/ Saturday Magazine / Current Affairs / Macca’s Statement on George Pell’s Conviction


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“I am going to depart a little from our usual show run today in what has been a momentous week for justice in Victoria and Australia.

I want to talk a little about the sending to remand prison this week of Cardinal George Pell prior to his sentencing. George Pell is just one of too many people who have abused their status and positions of unchallenged authority to abuse the most vulnerable in our society, our children, and our future.

Just as Jesus had 12 apostles, so did Victorian justice on December 11 when the virtues of our Justice system saw a jury of 12 of his peers find George Pell guilty of five serious sexual offences against young boys who were in the care of the church , his chuch. He sexually abused them, he abused his position of trust and you know what he thought he got away with it.

George Pell will appeal his conviction and that is his right, but it is also my right as a survivor of child sexual abuse in a religious institution to speak for myself and to speak up for all those who don’t get heard, who are not believed, who the system ignores and who fear they will never see or receive justice

I took on my old school over my sexual abuse and I was ultimately vindicated. The man who did this to me was too gutless to face his crimes in court, he took his own life. Like many institutions they did nothing when I reported it all those years ago, but I got justice. Its a tough gig, but I stood up and demanded to be heard and i got justice for me and others. I have endured the cost of that all of my life and will continue to pay the cost of that, as do the many thousands of victims and survivors across our communities. But I did it because what happened to me was wrong and standing up and being counted is and was the right thing to do.

Today, George Pell is in solitary confinement for 23 hours, he will be in despair, he will be frightened, he will be lonely, he may well be considering self harm , well George welcome to the world of child abuse. That is what we the survivors have had to endure all of our lives as a result of the abuse and breach of trust by criminals like you

I don’t care what happens to George Pell as long as its justice, he believes in God, so he says, and accordingly he will meet his maker one day and will have to answer for his crimes to a greater authority.

I cried this week when George Pell’s conviction was made public, I cried for the two boys who were abused by George Pell , one of them who is no longer with us, I cried for the men and women I knew and know who were also abused in other places and are no longer with us and there are many, I also cried for a justice system that did its job, I did not cry for George Pell . He deserves to rot in prison till the end of his life.

That would be a just sentence as he has destroyed at least two lives, so an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is I think fair. George Pell will understand this better than most

I want all of you listening now to spare a moment to think of the victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, think about how it might feel to have your trust abused, the confusion you feel and the fact that the system in almost every case works against you and justice. They all deserve a moment of your time and I would like you to today recognise them by taking a minute out of respect for their pain and suffering and their pursuit of justice.

From one survivor to another, I stand with you

Thank you”


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