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Pell biography feedback (letter)
Having recently read the biography George Pell by Tess Livingstone, I feel I now have a much deeper insight into the life of one of Australia's richest treasures, Archbishop George Pell. What a great, good man, and God knows we need a few more of his type in this country - solid, sound Catholic leaders of courage.
Tess Livingstone graciously invites feedback on the book and therefore I too would like, through this column, to get a few things off my chest!
I am the mother of a Catholic family who chose 13 years ago to rescue our children from the Catholic education system and educate them in the faith around the kitchen table at home - a choice we have never regretted.
Our reason for bringing the children home then is the same reason we keep them home today - we wanted to be sure that they would grow up to know and love their Catholic faith given to them in Baptism. By the grace of God, we have not been disappointed.
Prior to bringing our children home, the older children attended Catholic schools. Much of the subject matter given in the name of religion amounted to nothing of substance - so too was the case with most of the general reading material.
One of the greatest advantages we find with homeschooling is that we, the parents, choose the reading material for our children. But we are not "right-wing Catholics" who homeschool (page 368 of the book). We may be considered over-protective, but we intend staying that way. After all, so far it's working!
One other matter that upset me was the necessity to list the horrific sins of a former priest found guilty of sexual abuse of children. The matter has been dealt with by the courts and the Church. For this man in particular, I think the time has come to stop listing his crimes, recognise him in the broken state he is in today, forgive him for his weakness and pray for him, and realise that "But for the grace of God, there goes I."
While I thought the book an excellent account of the Church as it is today, I was disappointed at its title. I feel George Pell: His Life and Times may have been a better one, leaving room for a deeper, more personal biography later.
MARY LOU CORBOY (MRS)
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 6 (July 2003), p. 16
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