I wish to comment on Terry Monagle's review in The Age Green Guide (24.2.00), "Portrait of a Church divided," which was strongly critical of Archbishop Pell. No doubt it would have caused annoyance among AD2000 readers who saw it.
When I finished my secondary studies, I was accepted as a student at Melbourne University. I specialised in the study of writing good English. I thought of becoming a journalist, and got a lot of help from journalist teachers. I remember especially, during my university days, the journalist teachers were definite about a few "musts" when writing an article, especially about a person. You must be truthful, well-informed about facts, you must not be biased or guilty of exaggerations.
I consider Terry Monagle's article does not measure up to these qualities. I read his article thoroughly three times, and I could not find one word of praise for Archbishop Pell. Surely the Archbishop has some good qualities.
Two examples of complete inaccuracies were, "The Daughters of Charity banned from running a safe injecting room." It should have been the Sisters of Charity - they are two completely different orders of nuns.
Another inaccuracy was that mixed marriages were performed in those days behind the altar. I have been a Catholic priest for over 50 years and have celebrated and been present at countless mixed marriages and have not seen any celebrated "behind the altar." They were celebrated in the sacristy (where the priest vests for Mass).
The Church, founded by Christ, was given to the world for many reasons, but primarily to teach truth. Archbishop Pell always gives orthodox teaching to his priests and to his flock. He gives great loyalty to the Holy Father who is the successor of St Peter. Christ said to his Apostles, "He who hears you, hears me; he who rejects you, rejects me, and rejects Him who sent me" (Luke 10:16). Archbishop Pell hears the Holy Father, the successor of St Peter, head of the Apostles, and he knows that these are the words and will of Christ, and he encourages his priests and the flocks of Melbourne to accept them as he does.
Should Terry Monagle write something else about Archbishop Pell, I hope he will try to find some good in him, even though small. Knowing him personally, I can find tremendous good, and I have for him my profoundest admiration, respect and gratitude.
FR KEVIN RYAN PE