We are five minutes overtime, and half a century of anticipation is hanging like a huge. black cloud in the air, but suddenly the three Commissioners presiding over the Pell hearings appear. We bow, they bow, and then the trio take their seats.
It is worth remembering that there were three who died on crosses stuck in the hill on that fateful (Good) Friday more than 2000 years ago.
Each of the three were freedom fighters.
One, Christ, declared that he had come to save mankind.
Pell is unconcerned with such trivial matters, and is here to save only his own skin.
Counsel assisting leads off by giving us the background to today’s hearing, and tells us that it the Commission’s preference was to examine George in Oz, but it was not to be.
She asks him what his current job is.
Prefect to the Economy here in the Vatican he replies.
It is a position established in 2014, for the purpose of providing Pell with a Vatican pasport, and therefor diplomatic immunity, not that he will ever admit to that.
Instead he describes himself as akin the Treasurer of the Vatican, but denies that he is the number three man behind the hidden walls.
The grub who first hand witnesses have told me drinks $1700 a bottle wine for lunch on a weekday without batting an eyelid takes the oath, and then tells us his concern is properly managing money donated to the church so that they may redirect it to helping the poor.
He is asked whether the Vatican has set aside a fund for the payment of reparation to victims of child sexual abuse. They have not. That is the responsibility of the local archdioceses he tells us.
The arrogance of this man is astounding. By his demeanour and the manner in which he is answering the early questions he is clearly demonstrating that he regards these proceedings as beneath him, and that he is here only because he deigns to be, not because he is compelled to attend.
Pell is asked whether the various nations of the Catholic Church have given advice to Pope Francis in relation to a global approach to dealing with child sexual abuse.
He says that the Indian and Filipino churches have done so, but he has not been involved.
Pell is asked about a committee convened by the Pope – a Papal Council of Cardinals – to address issues relating to sexual abuse. In essence Pell tells us that he knows 2/3rd’s of sweet f*ck all about the Council, and doesn’t appear to give a flying f*ck.
He is asked if he is aware of a commission recently convened by the Vatican in relation to the reporting of child sexual abuse. Pell agrees that the commission recommended that those suspected or accused of having knowledge of abuse should deal with the matters according the law of their native land.
Counsel Assisting tells Pell that child sex abuse in the Catholic Church has been a problem for centuries, and that in recent years inquiries have been convened across the glove to investigate the horrendous abuses perpetrated by those who claim to love God and be the shepherds of his flock on earth.
Rather than simply nod humbly and reply yes, Pell sneers and tells the Commision that he believes that these inquiries have been convened not just into the Catholic Church, but rather into churches of all denominations.
What he says is strictly correct, but the way he says it makes you want to spew.
Pell is an absolute f*cking c*nt.
Make no mistake whatsoever about that.
It is obvious that the Commission wants to nail him to a cross and leave him standing alone at the top of Calvary Hill.
Even Barabbas wouldn’t keep this bloke company.
But I don’t like their chances.