Vale Australia’s other Saint

by PAUL COLLITS – AS SOMEONE who has written over fifty thousand words on George Cardinal Pell, I didn’t expect to be writing any more. 

The Cardinal’s sudden and unexpected passing in Rome, after a routine operation, has been a great sadness and a shock to us all. Only a week or so after the passing of the saintly Pope Benedict, whose death was less of a surprise. 

Cardinal Pell, of course, will never be an “official” saint. That would be a step too far for the Church of today, quivering in the face of the twitter mob.

Since the Cardinal’s complete exoneration in 2020 by the High Court of Australia – I suppose our legal system has to get something right every so often – the Pell Wars have gone into a quiet phase.

His many enemies didn’t know quite what to do after he was released from prison after the trumped-up charges finally met a court that saw it all for what it was.


There were a couple of truly cringeworthy attempts at self-justification, most notably from the geriatric ABC hack Barrie Cassidy and (inevitably) from the Premier of the once great State of Victoria.

The deeply mortified Louise Milligan dusted herself off and set her sights on Christian Porter. Another man she set out to destroy.

Pell’s case was one of the greatest injustices in Australia’s history (admittedly, with rich competition).

George Pell was set up. The perfect mark for the feminist grifters.

The Victorian post-modernist legal system was set up in the 2000s by Rob Hulls, then Attorney-General and now (inevitably) settled with a sinecure at RMIT University (where else?), and he did his job well.

By the time the moral panic about Catholic pedophile priests took shape, all of the pieces were in place. Social media actors. Priest-chasing lawyers like Vivian Waller, who was owed a favour by Julia Gillard who she helped shoe-horn into parliament in the 1990s.

Not to mention ex-Catholic feminists with points to prove, embedded throughout the publishing-academic-bureaucratic-industrial complex. Endlessly embittered victims groups on the prowl.

The Cardinal was convicted by kangaroo courts, and achieved justice (at five minutes to midnight) only when he finally encountered a court (outside Victoria, of course) that recognised rules of evidence, logic, basic legal principles and common sense.

The High Court judges made minced meat of the Victorian coup attempt.

The lynch mob cottoned onto a patsy, Witness J. Just about everybody in Victoria knows who he is. We still cannot name him. Chancer? Liar? Victim of establishment pressure? Deluded soul? All of the above? His dreamy brown eyes appealed to Louise Milligan. That works! The fembots were on board.


Pell’s response to his incarceration on false charges was exemplary, understated, proportionate and very Pell.

His prison diaries make compelling reading, though they are utterly without bitterness. They are the words of an innocent man. And, typically of the man, they are the words of a pragmatic soldier of Christ.

He talks cricket, footy and the sufferings of his fellow prisoners. To whose sufferings he was acutely and instinctively attracted. He was a journeyman Christian who was also one of the truly great sons of the Church. And he did so effortlessly.

The Cardinal’s insouciance was revealed in his answer to a question posed by Andrew Bolt after his release from prison, noting the apparent lack of support from the Australian Catholic Church hierarchy for his cause. He simply said, “that’s life”.

The cringeworthy response to his release from prison from the Church was, and remains, a disgrace. What will they say and do now that he has passed?

What will become of the Cardinal’s reputation after his passing? Will the Pell Wars be resurrected? It still matters what happened to this innocent Australian prelate.

Our debased public square allowed an innocent man and a great Australian to be sent to jail on ludicrous charges. Does this matter to us?

The average Aussie punter will, no doubt, have a view. Put it on social media. Create a mob.

When the great questions of the age get decided by the uninformed ideologues, one fears for the future.

We have cause to pause and think when a moral panic about pedophile priests – about two per cent of serving priests, and mostly now in the distant past – can create a political environment in which politicians malign the innocent.

ScoMo and Bill Shorten should be pilloried forever over this.

I was in attendance in Penola in 2010 when St Mary Mackillop was canonised. The presiding Bishop, almost inevitably, chose to adorn his face in Aboriginal paint.


Mother Mary of the Cross, Australia’s first saint, might well be sympathetic to Cardinal Pell’s story. She, too, was the victim of malign voices and charges from the establishment. I do not expect that Mother Mary would have ever offered the middle finger to anyone, but she well might have.

Tony Abbott, not an unbiased source, to be sure, suggests that George Pell’s reputation will only grow following his passing.

In his measured and eloquent, albeit brief, statement, he marked the Cardinal’s passing and his endlessly patient and accepting response to his legal travails. 

In Mr Abbott’s statement, he called Cardinal Pell a “great leader”.

“As an ecclesiastical and cultural conservative, he attracted praise and blame from all the expected quarters,” Mr Abbott said.

“His incarceration on charges that the High Court ultimately scathingly dismissed was a modern form of crucifixion; reputationally at least a kind of living death.

“His prison journals should become a classic: a fine man wrestling with a cruel fate and trying to make sense of the unfairness of suffering.

“In his own way, by dealing so equably with a monstrous allegation, he strikes me a saint of our times.

“Like everyone who knew him I feel a deep sense of loss but am confident that his reputation will grow and grow that he will become an inspiration for the ages.”

Abbott, of course, suffered for his visit to Pell in prison, in particular from the catholic (small c chosen) Premier of the State that did the most to destroy Pell. In which he was heavily implicated, of course.

Andrews was a key figure in setting up and sustaining the #MeToo state in Victoria.

The Cardinal, of course, will never be an “official” saint. That would be a step too far for the Church of today, quivering in the face of the twitter mob and those who choose to destroy it.


But for those who recognise what sainthood actually means, there is little doubt that the pearly gates entry scheme would not be demurring the kindest admittance of St George of Australia.

I think that St Mary Mackillop would approve, and offer our late, great Cardinal a very friendly hug on arrival.

At least the late George won’t have to suffer the ignominy of a civil trial trumped up by the father of the late “victim” who claimed that it was all bollocks. No civil trials in heaven.

Not all saints are martyrs. All martyrs are saints, though. The case can be made that George Pell is a modern Christian martyr.

The epithets of the mediocre, embittered, secular commenters – divisive, controversial, and the rest – will count for little in Heaven. 

They still resent him. They always will.PC

Paul Collits

7 thoughts on “Vale Australia’s other Saint

  1. Paul, I don’t know if you are trying to rewrite Catholocism to suit your narrative, but I was under the impression that to become a Saint in the Catholic Church, one had to perform at least 2 miracles. I am not aware of even 1 that George Pell performed.

  2. Yes he was innocent of the case that ended up in the High Court. But he was not innocent of looking the other way and moving priests around who went on to commit abuse of children.

    1. I agree. He put proptection of the Institution before the people, in his handling of sexually abusing priests. Without people there is no institution, so the people should be the priority! His continued philosophy would have killed the Church in the same way that Leftism by those in leadership control putting themselves first is killing the NSW Liberal Division. The people are leaving in droves!

      1. If they can offer such evidence, it will be for the first time. We are waiting for it – but not for ever.

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