George Pell case: 4444 victims are owed our understanding, by Jack the Insider.
To some, the Pell verdict is the story. But, in reality, it is only a tiny fraction of it.
Many commentators continue to express the view that Pell is innocent. They are entitled to their opinions, but they carry little weight.
Certainly not the weight of a criminal conviction that has been subject to and upheld on appeal.
In the to-and-fro around the verdict and the subsequent appeal, what is missing is genuine focus.
Thirty years, 4444 victims:
There is a fixation on one crime in a literal crime wave that is one of the darkest chapters of our social history.
The 4444 figure is an unforgettable one. That is the number the Catholic Church in Australia acknowledged as victims of child sexual abuse over a thirty-year period. One must imagine that figure is higher given that many victims have not reported and many never will.
We need to look wider, take a more panoramic view of what took place and why some dioceses or geographical areas of the Church had little or no offending while others like the Ballarat or the Maitland-Newcastle dioceses became veritable epidemics of child sex offending.
Or why some Catholic orders featured catastrophic levels of child abuse that went ignored for decades while others did not.
Even after three years of a Royal Commission, the answers are not immediately available.
In seminaries and novitiates, young men entered and had their psycho-sexual development frozen within the confines of an institution that shunned any discussion or consideration of human sexuality.
It is no surprise that these desires continued to exist at a teenage level. In many cases these desires were acted out on children in religious environments or at schools with little or no consequence.
The media has also strenuously avoided the obvious problem. Why would this hit the Catholic Church? Because becoming a priest is an obvious profession for a young gay man, as it provides an acceptable explanation for a lack of interest in girls etc. The problem is so pernicious that there are commonplace rumors that the Catholic HQ in Rome is run by a gay mafia. Is anyone surprised at the outcomes?
But in the narrative, gays are good and Christians are bad. Hence the curiously incomplete reporting.
As for Pell, the evidence is dubious and the sentence may yet get overturned. Pell was certainly a target of the administrative state for other reasons. Maybe some poor molested kid, perhaps under coaching, accused the wrong guy?