They are not just targeting Archbishop Pell (October AD2000), they have declared war on him. Since no prelate has done more to clean up corruption in the clergy than Dr Pell, other agendas are clearly at play.
First there was the Channel Nine ambush of Dr Pell. With the cunning of Al-Queda operatives, they came for the great man, not to dialogue, nor even to rebuke. They came to destroy. There followed an extraordinary onslaught in the newspapers, the sensationalist anti-Pell headlines often at variance with the content of the ensuing articles.
Worst was The Age, back to its glory days as the dinosaur of anti-Catholicism in Melbourne (Brontosaurus Anticatholicus Australopithecus).
Southern Cross Radio's Neil "Belfast" Mitchell, of visceral anti-Catholicism, was at his Catholic-bashing best. The ABC joined in with comedy skits. In one, broadcast on 9 August, the punchline read: "That shows you that someone [they were referring to Dr Pell] who has his head up his a*** shouldn't open his mouth."
Such is what passes as comedy at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, an organisation totally funded by the taxpayer.
Many Catholics want to fight back. In America, the Catholic League uses a website to monitor anti-Catholicism in the media and organise Catholic resistance. They have had some successes. Could something similar be done here?
It is urgent that we take action. The criminal accusation that was meant as the coup de grace against the Archbishop came out of the media-inspired anti-Pell hatred. What will it inspire next? An assassination attempt?
FR M. SHADBOLT PP
Catholic Priests' Anti-Defamation League