While not wanting to cloud over the vile nature of sexual abuse, we are nevertheless convinced that the media-led attack on the good name of Archbishop Pell is an assault on the Catholic Church in general.
Today's world is characterised by a clash between what Pope John Paul II calls the "culture of life" and the "culture of death". The culture of life is predicated on the truth that God exists, that there are objective moral norms the violation of which are intrinsically evil, and that the family based on marriage is the foundation of society.
Opposing this, the culture of death proclaims relativism as the basis of morality. It presents pleasure and prosperity as the touchstone of the life worth living, and it asserts that contraception, procured abortion and homosexual acts are not intrinsically evil.
The leading protagonist of the culture of life is the Catholic Church. As such, media personnel intent on propagating the culture of death seem willing to stoop to any level to discredit its most forthright and influential spokesmen. Archbishop Pell is such an individual. Consequently, those media personnel who view the Church's moral teaching as archaic and oppressive feel no compunction in granting headline status to all and every accusation levelled against Archbishop Pell, no matter how lacking in credibility they may be. "Throw enough muck hoping that some of it will stick" seems to be the policy.
Our Lord Himself forewarned the Apostles about those who would oppose them by way of smear tactics and lies: "The disciple is not superior to his teacher. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, what will they not say of his household. Do not be afraid of them therefore" (Mt 10:25-26).
Thanks be to God that we have in Archbishop Pell a bishop who is willing to lead his people from the front despite the suffering it may bring.
EAMONN & PATRICIA KEANE