Talk:George Pell

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Post-rename discussion starts at #6 — Донама 06:31, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Piss Christ[edit]

Pell's comments in the wake of the smashing of "Piss Christ" in Melbourne need mention under "Controversies". - David Gerard 00:39, Feb 15, 2004 (UTC)

Feel free. Adam 07:57, 15 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Reference to use: - Pell attempting to invoke the law of blasphemy - David Gerard 00:22, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)
So write it already. Adam 01:47, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I know, I know. Here as a note to myself (or anyone else) to do in Copious Free Time - David Gerard 13:08, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Combining with George Pell article[edit]

Could we combine the histories of thsi and the George Pell articles?

Acegikmo1 03:16, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Strikes me that the tone of this article seems a little off for an encyclopedic piece: "Pell is the most highly educated, sophisticated, articulate and outspoken Catholic prelate Australia has seen since the death of Archbishop Daniel Mannix of Melbourne." That's not a fact, it's an opinion. I admit that it caught my eye because it's not something I agree with, but I think my point is legitimate: statements like this one permeate the article, they are not factual, and need to be recast as objective representations of other people's opinions.

Fair enough. I don't think there's too much dispute he's the most visible Australian Catholic bishop in decades; he's as big a media junkie as Peter Beattie or Allan Fels. His other merits are debatable and should be attributed. The challenge is to find attributable quotes to make those points. If you're lucky enough to have access, try poking around Lexis-Nexis (or Factiva). If nobody else does, I might see what I can find when I get time. --Robert Merkel 13:49, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Christian teaching on sexuality[edit]

"Christian teaching on sexuality is only one part of the Ten Commandments, of the virtues and vices, but it is essential for human wellbeing [sic] and especially for the proper flourishing of marriages and families, for the continuity of the human race," Pell said upon becoming Archbishop of Sydney.

Is that 'sic' appropriate? By my understanding, the proper use of 'sic' is to clarify that an apparent error in transcribed text was not introduced in transcription - effectively "thus it was in the source". I get the impression the intended meaning here is "of course, Pell is wrong in claiming this", which is not an appropriate use of 'sic' (and would also be POV). There's nothing I can see in that quote that's likely to be mistaken for a transcription error... but maybe I've missed something? --Calair 23:40, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I belive that it may be simply that "well-being" is considered by some to be two words. I don't know; I've seen "wellbeing" around in some places - anyone care to consult a dictionary, etc? Even if it is an error, it's such a minor one, I don't know if it's worthy of a sic. Slac speak up! 00:59, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is clearly a "sarcastic sic" and should be removed. Adam 01:19, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Since the passage the anonymous user above objected to has been removed, I don't see any evidence of an ongoing POV dispute about this article, so I have removed the tag. Adam 01:25, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I deleted the reference to "clerical celibacy" as a topic not open to discussion. Clerical celibacy is a discipline, and thus eminently changeable within the church and legitimately open to debate (though it is unlikely to happen anytime in the near future, I believe). Female ordination, on the other hand, is a settled doctrine taught by the magesterium of the Church, and isn't a matter of debate. Though I still think the notion that it "can't be discussed" is a bit strong, but I know what the original author meant. Dave Walker 03:46, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

He has made strong remarks against abandoning clerical celibacy, so I've re-added mention of this but (hopefully) fixed the wording to acknowledge the distinction you've pointed out. --Calair 04:14, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I think you hit just the right note. Though, in an overall sense, I still think the "controversies" section suffers from a non-NPOV problem, insofar as it shouldn't be considered controversial for a Catholic Cardinal to uphold Catholic teachings. I also recognize that the Church's teachings on matters of sexuality are a minority view in the world, so I can see how this POV came about. Dave Walker 21:51, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it's just the fact that he upholds Catholic teachings that makes him 'controversial' (one of the most overused words in Wikipedia). Both in Sydney and in Melbourne, Pell seemed to be accompanied by a lot more commotion than other archbishops who, AFAIK, upheld the same teachings. IMHO, it has a lot to do with the way he expresses those teachings; his manner might be described as 'forthright', 'blunt', or 'tactless' depending on one's sympathies. --Calair 01:00, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

I can buy that. Bishops can forget that they are to be shepherds, who lead, rather than cowboys, who drive. Dave Walker 00:45, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Do you think the page adequately explains this (e.g. mention of his outspoken and hierarchical approach in the 'Church Leader' section), or does it need to be clearer on the fact that it's not just the views but the presentation that makes the difference? --Calair 01:27, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Sources are needed for the claim that Vatican reaffirmed the Catholic teaching that practising homosexuals were "seriously depraved". This is not my understanding of the stance of the Church; the 'official teaching' is on the Vatican website, and describes homosexual acts as 'intrinsically disordered', but nowhere is the word 'depraved' used. Until this confusion is cleared up, perhaps the allegation shoudl be deleted from the article, as per Wikipedia policy

See the 2003 pronouncement on same-sex unions on the same site (emphasis mine):
"Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts “as a serious depravity... (cf. Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10). This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”.(5) This same moral judgment is found in many Christian writers of the first centuries(6) and is unanimously accepted by Catholic Tradition." There is perhaps a fine distinction to be made a judgement on practising homosexuals and a judgement on homosexual acts, and I've tweaked the wording accordingly, but that quote comes straight from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. The excerpt from Hingston's letter should not have been tagged as 'citation needed' since the paragraph already gives a source for that letter. --Calair 12:58, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

'Church Leader' section[edit]

I'm not very happy with this passage (emphases mine):

He uses the media, particularly television, with great skill.

Pell combines this sophistication with strict adherence to Catholic orthodoxy. As his rapid promotion shows, he had the full confidence of Pope John Paul II and his closest advisers such as Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI). Since the 1960s Australia has become one of the most secularised countries in the world, and Australians have become used to Christian leaders whose public utterances are confined to occasional exhortations to peace, love and charity. An Archbishop who strongly and capably expounds Catholic doctrines in matters of personal morality, and who exerts a strong top-down hierarchical discipline within the Church, has come as a shock to Australian Catholics.

Not flagrantly POV, but this seems a little more judgemental than I would like. What do others think? --Calair 01:24, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, well if you're going to pick those, I think "rapid", "one of the most secularised", "strong" and "has come as a shock" would be in the same boat. I'm in two minds: I can see what that para is getting at, and think something of that sort is appropriate to say, but I don't know how it can be phrased best. I'm tempted just to remove the bits that I disagree with as opinion, but that's probably not the best approach. Slac speak up! 02:17, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I removed them. Terms like that are inherintly unverifiable. Better to just mention the various mediums he has appeared on and let reader judge for themselves. Ashmoo 07:02, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

For this article to achieve a more neutral viewpoint the term "leader" should be abandoned here as too controversial and too biased. There could be debate as to whether a particular person in a particular role should be given this label viewed from a point of neutrality, which is the view Wikipedia espouses. The term 'leader' has many connotations some of which a neutral point of view would not endorse. See the wiki on leadership for further insights. A person may be validly regarded as a leader within certain contexts or organisations but not necessarily from opposite points of view or the neutral view point. This case is a perfect illustration of that. That a person has a particular role in society or an organisation which may entail education, publicity, propaganda, counselling, administration, or guidance, for example, could be argued does not imply leadership in all contexts of the rather loaded term. The person may not be regarded as a leader outside the context of his/her organisation. To avoid the trap of Wikipedia becoming a propaganda arm or public relations department of any particular organisation, it should be very careful how it headlines its articles. I suggest we be very specific in describing the person's role rather than evoking that emotive term, "leader."Bcebul (talk) 23:18, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me that "leader" is usually a neutral and unbiased term and that it isn't in itself an "emotive term". A person can be a good leader, a bad leader or a nothing much leader. In Pell's case he is a leader by virtue of his particular office regardless of what kinds of leadership qualities he has or how he expresses his leadership. Simply by being an archbishop and cardinal, Pell is a "leader" within the Roman Catholic Church. What particular individuals think of his leadership is not really relevant. Afterwriting (talk) 11:59, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
It is precisely that this term, "leader", in this context is open to interpretation, nuance, connotation and commentary that it should be avoided here. The fact that this descriptive term is used as a headline in preference to many other possibly applicable terms such as "follower", "lackey", "spokesperson", "placeholder", "lobbyist", "authority", "obfuscater", "shepherd", "teacher", "defender of the faith", "bringer of light" or "moral bankrupt" is in itself commentary. Wikipedia should avoid commentary to retain a neutral viewpoint. If the person's formal position is "Leader" then say "Leader", if it is "Archbishop" say "Archbishop" not "leader".Bcebul (talk) 01:46, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I think you are really missing the point here and investing the term "leader" with unecessary significance. In the article the term was simply being used in a generic manner by including Pell among the various Christian leaders of Australia - whether bishops or something else. Lots of otherwise neutral terms can also be open to what you are calling "interpretation" etc so I don't find your comments about calling Pell a leader at all convincing. As I wrote before, Pell is a Christian leader because his position makes him one and in normal usage any bishop would often be called a "Christian leader" so there is nothing about "leader" in its context in this article that makes it a loaded or biased term. If the article referred to him as a "wonderful leader" or a "dreadful leader" it would be an entirely different matter. Afterwriting (talk) 11:18, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

It may be asserted or accused that an Archbishop has many attributes or roles, as I said above. Why choose "leader" or "leadership", which are not neutral terms says me and others like [Chomsky] for instance, in a headline above other roles? Even if the term were neutral which it is not, to emphasise it in a headline reflects bias towards this aspect of the person and invites commentary such as the above. In a commentary spree, to be fair all the other numerous relevant roles and attributes should get equal headline billing or, easier, no headlines. Bcebul (talk) 21:04, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Name of this article???[edit]

Why is this article not named in accordance with Wikipedia policy ie George Pell? George Pell redirects here.--A Y Arktos 08:43, 13 March 2006 (UTC)


I added some recent controversy stuff from 2006-05-05 news and also split it into sections because he is so controversial the controversies seemed to need some kind of categorisation! Feel free to reorder or rearrange. — Донама 06:31, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Legatus Summit speech[edit]

At a speech delivered to Catholic Business leaders at the Legatus Summit in February 2006, Pell stated that the Koran is riddled with many invocations to violence that he stopped taking notes of them after about 50 pages. He also stated that in his personal opinion Islam is not a tolerant religion. (Note that the speech was made in February but was only released for general consumption in May.)

I'm no fan of Pell, but this is a good example of why it's better to go to the original source where possible. The ABC story cited as the source for this claim did not in fact say that. What it said was:

[Pell] also says that considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited.

That's accurate as far as it goes, but it only goes halfway. Context, from Pell's original speech:

Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited. To stop at this proposition, however, is to neglect the way these facts are mitigated or exacerbated by the human factor.

He then goes on to describe Indonesia as an example of moderate Islam. Overall, by my reading, the gist of the speech is not 'Islam is an intolerant religion' but 'Islam has a large intolerant element, and productive dialogue with moderate Islam requires acknowledging that fact'. I think reading the original text will make it clear to most editors why I think the current article text is POV, albeit unintentionally so. --Calair 07:00, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I rewrote the section and added some of Pell's previous remarks on Islam. I tried to keep as NPOV as possible, but I'm not sure how good a job I did of that. --Calair 03:04, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Additions on paedophilia...[edit]

To the user who recently added some stuff relating to Pell's actions to deal with the problems of paedophilia within the church, I removed much of it as unattributed opinion (I don't think those opinions are universally held). If you can find some appropriate source to attribute them to, I'd be very happy to see them go back in. --Robert Merkel 07:42, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Relationship with Howard government[edit]

This part of the Controversies section really needs a bit more grounding in citeable facts - Pell has agreed with the Howard Government's policies where they agree with his, but describing him as a 'close ally' really needs evidence of a relationship beyond that. Also, cf Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words - stuff like "Tony Abbott is considered to be the government's leading anti-abortion campaigner" needs to be sourced to somebody. --Calair 06:49, 9 November 2006 (UTC)


To the anonymous editor who added the section on 'Life Saving PET Controversy', I have removed your contribution because most of it was unverifiable, either hearsay or innuendo ('who is presumed to be known to Pell', etc). Also, the section made little sense. Please re-draft, including appropriate citations (a press release from a politician is not an appropriate citation for a claim that some technology is or is not 'life saving'), taking care for readability in English, and re-submit. ( 10:49, 24 October 2007 (UTC))

Same problem again by the same anonymous editor (who has also doctored the Tony Abbott article). Failed to respond to talk requests. Section removed again, as per above. Please respond appropriately or you will be reported for vandalism. Also, deleted link to the Rainbow Sash Movement. The page linked had no information on or about Pell.( 16:02, 25 October 2007 (UTC))
Third instance of vandalism from the same ISP Refer to ( 08:51, 26 October 2007 (UTC))

World Youth Day[edit]

I was wondering if anyone else thinks that the section on World Youth Day is too long? Most of the discussion on World Youth Day is discussing the event rather than Pell himself. I think that it's quite unnecessary as WYD has its own article. Anyone else have thoughts on the issue?

Related to WYD, here it says that Australia won the bid in 2006, which is wrong, it was 2005 because the announcement was made in that year's WYD in Cologne. Lsalabust (talk) 04:35, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Prosperity doctrine[edit]

"His views on the prosperity gospel has also put him at loggerheads with Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, and Jesse Duplantis..." - yes, but what are those views? This article doesn't actually say. -- (talk) 00:45, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Peter Jensen[edit]

Cardinal Pell's relationship with the equally hard line Anglican Archcbishop of Sydney, goes further than co-operation on political issues, and although they agree to differ on certain theological points, they certainly agree on matters such as homosexuality and women priests. The two regard themselves as friends, and Pell asked Jensen to be the main speaker at the book launch of a biography written by one of his supporters some five years ago. Millbanks (talk) 08:51, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Sources on sexual abuse / pedophila[edit]

These might be somehow helpful in On sexual abuse by Catholic priests, or On pedophilia within the Church.

'At home with' edits[edit]

Can an administator - or someone with more expert knowledge on Wikipedia policies and editing guidelines - please assist the editor called 'At home with' who does not understand how to appropriately contribute to this article? He or she seems to think this is a forum in which to express personal opinions on various issues. Thanks. Afterwriting (talk) 09:47, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

There is no "ex officio head of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia"[edit]

The second sentence of this article is incorrect. Yes, many reputable sources speak of Cardinal Pell as being the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia (for example,,25197,23986175-601,00.html), but this is simply not the case, as there is no one office that is an all-encompassing "head" in the Australian Catholic Church. This is a misconception. (You may wish to see the comment by John Buggy of the group Australian Reforming Catholics as quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald article "Minister says Pell as bad as that 'boofhead Hilaly'" authored by Alexandra Smith and Linda Morris, dated June 7, 2007)

Back to the topic at hand. There is a three-fold hierarchy in the Catholic Church worldwide; bishop, priest and deacon ( There is no office in the church higher than that of "bishop." Even the office of pope (with jurisdictional rights and responsibilities of being the earthly head of the Catholic Church universally - it may go without saying at this point that the Church teaches that the true head of the Church is Christ) is bestowed on him by virtue of his being Bishop of Rome. To reiterate, there is no office higher than bishop.

Let us now return to the matter at hand which concerns Cardinals and their relationships to bishops. In the Australian case, Pell is a cardinal-bishop (not all cardinals are diocesan bishops). Cardinals' functions are really only functional in relation to the Pope and the Vatican. ( Therefore, in terms of the Australian Church, Pell is not any more or less important than any other diocesan bishop, and he certainly does not have jurisdiction over the church of the entire country. As Archbishop (meaning he is bishop of an Archdiocese), he has ecclesiastical (church) jurisdiction, governance and responsibilities for only the Archdiocese of Sydney. And the Archdiocese of Sydney does not include the geography of the whole of greater Sydney (for example, while geographically, Parramatta is considered part of Sydney, when we speak about church (and diocesan) boundaries, the Diocese of Parramatta is a completely different diocese to the Archdiocese of Sydney.) So, Cardinal Pell has all the rights and responsibilities of being a Cardinal in relation to his functions and roles that are negotiated with the Pope and Vatican, but in Australia he is still a bishop amongst bishops.

The confusion (that Cardinal Pell is the supposed head of the Catholic Church in Australia) seems to lie in misconceptions that the Archdiocese (and thus Archbishopric) of Sydney is more important than other dioceses (and bishops) in Australia, particularly because the honour of Cardinalate is given to Archbishops of Sydney. As a historical trend/tradition, we can almost certainly expect that Archbishops of Sydney will become Cardinals (see Conclusion section of Another historical honour for the Archdiocese of Sydney is in being the first place that institutional Catholicism took root in Australia. Apart from historical reasons, the Archdiocese of Sydney is no more or less important (in terms of authority in church affairs) than any other diocese or Archdiocese in Australia. (I want to be clear here that I am not speaking about the very different issue of politics; I am only speaking in terms of jurisdictional church authority.)

On to this penultimate point: each bishop has ecclesiastical jurisdiction and responsibilities only for their particular diocese. This means that there is no diocesan bishop in Australia who can interfere in the affairs of another diocesan bishop. They have rights and responsibilities only within the diocese they are called to serve. So Cardinal Pell, as bishop of Sydney exercises authority in only the Archdiocese of Sydney (e.g. the Archbishop of Melbourne cannot be told what to do by the Archbishop of Sydney and vice-versa). So, each bishop remains within the boundaries of their dioceses in terms of authority. (see "Rights and Responsibilities" section in See also the Code of Canon Law which says this in no uncertain terms (Canon 390,

Finally, while there is no "head" of the Catholic Church in Australia, there is the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, of which there is a chair. It is not my place to explain the working of the ACBC here, but needless to say, the ACBC's statements are probably the closest thing that can be described as speaking on behalf of the entire church of Australia (and this authority really comes back to it being the authority of the combined local college of bishops).

In relation to the Wikipedia article, I would like to propose that the phrase "and ex officio head of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia" be removed, and perhaps even a new topic under the article to debunk the common misconception that Cardinal Pell, with all due respect, is not the head of the Catholic Church in Australia, but one of the better known leaders in the Australian Church hierarchy.

Caspianix (talk) 14:27, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

There is an ex officio head of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia, but it is not His Eminence. It is rather Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (talk) 16:04, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Monica Hingston References[edit]

Regarding the citations needed under Doctrinal Stances on Sexuality, this news article from The Age published the statements from Monica Hingston. Sorry for not putting them in myself, but I'm a bit rusty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Simm (talkcontribs) 09:12, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Sex abuse controversies[edit]

There is already an article on Sexual abuse scandal in Melbourne archdiocese and the relevant information should be properly transfered there. There is already a keep consensus for similar controversies such Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sexual abuse scandal in Cloyne diocese in case someone doesn't like the idea of a content transfer. ADM (talk) 23:45, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Edit request from, 30 December 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} Category:Australian Roman Catholic priests (talk) 23:36, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Why? Inka888 00:24, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

The first Catholic priest to celebrate Mass at Eton since the Reformation was not George Pell but David Woodard, parish priest of Our Lady of Peace, Burnham, who did so in the mid-1960s. Nicholas Lash (curate to David Woodard at the time). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:43, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Increasing use of self-sourced quotations[edit]

In recent months, I've noticed that there is an increasing use of self–published sources used in this article. Right now approximately one–third of all references are either direct quotes from Pell (such as speeches and interviews), opinion pieces published in the Catholic and mainstream press (where Pell is the author), or media releases issued by the Sydney archdioceses, under Pell's authority. While at this stage it is still within Wikipedia policy on self–published sources, it is getting close to pushing limits. What is of more relevance is the interpretation of Pell's statements, rather than the statements themselves. Perhaps closer consideration could be given to editing to ensure that we're relying on primary sources. For example, Pell's comments on the recent ABCTV Q&A were highly topical. However, it was the subsequent review and interpretation of his comments that were of significant interest. Rangasyd (talk) 01:55, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Surely though, in an article about a public intellectual, philosopher or religious leader, it is important to include their own thoughts and words in sections relating to their "views" - rather than focus simply on interpretations (which seem to almost invariably be journalist opinion pieces in the case of this article). The standard of comment and interpretation of the recent Q&A debate in the media struck me as particularly weak and in many cases dishonest or sensationlist. Wikipedia in such cases can act as a reference point for what was really said - although I agree that overuse of extended quotations is not good.Observoz (talk) 06:57, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Quote on Darwin's autobiography[edit]

It is reasonable to be suspicious that the Cardinal has deliberately quoted Darwin out of context. Pell quotes page 92, however on pages 90 and 94 Darwin challenges arguments for existence of god and declares himself an agnostic. Darwin's autobiography, page 90:

This video explains the whole affair in more detail: --Kresimircindric (talk) 14:54, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

Unlock and Add Multiple Issues Tag[edit]

I am concerned about the Accusation of Sexual Abuse section blaming the potential victim[edit]

I don't know anything about this case in particular but I have volunteered for a suicide / rape hotline. Pell may or may not have sexually abused a 12-year-old boy but I am not sure the boy's future activities have a bearing on this. Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse– Later Criminal Consequences - Childhood sexual abuse can actually be correlated with criminal consequences. IF the 12-year-old was sexually abused - does his later criminal record excuse that? Unless they are showing that the boy actually was convicted of lying about the sex abuse - his record should not be in this article. I think this section underlines why rape victims have such a difficult time coming forward.

The Article says "In June 2002, Pell was accused of having sexually abused a 12-year-old boy at a Roman Catholic youth camp in 1961 whilst a seminarian. Pell vigorously denied all the accusations and stood aside,[59] but did not resign, as archbishop as soon as the allegations were made public. The complainant agreed to pursue his allegations through the church's own process for dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct, the National Committee for Professional Standards (NCPS). The subsequent inquiry found that the accusations had not been established.[60] Justice Southwell concluded:[61]
[B]earing in mind the... very long delay, some valid criticism of the complainant's credibility, the lack of corroborative evidence and the sworn denial of the respondent, I find I am not 'satisfied that the complaint has been established'
Doubts about the handling of the accusation arose following the publication by the Australian Herald Sun on 6 October 2002 of details about the accuser, whose anonymity had been preserved in previous media coverage. As relayed by the Zenit news service, "Pell's alleged victim was, it turned out, a career criminal. He had been convicted of drug dealing and involved in illegal gambling, tax evasion and organized crime in a labour union. A commission probing the union devoted a whole chapter of its report to the man's activities. As the inquiry report noted, 'The complainant has been before the court on many occasions, resulting in 39 convictions from about 20 court appearances.'"[62]"

I think it should have ended at Justice Southwell's conclusions instead of insinuating the charges were the POTENTIAL victim's fault. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

I think your concern is valid, so I removed that section, at least until we can work out what we want to do here. I guess the question is whether or not raising what were valid concerns about the accuser's credibility are justified - on the one hand, I have no desire to victimise the accuser, but on the other, it should be clear that there were serious doubts raised about the accusations. - Bilby (talk) 00:30, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy[edit]

With today's announcement of the creation of the new Secretariat and Cardinal Pell being named as its first Prefect, his time as Archbishop of Sydney will be coming to an end. It is not clear yet when that will become effective. It is likely that it will be when he assumes his new vatican post, which will be "at the end of March".--Dcheney (talk) 00:12, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Sexual abuse section[edit]

I have placed the section on sexual abuse under his "Church role" which is under his "Episcopacy" section according to the usual hierarchical structure of biographies. It was arguably a violation of WP:NPOV to give it undue prominence by placing it high and out of order. Elizium23 (talk) 16:39, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

SMH apology keeps getting deleted[edit]

Under the heading "Accusation of Sexual Abuse", my reference to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) Apology on this matter keeps getting deleted. Wikipedia cannot publish that the SMH stated that the accusation left Cardinal Pell's reputation "falling short of complete exoneration given the inquiry's terms of reference", without also including that same newspaper's apology for not making it clear enough that he was exonerated. However every time I add this point, someone deletes it. Regardless of what people think about Cardinal Pell personally, this is an important fact to include under this heading.

Here is the sentence that keeps getting deleted:

After publishing an article that claimed that Cardinal Pell was not exonerated from these accusations, the Sydney Morning Herald published a correction on 30 March 2013, confirming that the "independent investigation cleared the Cardinal." It said: "The Sydney Morning Herald apologises sincerely to Cardinal Pell for any suggestion to the contrary and for any adverse reflections on him in our 11 March articles."[1]

I just wanted to put an alert here in case this keeps happening!

Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaryBroady (talkcontribs) 23:59, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Update 26 March: This was deleted again for supposed "relevance" so I have given this paragraph its own title so the relevance is more clear. Can someone explain why something factual like this keeps getting deleted? Whether people personally agree or not, Wikipedia is about facts backed up by references, which is what makes this such a great site! — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaryBroady (talkcontribs) 21:56, 25 March 2014 (UTC)

MaryBroady the edit summary clearly says (twice) that is was deleted because it confused two separate issues. Flat Out let's discuss it 23:32, 25 March 2014 (UTC)
Hi MaryBroady. I haven't been involved in the back-and-forth, but as I understand it the apology was for comments published in 2013, while the text quoted was from 2002. So I don't think we can say that the SMH apologised for the 2002 comment. This leaves us in a bit of a quandary, though. I don't like the feel of adding accusations so that we can refute them - if they are false accusations, it is better that they not be given any oxygen. So the new section, which raises a false accusation in order to deny it, makes me very uncomfortable. However, as you rightly point out, the claim that the investigation failed to completely exonerate Pell is also problematic - the statement might still be true, but it misses the subtlety of the situation. I'm not sure about others, but given the SMH's later comments I'm inclined to remove both the line and the later apology, but to leave the claims of the two disputants in place to indicate how it could have been read as a win to all. Maybe add a summary about how it was fair to both parties, as there are a few discussions on that in the archives. Any thoughts? - Bilby (talk) 02:20, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Agree. Both claims should be removed. Flat Out let's discuss it 03:03, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I wanted to let this sit for a week to see if anyone disagreed, but it looks like it is ok to remove both. so I've taken both claims out. Hopefully that was acceptable. - Bilby (talk) 00:05, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

(From MaryBroady, 8 April) Sorry I am just catching up on this. Thank you for making the change I agree it is probably the best solution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MaryBroady (talkcontribs) 00:42, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Apology to Cardinal George Pell - Sydney Morning Herald, 30 March 2013

Cover up[edit]

The cardinal has been accused of attempting to cover up abuse.

At a royal commission sitting Timothy Green said that he told Pell in 1974 that Brother Dowlan was touching little boys, to which, according to Green, "Father Pell said 'don't be ridiculous' and walked out". Green said "his reaction gave me the impression that he knew about Brother Dowlan but couldn't or wouldn't do anything about it".[1][2][3]

It has also been alleged that Pell tried to bribe, David Ridsdale, the nephew of notorious paedophile Gerald Ridsdale to keep quiet about his abuse at the hands of his uncle. According to David Ridsdale's 20 May 2015 testimony at the royal commission, he phoned Pell in 1993 to tell him about the abuse to which Pell responded by asking asked "what would it take" for him to keep quiet. Ridsdale said he responded with "Fuck you George and everything you stand for.". According to the Herald Sun, "Secret church documents tendered to a royal commission yesterday [19 May 2015] revealed that the Cardinal helped move Australia’s worst paedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale between parishes."[4]

Where shall we work that into the article? Jimp 06:30, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

The first question is: "Shall we work that into the article?". Let's hang fire and see how this plays out. Otherwise, we risk being tempted to include every step of what may become a major saga. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 06:41, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Agree. There is already content that is borderline and adding untested allegations will not be helpful. Flat Out talk to me 06:47, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the wait-and-see approach does have its merits. So, let's wait and see. So the question becomes "Shall we work that into the article and, if so, where and when?" Jimp 08:36, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
My suggested answer is "Not yet. Let us wait and see what develops". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 09:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Too long[edit]

It is much too detailed, so undue weight. Zezen (talk) 17:13, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Not agree, but it is necessary to change the plan of the article. In fact the book of Livingstone is very rich in information about him. Olivier LPB (talk) 17:49, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

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Sexual abuse: inquiry and allegations - will have to be in the lead soon, if things carry on as they are[edit]

It's my view that the tide of information re. Pell, both wrt. the inquiry, the allegations against him personally (and these are not the first) and the year-long police investigation into him personally, these are all so significant that if it carries on like this, we would be failing if we did not include a mention of the area in the lead to the article. There is a deluge about this, nothing less. We are not here to hold that back, to be the judge of whether that is right or wrong. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. So we must not ignore it. When it comes to Pell, it is all that people are interested in. Therefore, inclusion of some sort in the lead is very likely to have to follow, soon. What say you? I also think it is likely that they will in time make it imperative for the Pope to remove him from his position. Another matter, perhaps, but closely connected. But again it points towards the need for us to keep up to speed, not to "see how it plays out", and therefore to make mention of it in the lead. Boscaswell talk 18:32, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

The issue of child abuse within ‘the church’ is a highly emotive, contemporary subject that has now caught the attention of the wider public and the media. It may be argued that the past actions, administration of his office and the personality of George Pell contributed, in part, to the public’s increased interest in child abuse. This is a topic where contributors find it difficult to leave their opinions at the door. Therefore, judicious editing is required because much of our history is built upon empirical evidence that may have been, or should have been, challenged over time. To allow a reader to reach a rational conclusion, the reader should have the opportunity to evaluate past evidence, argument, bigotry and manipulation of the subject.User:Dingarwil (talk) 10:06, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

The lead of the article is presently quite short. It should be expanded to provide a summary of the entire article, per MOS:LEAD. The current lead paragraph appears to be adequate as paragraph 1, which leaves approximately three paragraphs to draw out everything else significant from the article. This would likely include one paragraph about sexual abuse, covering his role in bringing it to light as well as the current Victorian allegations and his evidence at the Royal Commission and Parliamentary Enquiry; one about his views in theology and politics; and one of whatever is in the article that didn't fit the other paragraphs but should be in a summary.
Taking a birds-eye view of the article (print to PDF and scale small), I would also suggest the article should be reordered to bring the large Views section up to be the next section after Episcopacy and put the criticism of Benedict XVI into either Episcopacy or Views, rather than standing next to them. --Scott Davis Talk 01:28, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
Definitely extend the lead. It's only a few sentences; it should be a few paragraphs. Obviously one paragraph would have to deal with the abuse. Jimp 23:15, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

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Yes check.svg Done checked archive and it said "Page not found" so I'm leaving the ref as a dead link. Elizium23 (talk) 19:56, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

WP:DUE and the section on abuse[edit]

The section on abuse will grow without bound if every news report is included verbatim. Please summarize and condense the situation as it develops. Elizium23 (talk) 19:53, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Which is why I've been trimming. "Every news report is included verbatim" is, I have to say, a ridiculous over-exagerration. But there is only one subject for people at large when George Pell is brought to mind and that is sexual abuse by members of the church, so we would be failing as encyclopedists if we were not to reflect adequately what has been happening over the past few days and weeks and will continue to occur as he continues to give evidence. If, of course, that evidence rates inclusion. Which, up to now, parts of it has. I'm sure that there will be some editing down of the amount in the article about this subject at some time in the future. But the time for that is most definitely not now. Boscaswell talk 21:12, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

"Considerable responsibility"[edit]

@Elizium23: doesn't it seem to you to be simply beyond dispute that Pell held "considerable responsibility" (during the years 1996 to 2014 for the response of the Roman Catholic Church to the high number of convictions, trials and ongoing investigations etc.) There is no editorialising on my part here, it was merely a choice of words made to avoid misunderstanding, something I do my best to avoid. I'm flummoxed by the suggestion that you think a citation is needed for something which is so obviously accepted by all. If I had not reverted your first edit of those words, Wikipedia would have given completely the wrong impression. Let it go, eh? Best. Boscaswell talk 21:03, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

If it is so obviously accepted, then it should not be difficult to find a citation to support it. Elizium23 (talk) 21:12, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
Are you disputing the veracity of the words, @Elizium23:? Boscaswell talk 21:15, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
I am enforcing WP:BLP and WP:V. Are you refusing to comply with Wikipedia policy? Elizium23 (talk) 21:20, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
Of course not. By the way, you haven't answered my question, so I'll take the opportunity to amend it slightly. I'd be obliged if you could answer, despite the final sentence of this edit. Do you agree that it is simply beyond dispute that Pell held "considerable responsibility" during the years 1996 to 2014 for the response of the Roman Catholic Church to the high number of convictions, trials and ongoing investigations etc. There is to my mind no serious problem with this statement over WP:V.
I refuse to waste any of my time finding a reference for something as obviously true as that and adding it in to the article. References are for things which require verification; this does not. If I were to write in a Wikipedia article "grass is green", would you say "citation needed" and claim that you were enforcing WP:V? I won't be wasting any more of my time responding. Boscaswell talk 21:46, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
Very well, I will remove the unsourced material per WP:BLP. "All quotations and any material challenged or likely to be challenged must be explicitly attributed to a reliable, published source, which is usually done with an inline citation. Contentious material about living persons (or, in some cases, recently deceased) that is unsourced or poorly sourced – whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable – should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion. Users who persistently or egregiously violate this policy may be blocked from editing." Elizium23 (talk) 22:37, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
This is absolutely ridiculous. And now you have deleted a perfectly reasonable and sanguine opening lead sentence to the section, which gives the reader an excellent introduction to it. Or did, before you deleted it. Are you seriously suggesting that the words "held considerable responsibility" as in "Pell held considerable responsibility during the years 1996 to 2014 for the response of the Roman Catholic Church to the high number of convictions, trials and ongoing investigations etc" are contentious? If you consider that it is, then whatever is the Royal Commission doing, interviewing him? Boscaswell talk 07:04, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

This discussion is a bit of a mess. Why does this section even focus on his period as Archbishop of Melbourne when nearly all of the critical stuff Pell is being questioned about at the Royal Commission happened prior to then? It's completely misleading when, apart from criticism of the inadequacy of the Melbourne Response, all of the relevant things happened outside this time period. I can't work out off the top of my head who is pushing what POV with the argument over this sentence, but the whole thing is not necessary: Pell's responsibility with specific regard to the Melbourne Response is incontestable and sourceable everywhere, anything else needs to be sourced more specifically so it's apparent what is actually being referred to, and any discussion of the stuff he's done before needs to discuss what roles he actually held. This whole section kind of reads like the author didn't actually know what relationship Pell is actually accused of having had to church responsibility for abuse. The Drover's Wife (talk) 08:27, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

Quote (first sentence of lead of the Royal Commission article): "The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is a royal commission established in 2013 by the Australian government pursuant to the Royal Commissions Act 1902 to inquire into and report upon responses by institutions to instances and allegations of child sexual abuse in Australia." The responses being inquired into do not have a time scale. They are looking into the responses both at the time of the abuse and later, later being when he was Archbishop. As to whether the author didn't know, and thank you for the insult, well from the reports of the hearing, it looks like the Commission does not know what relationship Pell actually had, for example, to Ridsdale. No-one "seems to know". Boscaswell talk 09:33, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
The whole paragraph implies that the concerns just relate things he did as Archbishop of Melbourne even though basically everything to do with the Ballarat victims (e.g. the focus of the vast amount of the storm that relates to Pell), besides their treatment by the Melbourne Response, happened before that. It doesn't need to say what relationship Pell did have with Ridsdale: it needs to report what is known about the reasons Pell came to fall within the Royal Commission's remit - something that is massively, massively widely reported and pretty easy to do. I just don't get why there's an edit war about badly generalised text: especially now that we're two days of the three days of testimony, just tell both sides of the main bits of the story. There was a David Marr article yesterday that summarised it all in pretty substantial depth but it's not like there's not a myriad of alternatives. The Drover's Wife (talk) 09:45, 1 March 2016 (UTC)
The paragraph had disappeared by the time I got round to doing the article restructure that I foreshadowed in an early section of this page. I'm not sure whether it fits in the new shape, but I'm sure the expert copyeditors will do a better job than I have at the finer details of the shape of the article over the next few days. The Royal Commission is much wider than just the Catholic Church, or Ballarat. On the specific point of this section, I think it should be obvious that an Archbishop holds considerable responsibility within his diocese, but I'm less certain if it was relevant to that particular section. --Scott Davis Talk 14:02, 1 March 2016 (UTC)

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Ellis Defence[edit]

A lot of church sites seem to insist that the Ellis ruling/defence does not actually mean anything. It does, and it places the RC Church in a position of privilege above any other institution or individual, and Pell has freely used the defence ever since. The ruling stated that as a consequence, suing the RC church would lead to a small payout or none at all. There is a general principal at law in Aus that an employer (in a broad sense) is not responsible for the actions of an employee, provided that the employer was not complicit in the action. In criminal law there is no requirement for any bystander to pass on criminal intelligence. (If the bystander is actually involved in aiding crimes then he not a bystander.) The AC-NSW stated that clergy are not employees and that the RC church cannot be regarded as their employer. As a consequence, the RC church is not likely to be investigated for any complicity in aiding peodophile clergy. RC church claims about the ruling are rubbish. All clergy, particularly in the RC church, act on day-to-day orders of their seniors, and live in RC-owned accommodation. The AC-NSW also stated that the RC church does not exist as a legal entity because its assets are in trust. Sporting clubs in Aus are arranged the same way, particularly golfing clubs, and they most certainly do exist as legal entities. A player who hits an errant ball can be sued by the victim, and if the club has failed to provide adequate shielding it can also be sued for the players actions. It makes no difference in law that player is not actually and employee of the club. He is a member playing on club facilities. In short the AC-NSW Ellis ruling is a pile of inconsistent rubbish. Unfortunately the judges are the sole judges of the competence of their own rulings. There is no requirement in the Constitution for all groups or people to be treated equally before the law, thus an appeal to the High Court wont work. In fact, the HC-NSW could simply rule that the RC church cannot be taken to court at all, on any matter. Such a similar ruling would be perfectly constitutional. (I wonder how long this section will remain?) (talk) 06:37, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

It is already mentioned in this article and very briefly in Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. I have not looked further. Perhaps you could propose some better paragraphs to include in relevant articles? Be careful to follow Wikipedia:Five pillars or discuss your proposed inclusions on article talk pages to get help from more experienced editors on contentious topics. --Scott Davis Talk 10:39, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

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