedophile crimes along with sympathy for victims, however honest but misaimed.

This explanation would be found severely wanting in credibility. Even so, it has some truth: indignation against Cardinal Pell does manifest the feminine ethic of care, seen in the trumpeted need for ‘believing survivors’, no matter what evidence or reason dictates.

But let us not seriously entertain for one minute the notion that progressives are abhorred by child sex abuse, in of itself. When important steps for the normalisation of pedophilia were undertaken, leftists acquiesced in silence. Likewise, they have raised nothing in objection to ‘MAPS’; nor against circumstances that might give rise to the grooming of children, Drag Queen story hour. And for all the tough talk against the Catholic Church, have we heard one prominent progressive denounce the Jewish child sex abuse crisis–epitomised by Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein, Woody Allen and others? Of course, not a word; left-wing people have no principled concern for protecting children from abuse.

A centre-right explanation of the rage

Andrew Bolt has been one of the more articulate and devoted defenders of Cardinal Pell, exposing his legal proceedings as a witch hunt without cause. For that, he ought to be commended.

Regarding reasons for this witch hunt, Bolt has been accurate to the extent of what he has said. On his Tuesday night show, Bolt decried the persecution of Cardinal Pell, resulting from being a “conservative and Catholic” disliked by the left. This is true while trite: we know by now the left hates conservatives and Catholics. Fully accounting for the unique rage against Cardinal Pell, requires us to be more original than “the left hates conservatives and targets us unfairly.”

An alternative explanation of the rage

Besides the scant explanatory value subsisting in a left-wing case, and the passable explanation of the centre-right, what else elucidates the rage against Cardinal Pell? It would seem that progressives hostile to Cardinal Pell–especially those continuing in steadfast enmity–are driven by two key motivations.

First, they seek to direct their own personal feelings of guilt ensuing from rejecting the moral law, onto Cardinal Pell. Take for instance the individual whose tweets were posted above, Clementine Ford, who appears emblematic of the anti-Pell vitriol. This woman has undertaken two abortions, which in 2009 she claimed were “really, really easy” decisions.

This is unlikely true, given abortion revolts against the deepest nature of Clementine Ford–as a woman. As put by early feminist Susan B. Anthony,

It (abortion) will burden her conscience in life; it will burden her soul in death.

While Ford is hurting deep down, out of prideful reasons, she is unable to reconcile with this reality and seek help. Then, she naturally lashes out at those bringing attention to this truth: the Catholic Church, which consistently condemns abortion. As a prominent Catholic, Cardinal Pell presents the perfect and identifiable figure through which moral guilt, presenting as anti-Catholic hatred, can be expressed.

Second, there seems to be a fantasy among leftists that Cardinal Pell is evil, as are all other people purporting a commitment to self-sacrifice, religion and virtue. How many times have we heard it stressed that Cardinal Pell was “the third most powerful man in the Vatican?” Enough, certainly to reveal a chimera which leftists seek to uncover as reality.

If progressives can prove the dictum of Richard Dawkins–no matter the appearance, all people including priests are entirely selfish actors–this would go a long way in aiding to rationalise their libertine lives.

If every religious person is found to be lying, stating one thing publicly and belying same principles in private, this drastically undermines the integrity of traditional morality. Therefore, granting further license to those involved in abortion, divorce and promiscuity to proceed free from compunction.

Which will not work out, as seen in the case of Clementine Ford. Nonetheless, the left-wing ambition of securing access to guilt free pleasure remains.

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