The Pell Conspiracy By Peter West

Although I am critical of the Pope, and somewhat in despair of the state of Catholicism, and as a cradle Catholic the pain is very deep, I always liked George Pell, who would have made a fine Pope, far better than the communist we now have. When Pell was charged for a sexual offence, I knew it was just lies. Then I read a piece by a conservative journalist, who totally debunked the claim, going to the scene and actually timing events. It could not have happened. I hoped that the higher courts would clear him, and justice has been done. But, what was behind it all? Today, everything is conspiratorial.

“Cardinal George Pell has confirmed for the first time that he believes senior church figures conspired to frame him on pedophilia charges in Victoria due to his work trying to clean up the Vatican’s murky finances.

In a candid interview broadcast in Italy, Cardinal Pell said that, historically, every senior figure who has to reform the Holy See’s financial management systems has been subjected to reputational attacks — and worse.

“Every single one, with very few exceptions, has been publicly attacked in one way or another … let’s not forget what happened to (Vatican banker Roberto) Calvi who committed suicide under a bridge in London with his hands behind his back … which is a very strange way to hang yourself,” the cardinal said.

 “And we shouldn’t forget what happened to that other one (Michele) Sindona, who was found poisoned in prison. Today, more often than not, they attack by ­destroying reputations.”

Cardinal Pell said his family are convinced that if the Mafia or the Masons had attempted to destroy his reputation, it would have been preferable to being attacked internally from inside the Catholic Church. “It is much worse if someone inside the church wishes to destroy you,” he said.

“It’s for this reason that I hope there will never be enough evidence to prove Vatican money was used if not to corrupt directly, at least to poison the public ­atmosphere against me. I hope there is no proof of this for the good of the church.”

Cardinal Pell also disclosed that Danny Casey, the former Sydney diocese business manager who had worked with him in Rome, had his car set on fire and destroyed.

“Everyone believes there is a connection (between the financial reforms) and what happened in Australia, everyone I work with has no doubt,” he said.

“We have some evidence but no proof yet but certainly there is a lot of smoke … we have criminals who have been heard to say ‘Pell is out of the game now and we’ve got a clear highway ahead’. And when the auditor-general (Libero Milone, a former partner with the multinational accounting giant Deloitte) was sacked, another described that as ‘a second bomb along the road’.”

Vivian Waller, the lawyer for the complainant in the cathedral abuse case that led to Cardinal Pell’s incarceration, said there was no evidence to justify the conspiracy theory.

Ms Waller said three Australian crime-fighting bodies — the AFP, Victoria Police and Victoria’s Independent Broadbased ­Anticorruption Commission — had failed to support the theory of Vatican money being transferred to Australia to undermine or ­incarcerate Cardinal Pell.

“There is absolutely no evidence of any transfers of Vatican funds,” she told The Australian.

The complainant did not comment, but Ms Waller said: “There is not even enough (evidence) to warrant an investigation.”

The AFP said it was reviewing “the relevant information” while IBAC said the claims didn’t reach the threshold for investigation.

Cardinal Pell was found guilty in the Melbourne County Court but later cleared by the High Court of sexually abusing two choirboys in Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in the mid-1990s.

Cardinal Pell, who will launch his jail memoir, titled 404 Days in the US next week, also spoke about his time in prison.

Asked if he felt the weight of being a convicted pedophile from other prisoners, he said “absolutely, yes” but insisted he suffered no violence and while he found himself in a horrendous situation, promised himself he would not indulge in tears or recrimination.”

This shows the depth of corruption, with all of our institutions being compromised. It will be the battle of the century to clean up this filth.





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