(A warning to my kind-hearted readers, there’s some heavy stuff in here. If you have any trauma around rape or suicide, please be gentle with your good self and maybe give this one a miss.)

After being convicted of one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act with, or in the presence of, a child, Cardinal George Pell spent the first of what may be many nights in jail. While he lay there in his jail cell, my darling uncle’s body lay in a morgue.

Pell’s meteoric rise to the top of the Roman Catholic hierarchy was due in part to his ruthless management of rape and sexual abuse victims. He devised what came to be known as the Melbourne Response, which kept damage to the Church at a minimum by capping the payouts to $50,000 and later $75,000 and requiring victims to sign a silencing agreement. He saved the Church untold millions in compensation and incalculable damages in reputation. The Vatican took notice, and it was only a decade or so before he was tapped to manage the entire financial affairs of the Vatican under the lofty title of “Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy”, making him the third most powerful priest, only two steps down from the Pope.

Meanwhile, down at the other end of this heady world of high finance, my uncle was being handed out a mere $3,000 by the Church. Why? As a pay-off for being raped when he was just a little boy by serial pedophile Father Daniel Hourigan.

For this paltry sum he had to sign a strict confidentiality agreement, and from that day on until the day he died last week – via an on-again, off-again battle with drugs, alcohol, depression and paranoia – he was convinced he was being watched and monitored by the Church. Maybe he was, who knows, but they almost certainly planted the idea that he was going to be observed carefully, which is in many ways as torturous as the act. 

Even if he had have put his head up above the trench and taken them on, he would have faced a monumental task. When Pell moved to Sydney to be Archbishop, he oversaw the development of a cunning and lopsided legal strategy known as the “Ellis Defence.” A victim with the surname Ellis attempted to sue the Church for sexual abuse as a child, but because of the tricksy configuration of its legal status as an unincorporated association, the victim could not sue because the priest was dead. Until very recently, the courts could do nothing but throw up their hands. He had no one to sue.

After successfully defending against Ellis, Pell spent a further $1.5 million of the Church’s money pursuing him through the courts, subpoenaing his former colleagues, boss and ex-wife for statements in an attempt to sue and destroy him, even though the internal Church findings had already found that Ellis had in all probability been abused. Once Ellis finally lost Pell’s vindictive lawsuit against him, Pell then pursued him for costs.

Pell was not seeking money; he was sending a message. It was his masterful manipulation of the narrative for which he was valued at the highest echelons of the Vatican. Even today, even after he has been convicted of raping and molesting children, many very powerful people have come out to defend him. Former Prime Minister John Howard endorsed a convicted pedophile by writing a character reference to try and secure him a lighter sentence. Today. In 2019.

My uncle was the last in a family of ten. My mother was nineteen years old when he was born, and he loved her so much that one time when he was about two he smuggled himself into the back seat of her car as she left the family home to travel back to the town where she was teaching. She got the shock of her life and nearly ran off the road when twenty minutes or so down the track he suddenly popped up behind her and said, “I go back and live with you!”

Because he was so much younger, he was more like a cousin than an uncle to me. Seven years my elder, I idolized him, and thought he was a real-life comedian. He was so kind, too. He’d take me, some of my siblings and some of my other cousins on a day out to the two-dollar shops, and after considerable perusing, we’d get to pick whatever we liked. That was back when everything really was two dollars, and I guess it was a pretty cheap outlay for him. For five of us he’d only need to spend $10 and we all thought he was Santa Claus, but still, he would’ve been just 18 or 19 at the time. What 19 year-old spends his spare money and time on 12 year-olds? Such a beautiful generous soul. 

Twelve years old. I was the same age as he was when his whole life was yanked out from underneath him. 

My uncle was sweet and funny and kind, but his most outstanding attribute was that ineffable, unfakeable, elusive quality of charisma. He had it in spades. From when he was tiny, if he entered a room, all eyes were on him. And he didn’t mind it one bit. 

He was always gay. Even my staunchly Catholic Nana admitted that, when he finally came out in his thirties. It was baked in from the get-go. My mum was the one who was given the onerous task of telling their parents. My uncle had been on a two-week bender and had gone missing for three days when he finally came crying to my mother that he needed to come out to their parents and could she please do it for him because he couldn’t face them.

Mum picked up the phone, quaking from head to toe, and rattled the landline in the tiny little cottage in a fishing town on the Ninety Mile Beach where they had grown up on sea air and bream. After years of the Church hammering the terrifying notion of hell for homosexuals into the hearts and minds of my fisherfolk grandparents, it was really difficult for them to hear this. They were petrified for him! To their credit, they evolved, but it was so hard for everyone and it needn’t have been.

That wasn’t the shame that killed him though. It tortured him, sure, but his effusive indomitable spirit was far stronger than that. 

No, what killed him was a sunny day in the late seventies where he was attending an ordination with my grandparents. My uncle had celebrated his twelfth birthday just five days before and was hanging around his mother’s skirts at the afternoon tea when Hourigan persuaded him to come up to the presbytery with him so he could give him a special prayer card. I’m sure Nana didn’t think anything of it. Priests were pretty much considered infallible, and my grandparents were deeply trusting and faithful people. 

He took him to his bedroom, closed the door, ripped down that poor little boy’s pants, and raped him. When my uncle finally started to talk about it to the family just six months ago, he said he was utterly confused at the time about what was happening. Understandably, he didn’t know anything about sex at all, so it was just this terrifying jumble of overwhelming sensory inputs that he had no conceptual understanding of. 

As soon as this brute was finished, he told this little boy that they both had done a very bad thing, and they both should pray for their souls immediately. So he made him kneel down next to him and he led him in a fervent prayer so that they both might not be sent to hell for the terrible thing they had both done. 

Oh the rage I feel right now just typing those things. That poor, poor boy. That evil psychopathic monster. 

He gave him the prayer card that he promised him, and they went back to the party. And the priest continued to mingle with the crowd, including that little boy’s devout parents, as if nothing had happened. How brazen is that?

No one noticed, or at least those that did notice did not say anything. Because of the way that confession works in the Catholic tradition, it’s highly likely that every one of those priests would’ve known that this kind of thing could happen. Every single one of those priests who were in attendance at that ordination (and there would have been at least a few dozen) knew that sexual predators walked among them, and every one of them would have known that a child alone in the presbytery with a priest was in danger of being raped.

I don’t think many of us Catholics and ex-Catholics have really grokked into that fully yet. But because of the sacrament of confession and the way it builds a network of secrets and compromising material there really is no way that any working priest could not have known that this was a possibility, even back then. 

Not long after that, my uncle was sent to a boarding college run by the De La Salle brothers not far from my family home. It was called St Bede’s, and ironically it had been started in 1938 by, among others, one of Australia’s most notorious pedophile brothers, Brother Fintan. But we didn’t know that at the time.

In those days, George Pell was not only the Bishop for the Southern Region of Melbourne, but also the Parish Priest of Mentone, and the Chaplain of both St Bede’s and my all-girls Catholic high school. He would sanctimoniously turn up to do our opening Mass and say all sorts of gross and sexist things, always, always, always referring to us young girls’ futures with the phrase, “When you go out into the world and become mothers, teachers, nurses, wives…” 

I don’t really know what went on at St Bede’s, and now I probably never will, but I’ve heard word spreads fast amongst pedophile communities that a child has been groomed, and my uncle quickly became the brothers’ favorite. He was awarded head boarder in his final year. I feel sick in my belly at the thought of that now. 

He drank a lot and smoked a lot of weed, but everyone does here when you’re young (in fact it’s almost culturally unacceptable not to), so his addictions went unnoticed for quite a few years. He put on a lot of weight too, perhaps a subconscious attempt to make himself less attractive to predators. But consciously he hated his body shape and he was always on some sort of diet. It wasn’t until he finally surfaced after going missing for three days, and his counsellor insisted that he had to come out to his parents, that the family knew the extent of his drug problem. 

But it wasn’t the drink or the drugs that killed him.

It must’ve been about that time that he received his paltry payout in exchange for his silence. And not long after that, my uncle was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. In defiance of all statistical probabilities, two of the ten siblings have it, as well as my great aunty and a first cousin of mine. They say it’s not genetic, but I dunno. 

In any case, terrible as it was, it was not the MS that killed him. 

On the up side he got sober and he met a wonderful man who eventually became my uncle too. He was the perfect fit, and they built a fabulously eccentric life together full of drag shows and drama and marvelous dinner parties, a quirky side-show being two little doggies they treated like royalty. 

My uncle was pretty much back to his old self. He still loved a two-dollar shop, and he would throw a party for us nieces and nephews and give all our kids a “showbag” each of the most wonderfully kitschy bits of crap. His partner gave him the confidence to let the family in, little-by-little, to his fantastically exotic drag queen lifestyle. 

I never got to see him in drag. He showed me videos, and I’ve seen plenty of pictures, but I never witnessed him really let rip on stage. Right now just that one singular fact seems utterly devastating to me. There was so much of my uncle that we were only just getting to see! So much of his rich inner world that has been expunged. 

I just adored him, but his relationship with me seemed very complicated at his end. He was surprisingly conservative politically, and despite all the Church had done to him and continued to do, he was very Catholic up until very recently, so maybe that had something to do with it. He would block me and unblock me on Facebook for seemingly no reason. One time he took me along to his AA meeting and I felt so chuffed that he was being so open with me and I plied him with affection. A few months later, he had me blocked and was avoiding me at family gatherings. Nothing had happened at my end. Another time he invited me to walk with him at the Mardi Gras gay pride parade, and while we were happily strolling along he told me I was the first family member who had walked with him. I was so thrilled to be allowed to be so close! But again, it didn’t last long. 

About half a year ago, his partner made a frantic phone call to my mother and said that my uncle had been getting a lot worse lately and he needed to tell the whole family something that was shocking but which we all needed to know. That was when we found out about the rape. By then, my uncle had become so paranoid that he was convinced that the Church had hired people to live across the road and spy on him. Further, his drinking and smoking was exacerbating his MS, and he was getting so high he was having waking nightmares about the priests coming to get him. It was scaring the shit out of his partner, who realised that the only way the love of his life had a chance at getting better was to face up to what had happened. So he told us. About how, forty years ago, a little fellow’s life had been derailed by a monster.

My mum cried her eyes out when she heard. We all did. That beautiful little boy. That gigantic bright light. A life ruined.

A lot of things happened very fast then. There was a lot of healing. His behavior suddenly made a whole lot more sense to us, and all the arguments and erraticism was instantly forgiven. But every day, in the wake of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, there was more news in the papers about Pell and those pedophile priests, and it was constantly triggering him. He decided he needed more space away from his hectic social life and away from the perceived judgement of his friends and family. 

So from bustling inner-city Melbourne the couple made the sudden and dramatic move up to a sleepy village in far north New South Wales in an effort to give him the time and space he needed to heal. They moved into this beautiful art deco “Queenslander” style house, the kind that is up high on stilts to capture the breeze and keep it cool. They were surrounded by beauty and warmth, and now, in the deafening silence of the country town, my uncle could only hear his demons.

It still proved too much.

About three weeks ago, his partner rang my mum crying and asking her to come up and help them. My uncle was smoking so much dope and taking so many prescription meds that he was catatonic most of the time, and his partner didn’t know how much more he could cope with. Mum got on the next plane, and when she arrived at the airport her brother broke down in tears. She mothered them both up and got them talking to each other, and when she left, she thought he was going to be okay. 

He was not going to be okay. 

A few days later, his partner was out and got a frantic phone call from a mutual friend interstate saying that my uncle was texting dark messages declaring he was going to commit suicide. In a very wise move, instead of rushing home, his partner rang the police instead. That meant that my uncle would be taken immediately to hospital and then to a mental health facility. The thinking was that, despite all his charisma, he wouldn’t be able talk his way out of it, and would finally get the professional help he needed.

Or so everyone thought. 

But he did talk his way out of it. Within a day or two he had staff sitting on his bed laughing at his jokes. When he was summoned to a meeting – where his partner was trying hard to convince the head doctor that he needed much, much more time than a few days’ rest and treatment – he walked in still holding court with giggling nurses and a smiling doctor in tow. “He’s fine!” they insisted. 

He was not fine. 

Last Thursday morning, his partner went out to get some lunch things from the supermarket. He was only gone an hour. By the time he came back, my darling uncle was hanging from a rafter at their beautiful art deco Queenslander style house, the kind that is high up on stilts. He had been up there so long he was already purple. 

And I am beyond devastated. Beyond sad. Beyond grief stricken. Beyond angry. There is an eerily unmoving rage within me.

Tonight, George Pell sits in a jail cell while my uncle lies in the morgue, just one of the many, many victims who died of drug overdose or suicide due to the highly organized pedophile ring that is better known as the Roman Catholic Church. Such is the devastation of young boys’ and girls’ trust being brutalized beyond repair that there are men now barely out of their forties who have lost a third of their classroom buddies to suicide.

It really is hard to wrap your head around what extraordinary ongoing damage has been done to countless generations of Catholics and of indigenous people through the missions. The Catholic Church has broken so many people, and in turn, their families have been torn apart too. He never had a chance. We never had a chance.

His parents did everything right; they were faithful to the core and the Church betrayed that trust in the most unimaginably evil way. Such were the layers of Church-instilled shame around homosexuality that got mixed up in the crimes of an evil pedophile that he never had a chance to unpack it all. It was just too much.

Seventeen years after he was raped, his attacker, Father Hourigan, died in mysterious circumstances. On 15 September 1995, detectives charged Hourigan with one incident of sexual penetration of a boy (not my uncle) and were preparing to lay further charges relating to three other boys. Three days later, on September 18, Hourigan died suddenly and unexpectedly, aged 65.

A death notice said he had died “peacefully”, and relatives attributed the death to a “heart attack”. On September 22, fellow priests traveling to the funeral began hearing via news bulletins on their car radios that he had been charged with child sex offences. But strangely, considering the circumstances, no autopsy was held to ascertain levels of medication, drugs or alcohol to determine if, as many suspected, it may have been suicide. It meant that, even if my uncle had managed to push through and seek justice, because of Pell’s artful dodging with the “Ellis Defence”, he would have had no one to sue.

The Catholic Church murdered my uncle, as surely as if they had tied the noose themselves. It was a long, drawn-out treacherous act and it took forty years to complete, but they did it. They snuffed out that beautiful spirit. 

And all I can think about the Church right now is, “Burn it down.” 

There is no good to be found here. No babies in the bathwater. My message to the priests: give the buildings back to the communities who paid for them; give the gold and riches back to the countries they were stolen from; get out of people’s bedrooms and out of women’s lives; take off your frocks and your stupid hats, and go get a real job if anyone will have you.

The Roman Catholic Church has raped and pillaged its way across our planet for two thousand years, and over that immense span of time it has not grown any less savage than when it was burning and torturing heretics and heathens to death. It has only adapted to become more cosmetically appealing to modern sensibilities. It’s all about the brand.

An understanding of what rape is and why it is wrong has only very recently in our species’ history begun moving into the forefront of our collective consciousness, and the Church has failed utterly and completely to join the rest of society in that evolution. We must therefore discard it for the obsolete cultural relic that it is, like a child’s clothing that has been outgrown.

Burn it down. Let us purge the toxic mind virus of that ancient rape cult from our systems forever, and stride boldly into the future unencumbered by its malignancy.



A poem my mother wrote when she first learned of the abuse:

Bless me Father, for I have sinned,

And this is my Confession

I am guilty of aggression,

Swore once or twice

Wasn’t very nice

Complained about the roast

Didn’t eat my toast

Didn’t say my prayers,

Ran up and down the stairs

Bless me father, for I have sinned.

I was a happy boy and life was simple

Indoctrinated by the priests

Who were Gods’ earthly symbol

They were consecrated and venerated

I believed it all, there was no escape

Until that wicked man committed rape

Then evil unmitigated, 

My childhood obliterated

Left me broken, all bent and hollow

To suffer life in the years that follow.

Son I have sinned against you,

Abused and raped you

Simply because I could do

Left you nowhere to escape to

While I indulged my sexual fantasy

Sinfully betrayed your family

Led you to a life of insanity.

And I did it with impunity

Because you were beholden unto me

I, who was ordained to converse with Deity

Not sorry for the pain I wrought

Simply sorry that I got caught

Fuck you father because you have sinned!


If you or anyone you know needs support, in Australia you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counseling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or beyondblue 1300 224 636.

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94 responses to “The Monster Pell Has Been Caged At Last”

  1. Richard Mullins Avatar
    Richard Mullins

    Caitlin, your story has nothing to do with the Pell case. Pell was stitched up on false evidence. The big story, yet to be told, is how the accuser was co-opted. Where they bribed, blackmailed, or sweet talked to give evidence against Pell?

    1. Hayward Maberley Avatar
      Hayward Maberley

      It has everything to do with the Pell case as set out int the beginning of the piece.

      She then goes on to elaborate about the whole corrupt and fulsome mess that The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church was shown to b.

      This in both its sins of commission and omission concerning both the acts of sexual abuse and the covering up of such by the clergy, both low and high.

      As for your big story?

      Where is the evidence for your allegations?

  2. Richard Graham Avatar
    Richard Graham

    Thank You, Ms. Johnstone, for memorializing your poor relative’s agonizing life of betrayal. These priests are the worst sort of criminal: they use their privileged position in society to commit, conceal, and excuse their crimes.

    1. Well said Richard. Those that attempt to diminish these bastards crimes are close to aiding and abetting and close to as culpable as the monsters these scum are!

  3. ‘Tis surprising how few people, anywhere really, directly attack these priests, given the general or background level of violence in western societies.

    The elites class understands this and is an outcome of the conditioning people receive to respect authority figures. Without question.

    Straight from Central Marketing, authority figures applying the mass marketing of conditioning to respect authority figures, however perverse.

    People who do act violently may attack their wives, opposing football team supporters or perhaps run down strangers with motor cars.

    Rare, indeed, is it that the common folk take on an authority figure, even one so clearly wicked. But this one served his institution well.

    These things the elite class understands.

    JS . . .

  4. Claire McHalick Avatar
    Claire McHalick

    I relate to the anger expressed in your tribute to your dear uncle towards the Catholic Church. I am sorry the mental health system failed to appreciate his determination to succeed in suicide, please pass on my condolences to his partner. I am sorry the fears expressed by your uncle’s partner were not taken seriously by the psychiatrist who approved his discharge. I am sorry that your uncle managed to convince the love of his life he would be safe to leave on his own to go shopping. I am a registered nurse working in an acute mental health unit. You are angry at the “giggling” mental health nurses for failing your uncle, I am sorry.

  5. So sorry your uncle lost the joy in his life. Stolen by this greep. All organised religion, in my opinion, is a crowd mind control machine. I agree, burn it.

  6. Caitlin,
    I am so sorry for your loss, and for the evil treatment your uncle received. Silence on the part of the victims is the only hope for these diabolical narcissists that have infested the Catholic Church.

    All of the victim’s stories must be told, and all of these evil criminals must be brought to justice. To remain silent is to further empower the diabolical actions of these so-called men.

    The pay for silence program instituted by Pell only bought these criminals some time. When those affected come to realize the root cause of their troubles, they may bring justice to the monsters, rendering them incapable of any further sinful transgressions.

    I pray for your uncle, all the other victims, you and all the other families affected by these Gramscian invaders; that all may find peace and that this scourge be removed. Peace.

  7. Gregory M Fisher Avatar
    Gregory M Fisher

    Mikey, Mikey, Mikey…Reductionism does not negate the utter degeneracy & filth of an entire priest hood, all 500,000 of them, all of them, all; who cover up, silence, hide, obfuscate & allow this predatory, repetitive, institutionalized and amoral, unethical behaviour. I am more irritated by your dreary, faulty logic & delusional god fucking than by your waste of sooo many words. Consider also that Priestly paedophilic predation is merely a side dish, a morsel, a…parfait. The Church, led by the offspring of the elites, has overseen 2000 years of butchery, genocide, torture, mysogynism and utter destruction of countless civilisations, cultures & peoples. “She” hast aligned Herself with Mammon, with the concept of Evil divorced from actual personal consequences via an oh so convenient concept of absolution…for Butchers of Humanity, not tax evasion. Sooo, fuck off, mate.

  8. Excellent post Michael. The elites work by manipulating our emotions and Caitlins story about her uncle is a classic example of how our emotions can be used to condemn a person, an idea or an institution while ignoring the good that they do. Our emotions and our ability to reason are meant to go hand in hand. Separating them always leads to trouble.

  9. Thankyou Caitlin, this answers so many questions for me – Rob was so loved by so many, he had a profound effect on my life and I will always be grateful to him for being there when I needed help.

  10. *U.S. = #1 Exporter of Coal Gas Oil*
    In 2017 U.S. coal exports to Asia went up 61%.
    Our oil will soon run out and we need Venezuela’s oil. Many will die for it.
    All the world’s energy growth is in Asia India Africa, and not here.

    They want to live like us more than they care about the climate.

    *Why North America and Europe Do Not Matter Anymore*

    Electricity = 25% of total world primary energy.

    Energy Use By Nation:

    Canada = 360 Giga Joules / person

    ___ U.S. = 300 Giga Joules / person

    __ China = 120 Giga Joules / person

    ___ India = 90 Giga Joules / person

    ___ Brazil = 60 Giga Joules / person

    ___ Africa = 20 Giga Joules / person

    Euro-America demand is slow compared to Africa India and Asia.

    Solar + Wind = 6% of electricity production worldwide.

    Electricity production = 25% of world primary energy.

    Solar + Wind 1990 – 2018 grew to 1% of world primary energy.

    Solar/Wind 2019 = 1% of energy after 30 years of hype.

    Emissions went up 60% in 30 years.

    Food + Meat = 24% of emissions.

    World concrete = 4 billion tons / yr

    World steel = 2 billion tons / yr

    World sand = 11 – 15 billion tons / yr

    Open sand piracy is the norm over there. They just take your sand and go.

    It doesn’t matter what North America and Europe does for emissions.

    World energy demand growth is in Africa and Asia. They are all young and eager.

    India’s energy demand grows as much as all the energy used in Canada every 32 months.

    Indian coal is going to go up to drive the economy, even if they convert it to gas.

    China’s coal has grown from 1 billion to 4 billion tons / yr in 30 yrs.

    China coal is now down to 3.5 billion tons.

    China is building 700 coal plants worldwide, not in China.

    Many of these plants convert coal to gas.

    Solar panels in Germany provide 90% of their rated power 11% of the time.

    Wind turbines in Germany provide 90% of their rated power 20% of the time.

    It doesn’t matter that Denmark has the most wind turbines, they are only a few million people.

    What matters is what’s happening in India and Africa not here.

    Coal and gas will still be 70% of their energy by 2040.

    There are 30 million EVs and 1.2 billion gas vehicles on earth.

    It will take 40 years to convert all the cars on earth.

    The amount of batteries Tokyo will need during future Typhoons is staggering.

    Batteries cannot be scaled up in time to make a difference to climate.

    The Paris Agreement = Emissions go up from 35 billion tons to 50 billion tons by 2040.

    The Paris Agreement will not be kept and you know it.

    Emissions must go down 50% in 10 yrs + 100% in 20 yrs for 2 C.

    Five of 13 major hothouse tipping points start below 2 C.

    Runaway mass extinction cannot be stopped or reversed.

    Krill cannot survive in many parts of the ocean without oxygen.

    All ocean life depend on Krill.

    The world wants the American lifestyle and we can’t stop them.

    China is buying up U.S. chip and bio tech right now.

    The U.S. is now the number one exporter of gas, oil and coal.

    In 2017 U.S. coal exports to Asia went up 61%.

    All the U.S. will have left is its guns and fracking gear.

    1. You might have commented on the wrong post!

  11. Moved to tears, Caitlin, sorry for your loss.

    Yes, no good religion, particularly those that harbor rock spiders like Pell

    Hopefully, those who currently cage him will turn a blind eye when he’s in the shower. That’s the aussie way for scum like him

  12. Your article touched me deep in my soul where only a victim can relate, where only the parent of an abused child can relate and where a police officer who tried unsuccessfully to convict a pedophile cleric and headmaster of a Native Indian residential school, who abused his flock like they were lambs in the slaughter pen, can relate.
    But like Trump and Pell, don’t you think these evil bastards are a mirror of our humanity for if they didn’t have supporters they wouldn’t be able to survive. We can batter away at the leaves all day long and get nowhere until we tackle the roots.
    I deeply feel for all the many souls that will read your article and feel that ball in their stomach bring back feelings of hurt and shame. My hope for you is to take back your power, and yes I know how difficult that is, and figuratively “Burn their fucking churches to the ground!”

  13. To those who would be interested in reading some “alternative” history of the catholic church, I recommend reading “Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit” by Garry Wills.

    1. Davey Jones Locker Avatar
      Davey Jones Locker

      ~~ Yep, indeed; or we could simply study the Book of Revelation, which is an historical and prophetical relating of ALL organized religion used by Satan in his fight against God’s true Church and all humanity….

  14. At this time of your most most grievous loss, Caitlin, wishing you comfort peace

  15. Such a heartbreaking story–and one of so many.
    The priesthood is a sick institution. Elevating and glorifying them to the point that they are better than the rest of us and don’t need sexual relations has resulted in this horrific abuse. I know Jesus would not approve.

  16. It was cases like this that drove me away from the Catholic Church.

  17. One thing that stuck out for me, in an already explosive and important report, in a report titled “Dismissing Truth” (See Axis of Logic and an entry by Paul Richard Harris which carries a link) was how a Chavismo who the opposition had captured and was torturing, in Venezuela, had the company of a priest who gazed nonchalantly at the scene unfolding. This is organized religion. (I’m religious, but have no affiliation to any group.)

  18. Caitlin

    Try to remember your uncle as a fine human being which he obviously was. I’m sure you do.

    I was raised as a catholic and can relate to the horrific conditions he experienced. The confessional was described to us small children as a place to alleviate ourselves of the sinful behaviour that we naturally align with as ‘sinful humans’. The only way to become free from our sinful behaviour was to confess it to a priest in the confessional and that everything was anonymous and only seen by god.

    I remember as a 6 year old (in 1958) before being initiated into my first catholic confession by nuns how to do it. We were instructed that we had to confess our sins to the priest who was seated on the other side of a curtain in the confessional box. Everything was completely anonymous 🙂 When asked what sins were (6 year olds right) the nuns responded that lying, getting angry and not doing what your parents asked you were sins – and if you were to touch yourself inappropriately you should tell the priest that you were ‘immodest with yourself’.

    Well even though only 6 I was ‘touching’ myself at that age and thought I should tell the priest about that. Maybe it was the second or third confession when I related that ‘sin’ that the priest said (paraphrasing) –
    “Paul – that touching you do is a problem for god and I want you to come outside the confessional and talk to me about it. We had been told that the confessional is a completely anonymous thing and I kind of knew (even as a 6 y.o.) that something was not right.

    He made me kneel at a kneeler in front him as he sat in a chair very close to me. I can still smell his vestments and see & hear the wooden beads of his rosary and crucifix. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I do recall that he wanted to know what I did when I was being ‘immodest’. I think I managed to get out of there without any real damage (but who knows what we do with bad memories) and subsequently stopped going to confession and eventually to mass.

    I’m not sure if that experience or my innate intelligence influenced me to abandon christianity. Anyway I think I had almost totally forgotten the earlier incident.

    Fast forward 40 years (no longer catholic or even christian) and I was in a W.A. mining town meeting up with some people over dinner and a few drinks. One individual who I did not know said “Father O’Reilly at Saint Benedicts is such a wonderful priest – blah blah blah”. A lot of things came rushing back into my mind and I kind of flipped out. Father O’Reilly was the nasty pedophile and no matter what I said I became more and more the ‘bad guy’ and everybody wanted me to just shut up.

    Anyway – no big deal I haven’t seen any of those people in 10 years and even though (I think) nothing more serious happened to me I had to wonder if there were more serious infractions by father O’Reilly

    Catholic Church – just burn it down!

  19. Gregory Fisher Avatar
    Gregory Fisher

    I’m Aussie. Disgusted by this pig, one of thousands, so it seems. I overheard a Swiss Halbadier at the Vatican said the whole pedo thing is a real Cloisterfuck…
    & no other creed, schism, religion is any better. WHICH religion does not have patriarchal peadophiles??? Anyone trying to say that Muzzys, Buddhas, Jews, Shinto, Rasta, Hindi, Boy Scouts for fucksake! ain;t got pedos? Nope. Mind you, I don’t think they’ve found a Pastafarian fiddlin’…So, “GOD” tells these fuckers to get their rocks off by, well, murdering the souls of their very victims? Don’t they believe in the ETERNAL damnation guaranteed by their own actions..? Caitlain, I think mayhap the very Religious Narrative of Humanity is wrestling with this BUT: the powers that rape (did I mean that “Be”? No.) will whitewash this stuff. The PEOPLE will never forgive them. I’ve heard that a Cathedral is for sale in Copenhagen, seems the audience…drifted away. I say do not render unto Caesar that which is his. I say, Luke baby, Rend Caesar – Burn His fuckin’ Churches, the Elite’s 3rd sons rule Church (Inheritor, Military, Church) We’ve left you.

  20. My condolences Caitlin.

  21. Caitlin, your uncles story is a terrible tragedy and unfortunately only one of many, many tragedies within the Catholic Church’s history. The Catholic Church needs reforming on many levels, of that there is no doubt but in calling for its complete destruction you might be surprised to find yourself aligning with the elites with whom you battle on a daily basis. That small group of extremely wealthy and powerful men who brought communism into being, solely to further their agenda, recognised that the message of Jesus was one of their greatest obstacles. It had to be destroyed and a plan was set in motion in the last century to achieve that destruction. Part of their plan to destroy the Catholic church and its message involved the Catholic church’s infiltration by communist agents. (https://www.sott.net/article/397852-Subverting-Christian-culture-The-massive-communist-infiltration-of-the-Catholic-Church-in-the-1930s-and-its-links-to-the-abuse-crisis) Does knowing this help any of the victims or their families? No but it might help the rest of us to always question what appears to be happening.

    1. Um, you *do* realise that Catholicism is the brainchild of the Roman ruling elite, yes? That the first ‘pope’ was a Roman Emperor and that converting the country was a political move to ensure power? The Catholic church is a *tool* of the elite and has nothing whatsoever to do with the religion called christianity at the time of its inception. So no, it’s not possible to reform because its very foundations were built on oppression, domination, subjugation and control. I echo the sentiment expressed in the article: burn the Catholic Church to the ground and add all other organised religion to that for good measure; if individuals want to practice their beliefs in private, fine, but that’s it. Gather together in homes if you like, like a book club or knitting circle, but no more organised corporate greed and thuggery disguised as ‘spiritual’ anything at all. No more tax breaks, no more mass accumulation of wealth, just simple individuals practicing what’s in their hearts to do without the political manipulation and BS that the ‘church’ has been engaging in for millennia, including massacres, the enforced indoctrination of native tribes, etc. Burn it all.

  22. That’s quite a claim you make about the Rabbis. Do you have any statistics to back it up?

  23. I am sorry for what has happened.
    The kind of abuse discussed is just one result of any system that is based on and cultivates blind and uncritical trust in authority and a hierarchy. Ultimately all religions do this – that’s how non-rationally founded belief is maintained – although the Catholic Church is more hierarchical and authoritarian than many others. In the end of the day, though, *all* religions have the characteristic of irrationality and authoritarianism with the ensuing potential for abuse, and for that reason, they should all disappear.
    CJ’s call for the death of the Catholic Church, and statements like mine advocating the death of all religions, have been described as intolerant, indeed genocidal. I must stress that I do not advocate that people should be prohibited by force from practicing a religion – that would be wrong as well as counterproductive – and I don’t think CJ means that either. Rather, this is the expression of the opinion that laypeople and priesthood alike ought to abandon the religion of their own free will.
    As for the genocide charge, it results from a profound difference in value systems and worldviews. A humanist’s horror at genocide is due to the murder and victimisation of individual human beings merely on account of their having certain group characteristics and identities. An identitarian/communitarian’s objection to genocide is due to the disappearance of the group characteristics and the group identities themselves, regardless of the way in which it comes about. That is why some right-wing Jews will call mixed Jewish-Gentile marriages or Jewish lapses from Judaism ‘a silent Holocaust’, which to me is a horrifyingly alien trivialisation of the real Holocaust. Certainly, reserving some connection to one’s heritage is valuable because of the human experience and positive features which that heritage contains, but the ultimate purpose of this is the wellbeing of individual humans, and heritage is valuable only inasmuch as it contributes to that wellbeing, directly or indirectly, and does not significantly counteract it. The death of a human is always an evil, but the disappearance of collective or individual human characteristics is not an evil as such; humans change, as does everything in the universe, and every change must be assessed based on its own merits.

    1. Sadly, those satanic pedophiles, and communists infiltrated the Church (read about Bella Dodd) to prey and destroy the Faith. They have succeeded in taking over the Churches, closing parish schools, decimating the vocation of nuns, promoting Islam over Christianity (because of the greater acceptance of pedophilia?) but the true Faith endures in Traddie enclaves. So the Faith is branded and tarred along with these masquerading satanic monsters, continuing crucifixion of Christ. They have been protected because pedo rings exist at the highest levels of government. If burning the churches of these rids us of these evil hypocrites and abusers, then burn them. But that is exactly what they want: destroy Christian values and ethics, and embrace Islam, then move to communism. Then they will not have to hide, you WILL OFFER them your little boys.

  24. So sorry for your loss Caitlin.
    There’s one thing I can never get my head around, and that is the human propensity to place their own lives into the hands of others under the misguided belief, that somehow these others only have their best interests at heart, EVEN IF THE EVIDENCE staring them in the face, says the opposite !
    Why would any sane person, lay their deepest secrets at the feet of these pretenders, thereby making themselves vulnerable to black mail and cohersion and manipulation ???? Incredible.
    In closing, a POX on all religions, I’m 70 years of age and a Vietnam veteran, during my life have witnessed the hypocrisy practiced in SPADES by the majority of religions, and wouldn’t be caught dead in a church. I make no excuses or apologies for my beliefs either.

    1. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn Zaremba

      Thanks. I agree with you about religion 100%.

  25. Using children for sport! (Chris Hedges)
    “I have watched, as soldiers entice children like mice, into a trap and murdered them for sport”

  26. This article made me weep, for the tragedy and outrageous crimes. I appreciated the warning. I am not sorry I read it (and the brokenrites links), because I think it is so important it was worth some tears. I think a warning helps a little if I can mentally brace myself. Especially if I might be still giggling a little about the Godzilla article. I hope this one goes viral.

    I felt the passion in your mom’s poem as well. Indeed, I feel the Church deserves no quarter.

    Deepest condolences.

  27. Hubert Reiter Avatar
    Hubert Reiter

    Please allow me to express my Sorrow and my Sympathy for your Loss. Although I was born a christian, I have long ago decided that I do not want to be part of this abomination.

  28. ‘Hook-nosed’? Are you a Nazi or just trying to sound like one? Leave the shape of people’s noses alone and just call them filth. Whatever children rabbis may rape are just as hook-nosed as themselves; if you have a problem with hooked noses as such, you don’t really care about their being raped either.

  29. The church is sick.
    It seems they see this as a perk of the job.
    Suspect we only a small portion of it.
    Since the abuse by priests has become widely recognized, they have only done damage control.
    Their pretense of concern for victims is in itself dispicable.
    Their assets should be seized and recognition as charity revoked.

  30. The most amazing aspect of all this is that after decades of pedophile scandals in the Catholic church, and massive evidence of cover-up from the highest levels of the church, there are still so many people who not only go to Catholic churches, but still entrust their children to the priests. It is amazing how people can become so captivated by the cult of organized religion.

    In my opinion, anyone who has been abused by anyone affiliated with the church should, in addition to pursuing criminal and civil charges against the church, also be pursuing criminal and civil charges against their parents, or whoever took them to the church in the first place.

  31. Very sad ,the devil knocks at the door of every one of us imploring us to relinquish our power in favour of state,a religion ,an economic mantra an employer ,a parent, a spouse.The devil demands that we give up our power and see ourselves as ,powerless and worthless ,for without the relinquishment of our power — the slave master is powerless We need not seek power from others, for others cannot give you power. Each of as has been been endowed at birth with the perfect power to be free. You See around the world children being injured by racism, by poverty ,and by foolish forces of ignorance.The scars are everywhere, Very sad.

  32. Thank you for this, Caitlin. I was raised Catholic and I agree: “Burn it down.” Yes, a highly organized pedophile ring, a highly successful brainwashing operation that has perpetrated incalculable evil and damage to humanity over two millennia. Of course, there have always been very, very good Catholics – priests as well – who have done so much good in the world – but the organization is and has been corrupt through and through. You have done your uncle a great service with this article.

  33. As the sister to a sister who was raped by a priest, the tears flowed freely as I read of the horrors suffered by your uncle, and indeed, by your whole family! I totally agree with your conclusion, burn it down, burn it ALL down! I am so sorry for your loss, my sister’s and your uncle’s innocence should have NEVER been lost at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church!

  34. Human beings, especially the males of the species, need sexual intercourse to keep from going completely crazy. As long as the Catholic church refuses to modify its idiotic policy of pretending that priests are somehow magically exempt from human nature, abuses will continue.

    1. Carolyn Zaremba Avatar
      Carolyn Zaremba

      You are correct.

  35. Should we question why the catholic church has diplomatic status?

    As a result, it even has influence at the UN to advance its biased agenda!

  36. So sorry for your loss, all our losses. Such true words. Let it burn. Amen.

  37. I wish that I could somehow change the past. (How many times, and by how many people, has that been said?)
    My parents were Catholic and raised me and my two brothers as such, even though one of my father’s youngest sisters, an aunt I never had the opportunity to meet, had supposedly committed suicide by drinking bleach not long after she entered a Quebec convent to become a nun. When my grand parents went to the convent to find out exactly what had led up to her suicide, they were given only vague details. In short, in 1920s Quebec, the church was omnipotent, so nobody in the family was ever able to get to the bottom of what my aunt went through before she died. But there can be no doubt that whatever it was was Hell On Earth.
    The fact that my father remained in the church after it killed his sister IMO explains why people still believe that, even with a lot of evidence to the contrary (inquisition, crusades, etc.), the church is at its very core, an organization that works for the good of humanity. Either that or he and my mother believed that they would go to Hell if they didn’t continue to remain in the church and raise their children to be Catholic.
    Not having been brought up in the same Matrix that my parents had, I was able to realize that there was no supreme being by the ripe old age of 17 or 18 and broke off my relationship with the church shortly thereafter. I have not only never regretted my decision; what has since transpired in the church (and in the world in general) has only served to reinforce my decision.
    Anyway, Caitlin, I can’t help but think that your uncle’s life affected your choice of career as an effective, uncorruptable journalist. It must be hard to make a living reporting truth when the rewards for (“temptations” of) reporting lies are so lavish. Catholic victims of rape reporting the truth to the church hierarchy over the decades (or maybe even the centuries, who’s to say), or, if brave enough, to the police, were similarly “rewarded”.
    Maybe the behavior of the catholic clergy will change, but I believe that that is only faint hope. I say that because a fundamental question about that clergy has to be answered. Why DO young men choose to become priests rather than any other profession? Put differently, what’s the “draw” of the priesthood?
    For at least the past century the church has had rules that should have prevented sexual abuse. Obviously, a significant number of people broke those rules and their oaths and went unpunished for many years. Therefore, more severe methods are now going to have to taken to prevent that abuse. How many people are going to “sign up” to be priests and nuns if there are CCTV systems installed everywhere priests “interact” with the people in the parish, or if there will have to be witnesses for these interactions? Every move the clergy make and every word they utter is now going to have to be recorded or observed by others in the interest of “safety”. For example, are future priests going to be allowed to take a group of children on a “religious retreat” into the woods, or invite a “special” child to the rectory for a “sleepover”? I doubt it. Hopefully those good old days are over.
    I’m not a fan of Duterte, but even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day. On Monday he got the time right by reportedly saying the following:
    “When they get horny, the sons of bitches, they go after nuns. If they’re gay, they go after young boys. Who needs a religion like that?”
    And he then went on to predict that the church would be gone in 25 years. One can only hope.
    In closing, in the late 1800s a French novelist named Emile Zola is reported to have said the following:
    “Civilization will not attain its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest.”in, you are doing a valuable job. I really appreciate it.

    1. Michael Fiorillo Avatar
      Michael Fiorillo

      There’s also the famous quote by the French philosopher Diderot: “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

      1. And graffiti from Paris in 68. Mankind will never be free till the last capitalist is hung with the entrails of the last bureaucrat.

        1. Yes, we need Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin back to save us. The Brownshirt/Bolshies are already hard at work.

  38. That’s a horrible story, Caitlin. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss, and for your uncle’s suffering, and for the suffering of those around him. In Canada, as I’m sure you know, we have been hearing these stories – from the residential schools, orphanages and too many other places – for decades. But it never gets less awful or less sad. Love and condolences to you and yours.

  39. Dear Caitlin,

    I feel so angry and so very sorry of all your uncle suffered throughout his life – because of the pervasive evils of the Catholic Church and its monstrous pedophiles like Daniel Hourigan, Fentan, Pell – and the idiots like former Prime Minister John Howard who encourage them (who does he identify with?).

    Damn these cruel, psychopathic predators who parade around as little gods surrounded by splendor and adoration – damn those who knowingly continue to cover up their horrible, and ongoing crimes.

    There are many powerful pedophile rings around the world, including our hometowns and cities and Washington, DC. And if we know about them, then law enforcement must know, too.

    In the excellent Netflix documentary, THE KEEPERS – the Baltimore ring, involving the Catholic powerbase there, law enforcement, businessmen, politicians- is exposed for what it was and may still be, and the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnek, who tried to protect the girls who were repeatedly brutalized. Incredibly courageous, beautiful women who survived that time tell their stories – now in their 60’s. I recommend it to all. It is so compelling, so well told.

    Caitlin, thank you for writing such a powerful and personal piece about your wonderful, funny and courageous uncle. I hope it is republished and shared a million times.

    I am so sorry for your grief. I can imagine how much you will miss him.

    Ann Williams,
    Jackson, Mississippi, USA

  40. Thank you for writing this. I’m a big fan of your political essays, but this may be as important. May your uncle’s memory be eternal. Additionally there seems to be an unspoken thread running through article like yours, the comments, the Pennsylvania district attorney reports, but not ignored in the Archbishop Vigano letters. That is that 80% of the sex abuse cases are adult males with pubescent boys. The second closest group is adult males with adult women (usually Church secretaries or teachers). The third group, and maybe less than 5-10% is actual pre-pubescent children (again mostly boys). It seems clear the the Roman Catholic Church has a pederasty problem that was/is being covered up by homosexual priests and bishops. Sure other professions have problems (Protestant pastor’s, gymnastics and wrestling coaches, public school teachers) but none of them have the sophisticated apparatus to cover up the crime like the Roman Catholics do. And in all of this, the Name of Jesus and His Gospel is being dragged through the slime. I pray you, your readers, people raised Christian do not close their heart to Jesus of Nazareth. Thank you for all your writing.
    Tom S.

    1. Susan Mercurio Avatar
      Susan Mercurio

      Sadly, many more girls are sexually abused by their priests/pastors than boys.
      Why do we hear more about boys? Maybe boys are still more valued in our society than girls, or maybe because boys getting sexually abused will sell more media, while the sexual abuse of girls is only “business as usual.”

    2. I would suggest the third group is, in fact the largest group, and due to the non transparency, mortality, and the reprehensible thought it is within this group, survivors of pedophilia (by definition pedophilia concerns prepubescent victims, hebephilia pubscent) from chronic repeated abuse, are more likely to become perpetrators of it. Introducing a virginal pubescent boy into sexual activity with a male, often leads to internal conflict of gender preference because at a certain level, arousal is experienced, which increases feelings of guilt, shame, and or sexual orientation. Indeed only “irredeemably heterosexual” male child victims of male sexual predators to quote Anthony Blunt, an irredeemable homosexual with grey areas over the extent of his sexual modus operandi, are likely to abstain from batting both ways.

    3. I disagree. The Public school abuse is probably far worse, and has at LEAST an equal amount of resources to cover up crime. Yrs ago I learned a girl I graduated from High school with had killed herself shortly after graduation. When I expressed shock, a friend said “Didn’t you know? She was having an affair with Mr………..” (a male teacher at the high school). Apparently he was finished with her, and let her know. That is not rape, but she was so young, inexperienced, and was a very plain girl, very vulnerable.

  41. In the 1990’s, the Archbishop of the diocese of St. Paul, MN, USA, wrote an article published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, saying that women were blaming the church for much of the misogyny in society and saying that the church wasn’t responsible for it!
    I was so mad that I wanted to write a letter to the editor, saying that, Yes, they are. Possibly the Archbishop had heard of the Malleus Malificatorum? The “Hammer of Witches”?
    Not only heretics and heathens were burned: women by the thousands were burned to death across Europe. Some districts had not one woman alive – babies, pregnant mothers, old grannies – all dead. (See the pamphlet “Witches, Midwives, and Nurses.”) All the men were led by the Roman Catholic Church, based on what was written in the Malleus.
    Sadly, I have PTSD and Major Depression from my traumatic childhood and I wasn’t doing well enough ever to write the letter.

  42. John Howard is in all likelihood a pedophile. He’s a total creepy, slimy POS.

    1. Yes, he certainly has ‘the look’.

  43. The Catholic Church has always been a hard core criminal organization. It laundered CIA obtained narcotics money after WWII when the CIA, and the scum bag, criminal thugs who run the Vatican set up their bank in Vatican City for that express purpose. The Catholic Church also has long been a child sex slave trafficking operation. The other “church” that is totally corrupt is the Church of Latter Day Saints, a weirdo cult set up by a nut job. Most Christian, Muslim, and Jewish houses of worship are nothing more than money making machines that prey upon weak, simple-minded people.

    1. You should read what Thorstein Veblen said about churches as money-making machines!
      To paraphrase: The goal of capitalism is to “Buy cheap and sell dear.” The churches take that to the logical conclusion; they buy an invisible, unprovable product for free and sell it, as Veblen said, “for all the traffic will bear.”

  44. The catholic church pushes the narrative – when they have to admit something – that priests commit the offenses and the hierarchy only covers them up. But that makes no sense. Logic dictates that priests become monsignors become bishops become archbishops become cardinals become popes. When the 11th century church, in order to keep clergy inherited wealth within the coffers of the church, banned marriage, they offered an alternative, a substitute, a perk: little boys and girls. It is not an accident that there is so much pedophilia in the church, not some cosmic screw up, it is the plan, the modus operandi.

  45. I’m so, so sorry this happened to your bright and shining uncle, and to all the other bright and shining children during the millennia of the Church’s regime.

  46. Voltaire warned us. “Crush the infamous thing!” he said. 250 years later, it’s still needed.

  47. Caitlin, Your words are a tribute to your Uncle/and sometimes Cousin. Such a tribute is a spark that hopefully will Burn the house down. The Church Predators fucked me too. Amen.

  48. Just before everyone piles in on the Church ..a word of warning….I was placed in a Catholic boarding school after my Mother died. The year before I learned about Jesus…not the Church..Jesus. At that school I didn’t learn about Jesus at all. I slept in a dormitory of 15 boys. One boy was singled out by the priest as a tool of his perverted sexual desires. The cover up was extraordinary. The kid got the blame almost. The priest “needed a rest”.
    Years later I revisited Jesus. I found my King. The Church is full of sinners like me. The Roman Catholic Church has been infested with demons since around the 12 hundreds. Michael Hoffman II explains this in his masterful book The Occult Rennaisance Church of Rome. I am half way through that book. Priests are forbidden to marry but St Paul COMMANDS them to marry. Don’t pile in on Christianity if you are not sure what it is. PAul commands marriage for priests/presbyters because Paul knows the lunacy of a single man let loose on trusting sheep.Also ….check out this Priest re Syria


  49. “God created men but Sam Colt made them equal.” Kill them and save the victim
    . Thats well within the law where I reside. Thankfully.

  50. You have my deepest sympathies, Caitlin. I agree with everything you say about the Roman Catholic church, and would add that it applies to the Protestant churches too.

    There are so many things wrong with those churches, from the lies they propagate, the mind-boggling hypocrisy, and the deep cruelty of their treatment of those who don’t submit to their power. The irony is that they cannot really believe in an afterlife or God’s judgement for it they genuinely did then they would never perpetrate so many crimes against humanity because they would be terrified of the consequences when they died.

    I’m pleased that Pell has been locked up finally. He is, in my view, a truly wicked man – the worst kind of priest.

    As the judge said he saw himself as above it all, confident he would get away with it. The sheer arrogance of it makes me want him to suffer. I hope the pope defrocks him and excommunicates him, too.

    He deserves no sympathy from anyone – ever.

  51. Caitlin, your words brought your vibrant brother to life, for me. Doing so, also wrenched my heart for all he suffered, through. I grew up Catholic. Went to many of their schools, including 3 boarding schools. The first, when I was just 6. I knew, without any crimes committed on me, by the time I reached about 13-14, I was done with them. I told my parents I would go no more. They didn’t fight me. I wish your uncle had felt he could have fought that monster and run out of that room screaming down to where everyone was. Poor boy. I agree, the church must be dissolved, property repatriated, and the guilty priests should be guillotined in my book. End the nightmare, support and try to heal it’s victims. I send my most heartfelt condolences to your suffering family for the loss of such a Dynamo of a man.

  52. Former Catholic school girl here – weeping. I know you are distrustful of much of the corporate-owned media, but this piece deserves much wider circulation. Please consider sending it as an op-ed to some of the major journals like the New York Times.

  53. Very sorry, Caitlin. A beautifully written tribute to a much loved man and a dagger to the heart of the people and the institution which blighted his life. I’m sure the love of family and partner provided some measure of counterbalance to the torment he could not escape and which finally ended his life. Your mother’s poem is equally eloquent – took my breath away

  54. It truly baffles me why you would want to ruin someone’s life by a single revolting act. Why would anyone want to do that? But obviously lots do. Pell so much worse than I had an idea of and I’m so glad at least a little justice is being done.

    1. It’s called “evil”.

    2. I have formed an opinion on this, from gathering multiple testimonies from individual stories. The precocious and inquisitive children are selected, groomed, which can lead to the less colourful and more ordinary to feel ” left out” of something they really wouldn’t wish to be part of. A family of six siblings where only one is plucked, whose protests are disbelieved and truth denied as false witness. Just as the rare sightings of birds blown off course get recorded because they come to rest on dry land, who can know the toll of the less fortunate who are lost at sea? In the absence of healing, systemic chronic abuse of one individual can produce a psychopath or a cancer patient. Where acute abuse occurs, a life long meander from the garden into haunted self doubt and disgust, addictions and cravings. I know of a story where a boy (historical) returned home from boarding school at the end of term and tried to alert his parents, only to be told by his mother not to be silly! Brides from the old school marrying men who were sent away to board experienced being raped on their wedding night. It was normal. Sometimes a father would take the groom to one side saying, “Be kind to her.” A tradition of co-erced and complicit parties.
      How on earth is it possible Jesus’ pure concern to treasure and love the children as a fundamental premise for creating peace on earth could be so abhorrently corrupted? Well I suppose anything which promotes sound values and egality for all has always been hijacked and subverted by the Establishment, and there is no better way to suppress glory and abundance than with shame and guilt.
      I have read, and hotly dispute pedophiles are born not bred. Sexual statistics are not forthcoming; where a heterosexual male is likely, when questioned to exaggerate his sexual activity, a heterosexual woman will do the opposite, and victims of child abuse more likely to not discuss it at all, this is if their mortal coil survived. What about the irredeemable heterosexuals whose ‘interference’ leads them to become ‘womanisers’ drinkers, incapable of forming lasting relationships? Louis Macniece comes to mind, Boris Johnson, also. Did you know Jimmy Saville, Fred West and Reggie might be Ronnie) Kray spent lengthy spells in hospital as children? Who knows what kind of cadaver/pervert got their hands on them. Call me naive, I can not accept, as a mother, humans are born like this, maybe a minute freaky few, but not at the level systemic endemic pedophilia exists in institutions.
      However horrific and repulsive it is monsters like Pell exist, it is also worth sparing a thought they too, were preyed upon as innocents.

      1. Ted Bundy *loved* to kill. Lived for it. So no, he wasn’t made, he made himself. There were only two options in his case- lifelong isolation from society or execution. There is no third option with some individuals because they are *permanent dangers to society no matter what interventions might be pointed in their direction*; some individuals love to kill, some to rape, some to do harm to vulnerable children.

        It is, in fact, NOT worth ‘sparing a thought’ to the possibility that adults who may *or may not* have been abused as children are somehow less culpable for their actions- the fact is they *choose to go on to become abusers themselves*- at some point the rot has to stop and adult perpetrators abusing their positions of power be called to account with the most severe of penalties. It is entirely inappropriate to raise the issue of ‘oh the poor perpetrator’ when one is discussing the ongoing abuse of *vulnerable children*.

        I was extremely abused as a child by my own mother yet I did not grow up to abuse my *own* children *because I have the ability to CHOOSE not to*, even though that meant a great deal of pain in dealing with the realities of my childhood abuse. While child abuse is tolerated in a culture, it will continue- the first step is to absolutely and unequivocally refusing any more to tolerate it.

  55. Dear Caitlin: Condolences for your uncle to you and your and his family. Out of a fundamentalist Protestant background something similar to me when I was 11 – but asked by my mother and believed when she continued to ask me if something had happened the following morning. I have written a piece in response to the quite ugly piece in Jesuit social justice journal (on-line) Eureka Street – by usually relatively sensible/urbane Frank Brennan in defence of Pell. Quite ugly. Thank-you for this beautiful and sad tribute to your uncle. It tells me too that my own story happened, too.

  56. Honestly, the only real justice for these monsters in the temporal world is to burn them all at the stake like they used to do with those they branded as heretics. But we’re so much more civilized than that now. Well bless our hearts…

    1. I disagree.
      There is an “afterlife”.
      As a result of their crimes against others in this life, they will not recall this life, and are likely to repeat their behaviour. At least here and now, we know who they are.

  57. This is a heartbreaking story, Caitlin. You are bold and kind to share it. Yes, the Catholic Church is brutally ugly. I am sorry you have lost your uncle. I am sorry that his life was so deeply fraught and painful.

  58. Yes, the present situation of Catholic priests and some other “religious” people sexually abusing children is unconscionable, but the Catholic Church’s is far more treachorous and damaging than raping children.

    The Catholic Church has probably initiated or instigated
    + more wars,
    + the destruction of more civilisations,
    + the destruction of more nations,
    + the destruction of more city-states and
    + the destruction of more people
    than any government or organisation in the history of man.

    That is partly because it has managed to survive for so long, in no small part because of its ruthlessness and its ability to incite devotion “to a higher power”.

    Over the years, I am amazed at how many times in history I read about a city, nation or civilization attacked by Catholics on behalf of, or on the instigation of the Catholic church.

    The Catholic Church encourages a slavish mentality. The Magna Carta was “cancelled” by a papal bull.

    They pretend to favour the poor. In recent decades, despite people in “Catholic countries” being in desperate need of resources (e.g. land), the Catholic church refuses to allow its land to be used by others, when it acquired the land by force or was gifted it.

    There are many good Catholic people in the world, but their church is a pox on mankind.

  59. You did your sweet uncle proud Caitlyn – thank you so much for writing this.

  60. Yes it is all so terribly true. And in a new history of the First Crusade it says that the great historically monumental oration given by Pope Urban II calling the Catholic world to a holy war against the Muslims in Palestiine which started the centuries of blood malice between the Muslim world and the West was a total lie of calculated propaganda by Urban Il.

  61. thanks for sharing; shining a light.

  62. Even before you got to the part about what happened to your uncle, I was already thinking to myself that this Pell guy had spent so much time around the Church, studied theology, and had absolutely no idea of what Jesus was trying to teach. Just the vindictiveness towards victims said that much. Then the Pell’s tale went downhill from there.
    If I imagine that there’s a Heaven, then I imagine that God and his Son won’t let St. Peter have all the fun in telling this Pell guy to get lost when he shows up at the Pearly Gates.
    On the other hand, I look forward to meeting your uncle. I always enjoyed a good drag show!

  63. So sorry, Cait. Peace and blessings for your lovely uncle’s mind. May your family’s heartbreak become a rain of beautiful flowers. Peace <3

  64. I wonder, did Father Hourigan commit suicide, or was he “helped”?

    1. My thoughts exactly.

  65. Of course John Howard would write a character reference for Pell.
    Howard is himself an unprosecuted psychopathic war criminal.
    “Birds of a feather flock together.”

    1. Howard is such a good judge of character that he made paedophile-protector Anglican Archbishop Peter Hollingsworth the Governor-General – and that man then had to resign that position. That Howard would write a character reference for PELL is par for that course of not being empathetic to the victims/survivors of the sexual abuse rife within the Catholic and other religious groups, too.

  66. I had sailed to Tonga…I witnessed an event on Tonga (30 or so yrs ago), where the Catholics came to a feast by the Tongans…the Catholics drove up in a van (on Tonga the people were poor, walked everywhere..no one owned a car!..it was the poorest place I had ever seen)…the Catholics set up a microphone…as the people came up to give their donations, the Catholics announced how much each person tithes….making them feel self conscious if they only donated a little…..then after the Catholics collected their money…..they loaded up their van….and drove off…not even staying for the celebration and food that was offered….they drove to the next village…..to collect more money…..I was in shock….
    These island people were very poor….and the Catholics drained them for all they could get…..I will never forget this….the Catholics are criminals thru and thru

    1. Joe Van Steenbergen Avatar
      Joe Van Steenbergen

      It’s all about the Benjamins! I turned away from religion a long time ago, mostly because of the endless begging and shaming over “donations.” I also believe it is wrong to not tax church property in this country. Why are they exempt from property taxes that the rest of us have to pay?

    2. And now they are being paid by the government to import illegal aliens into the US, big business for them.

    1. Yeah :/ What else can you say?

      1. What indeed? Your writing is always powerful and on point, but this eulogy to your wonderful uncle sets the bar higher again.

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