When Archbishop John Hepworth first disclosed to the Catholic hierarchy that he had been sexually abused from the time he was a young Catholic seminarian, the response initially from the Catholic hierarchy seemed to be that he was crazy or a charlatan.
This response led to attitudes of contempt not only towards Hepworth, but also for the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). he led. That contempt nearly destroyed the dreams of TAC communities of ever being accepted into the Catholic Church with their clergy.
I believe it is Cardinal Pell who rescued us, because through a mutual friend of both men, he advised Hepworth to go to through the Melbourne process he had created to handling sexual abuse claims when he was Archbishop of Melbourne.
That process, led by a Queen’s Counsel with vast experience in hearing and weighing clergy sexual abuse claims, vindicated Archbishop Hepworth. The QC believed him and that marked a turning point, I believe, in rescuing what seemed like our shattered prospects of entering the Catholic church as intact communities,
Because of Cardinal Pell’s help behind the scenes in this case, I join those around the world who find his conviction in a second jury trial of sexual abuse of minors a miscarriage of justice.
The verdict was based on the testimony of one of the victims, who described events that many other witnesses said could not have possibly have happened given the time, place and circumstances.
Many around the world, myself included, see Pell as the scapegoat for the clergy abuse sins of the Catholic Church but hated all the more because he stood up for traditional Catholic teaching on human sexuality.
So, I post from our comments section this from Fr. John Hodgins in Toronto:
THE PSALM 44 INITIATIVE — Priests around the world are being asked to offer one Mass for Cardinal Pell each week while he is incarcerated; and to send a Mass card with a note of support for our brother in prison.
Psalm 44. Deus, auribus.
WE have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us * what thou hast done in their time of old:
2 How thou hast driven out the heathen with thy hand, and planted our fathers in; * how thou hast destroyed the nations, and made thy people to flourish.
3 For they gat not the land in possession through their own sword, * neither was it their own arm that helped them;
4 But thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance; * because thou hadst a favour unto them.
5 Thou art my King, O God; * send help unto Jacob.
6 Through thee will we overthrow our enemies, * and in thy Name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
7 For I will not trust in my bow, * it is not my sword that shall help me;
8 But it is thou that savest us from our enemies, * and puttest them to confusion that hate us.
9 We make our boast of God all day long, * and will praise thy Name for ever.
10 But now thou art far off, and puttest us to confusion, * and goest not forth with our armies.
11 Thou makest us to turn our backs upon our enemies, * so that they which hate us spoil our goods.
12 Thou lettest us be eaten up like sheep, * and hast scattered us among the heathen.
13 Thou sellest thy people for nought, * and takest no money for them.
14 Thou makest us to be rebuked of our neighbours, * to be laughed to scorn, and had in derision of them that are round about us.
15 Thou makest us to be a byword among the nations1, * and that the peoples2 shake their heads at us.
16 My confusion is daily before me, * and the shame of my face hath covered me;
17 For the voice of the slanderer and blasphemer, * for the enemy and avenger.
18 And though all this be come upon us, yet do we not forget thee, * nor behave ourselves frowardly in thy covenant.
19 Our heart is not turned back, * neither our steps gone out of thy way;
20 No, not when thou hast smitten us into the place of dragons, * and covered us with the shadow of death.
21 If we have forgotten the Name of our God, and holden up our hands to any strange god, * shall not God search it out? for he knoweth the very secrets of the heart.
22 For thy sake also are we killed all the day long, * and are counted as sheep appointed to be slain.
23 Up, Lord, why sleepest thou? * awake, and be not absent from us for ever.
24 Wherefore hidest thou thy face, * and forgettest our misery and trouble?
25 For our soul is brought low, even unto the dust; * our belly cleaveth unto the ground.
26 Arise, and help us, * and deliver us, for thy mercy’s sake.
Of course lay people may also offer their Mass intentions for Cardinal Pell and send him a note of support.
A wave of Mass offerings and mountains of mail going to the Cardinal can be a great spiritual grace for all of us during these very dark days.
Please mail to:
George Cardinal Pell,
Melbourne Assessment Prison,
317-353 Spencer St.,
West Melbourne, VIC 3003