written Dec 2015 not published
Dear George Pell
I write not to beseech you,
nor to beg forgiveness,
nor to commiserate with you.
I don’t write to plead a special case.
I haven’t any exceptional insights
and I can’t be of help to you.
You have an all seeing,
all caring, all knowing,
all powerful God for that.
I am sorry to hear you are indisposed,
sufficiently unwell as to be unable,
even unfit or incapable of
returning to face your accusers.
It would seem you weren’t able
to confront the child abusers.
You have had a remarkable career –
the head of the Church in Australia.
Was your refusal to address child abuse
a weakness, an oversight – failure?
Is the legacy of Father Gerald Ridsdale
to be your travail, cyclone – gale?
Did you not know or did you look away
blinded by the need to spare the Church.
Your championing of the Ellis defence
meant there was no one left to sue
how could that have helped the Church renew?
How did that help the victims of abuse
when you let the paedophiles loose?
I think your heart problems might be caused
by a determination not to hear accusers
a blindness to the crimes of fellow priests
a studied callousness of victims’ suffering.
Your arteries are blocked by your indifference
to the cries of the children and by
the lies of the priests.
You might escape this earthly justice
but you had better pray that
your God is merciful on your soul.
Copyright © 2022 John Tomlinson