It’d be a joke at this point, if it was funny, about how widespread the Catholic Church is stacked with hypocritical, homophobic, pedophiles.
Yet, here we are again.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, until recently the head of the Catholic Church in the country, and a ” top adviser to Pope Francis who was in charge of Vatican finances until he was accused, was found guilty of five charges of “historical child sexual offenses” that go back decades,” reports NPR.
Pell was found guilty in December but a gag order was placed on the case because he was originally scheduled to be tried in a second sexual assault case that was later dropped and the gag order was officially lifted Tuesday.
Pell was one of the Catholic Church’s biggest critics of Ireland’s passage of marriage equality.
In a 2015 interview in the Catholic Herald UK: Pell [referring to the fact the Church had had to surrender its rights in Catholic adoption agencies in Britain and Northern Ireland], “Urged young people to get involved in political life and warned the laity against fleeing from the world and instead becoming preoccupied with church services and tasks of the priesthood.”
“We don’t need watered down and uncertain priests, and we don’t need lay faithful who seem determined to fill the gap,” he said.
“Same-sex marriage votes,” Pell concluded, “shows society is abandoning Christian foundation.”
A consistent opponent of marriage equality, the venomous Pell repeatedly referred to same-sex marriage in the most pernicious terms.
In a piece he penned for the Catholic News World entitled”Document on Marriage” that was essentially an Op-ed, Pell said, “Marriage is a natural institution whereby a man and a woman give themselves to each other for life in an exclusive sexual relationship that is open to procreation. It is a union that is publicly recognised, honoured and supported because of its unique capacity to generate children and to meet children’s deepest needs for the love and attachment of both their father and their mother. In the words of Professor Robert George of Princeton University:
“Marriage is the community formed by a man and a woman who publicly consent to share their whole lives, in a type of relationship oriented toward the begetting, nurturing and educating of children together. This openness to procreation, as the community’s natural fulfilment, distinguishes this community from other types.”1
By contrast, although the community formed by a homosexual couple may involve genuine caring, affection and commitment to one another, it is not an inherently procreative community, because their sexual relationship is not designed to generate children. Marriage is not simply a loving, committed relationship between two people, but a unique kind of physical and emotional union which is open to the possibility of new life.”
With this verdict, Pell has the dubious distinction of being the senior most Catholic official convicted of sexual offenses.
Ironically, his conviction comes on the heels of Pope Francis’ Vatican summit on the problem of sexual abuse in the church.