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Tim Minchin pleads 'come home, Cardinal Pell' in new charity single

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Tim Minchin has penned a song in his ever so polite, succinct, and yet jaunty way imploring Cardinal George Pell to return to Australia to give evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Cardinal Pell is apparently too poorly to fly and can’t make it home to give evidence about what he knew, or otherwise, about sexual abuse in the 1980s by priests in the Ballarat diocese.
Minchin said Pell’s excuse to not attend the hearing “stinks to high heaven” and in his single Come Home (Cardinal Pell) asks one of the most powerful priests in the world to: “Come and face the music, Georgie/You owe it to the victims, Georgie”.
Proceeds from the sale of the the single will go to a campaign to help abuse survivors from Ballarat travel to Rome to observe Pell giving video evidence to the Commission on February 29.

You can buy the song here or stream it here

22 responses to “Tim Minchin pleads 'come home, Cardinal Pell' in new charity single

  1. Sock-it-to-‘hem Tim; your song has struck at the aching heart of the moribund colossus in a so powerful way.Lasting words of wisdom will never be forgotten(nor forgiven)

  2. Did the Royal Commission seek an independent medical opinion? If not, why not? The crowdfunding campaign to send survivors and their supporters to Rome has now grown to about $125k. They want the hearing to be public and held away from the Vatican.

  3. I have never been fond of Cardinal Pell, but this is simply not fair. He was the first bishop in the world, in any Diocese to call for an enquiry into clerical child abuse. Through most of the years involved most people, especially clergy did not have a true sense of of the illegality involved in child abuse. The emphasis on the the criminality of child abuse was barely discussed, If even talked about at all the discussion was around the morality of interfering with children. The phrase child abuse was a later concept. In those years there was a naivety about child abuse exploited by some disgraceful clergy. Pell was a victim of his time. i think he is just one of many good men and women in authority ( including police and courts) who made bad decisions about all of this.
    I think the victims want answers, not for revenge and the pillory of a bishop. As hurt and damaged as they may be, they may welcome this songs support but I think the abusive nature of the song is unworthy of such a cause. In watching these people being interviewed on TV. They strike me as people who are honourable. This song is not that.

    1. With all due respect Vincent, it seems what you are trying to say is that due to the era, these priests and their superiors were not at fault but merely victims of their time. Christ is was the 1980’s hardly so long ago to know the moral Wrong of what they were doing. So what if it wasn’t considered criminal until later! Of course they knew it was wrong. Just because they present well on TV does not deny the fact that they are pedophiles.
      Whilst I believe the song would have had even more effect on Pell’s clan if he’d toned it down just a cannot imagine the horror and anger that these victims must relive for the rest of their lives and from that I think also stems Tim Minchins anger.

    2. Presuming what people who have survived child sexual abuse at the hands of clergy may think, feel or be is disrespectful and intrusive. It’s particularly offensive to make these presumptions to advance an apologist argument on behalf of their abusers.
      “Good men and women in authority” do not turn their backs when vulnerable children are being hurt. “Good men and women in authority” don’t need to have “a true sense of the illegality involved in child abuse”. They are not diverted by discussion “around the morality of interfering with children” nor do they need a label—”child abuse”—attached to destructive, exploitative behaviours to know that those behaviours are abusive. “Good men and women in authority” recognise the injury and distress that occurs when a child is abused and respond to requests for help. This is not contingent on the “time”. This is contingent on compassion and integrity.
      The “bad decisions” made by Pell in responding to people who have been abused by clergy reveal a lack of compassion and integrity. To suggest that Pell is simply a “victim of his time” denies this lack and denies the experience of the people who have suffered as a result of his behaviour. Minchin could write a million scathing songs calling Pell every name under the sun and not even come close to being as “not fair”, not “honourable” and “abusive” as that.

    3. Vincent, I must disagree. Cardinal Pell’s stance on priests sexually abusing young children has not become more enlightened over the years.
      In 2002, George Pell told his audience of World Youth Day delegates that, “abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people”. He seemed genuinely surprised at the anger from the public. If he is made to feel uncomfortable by the negative attention he is getting then that is a small price to pay.
      Father Gerry Risdale abused hundreds of children under his watch (some as young as four). Cardinal Pell’s excuse that he didn’t know has no credibility.

    4. Vincent, the whole concept of punishing people for the sins of the past in an era that thinks differently is problematic, as you suggest, but that just means that we need to exercise caution and a bit of judgment in prosecuting the past, not absolve it from responsibility. In the case of Pell and the animals he appears to have knowingly protected, they exercised a degree of authority and control over the lives of these victims that demanded back then that he had a protective responsibility. The stupor of the church and the denialism of that era doesn’t absolve Pell of being severely questioned about whether he had a role in hiding or even, intentionally or not, allowing acts of criminality that were acts of criminality back then. Besides, it’s a great little song – it’s satire, not argument.

    5. ” Through most of the years involved most people, especially clergy did not have a true sense of of the illegality involved in child abuse.”
      I don’t understand why any healthy individual requires ‘a true sense of the illegality involved in child abuse’ … I think I am not understanding you correctly because it seems crazy to me to think that the problem in child abuse is a legal one but rather the sexual interaction between an adults and a minor child or teenager, no?

    6. At the time of his “call,” Pell had recognized that the sexual abuse scandal was breaking wide open. He immediately (as any good consigliere would), moved to get the Church out in front of the issue — so as to reduce the inevitable payouts. This regardless of the human price already paid by survivors and yet to be paid as victim after victim succumbed to their demons over many years of delay.
      Pell is, as Minchin says, “scum.”

    7. What utter nonsense Vincent – these “men of the cloth” took a vow of celibacy and the whole catholic church’s officers build their commitment to their God, by demonstrating their freedom from sin and their celibacy. The celibacy was to demonstrate that supposed commitment to a holy life. The fact that this church and Pell allowed serial breaches of their own rules of celibacy and to allow that breach upon the small trusting should of children is in the way of the OLD Catholic Church a MORTAL sin and to say that this man and his subordinates didn’t understand that evil is wilful ignorance as bad as theirs.
      TO be clear, the Catholic Church is one of the worst, but the Royal Commission has shown that the Salvo’s and some parts of the Orthodox Jewish religious orders were not less morally debauched than the Catholics.
      TO find so many men of supposed religion, so many worshippers of a GOD could perpetrate such vile acts on young innocent children over whom they had a position of trust is simply one of the worst most offensive crimes against other humans.
      Pell is a coward for not coming home.

  4. Part of me wants to cheer Minchin but another part of me wants to give Pell a break. Maybe, just maybe he is too sick to travel. He has already given evidence twice and reports today are that he will meet with the victims (assuming they do travel over). It’s pretty easy to give Pell a kicking from Minchin’s position.

    1. A more salient issue is whether the song and the big hooha about it makes things trickier for the Royal Commission during fragile negotiations with Pell and the Vatican at this time. As Vatican City a sovereign city state, it is entirely up to Pell/the Pope, and the offices of the Holy See as to whether he co-operates with the RC or not.

  5. Pell was not a perpetrator, despite the mass following of the haters. I would say that if Tim Minchin and all the keyboard activists that hate Pell so much, are hating him because of the abhorrence with child abuse, then get yourselves out there and start helping with the disgraceful abuse that is happening now. It makes years ago look like Disneyland. Everyone turning a blind eye at the now, not really interested in child abuse, more interested in bashing up one man for all the sins of society all those years ago and no matter who did it, it seems George gets the blame for the lot.

  6. One thing that seems to get overlooked is Pell’s faith.
    If he *truly* believes in an almighty god and everlasting life (fundamental tenets of Catholicism), what does he have to worry about?

  7. I am amazed by Tim Minchin and his crowd funding song. He has restored my faith in the human race. What a wonderful man to this! I hope in all the hype, the efforts of Tim Minchin to facilitate justice are not forgotten. He is one of a kind.
    Congrats Tim on a job well done.

  8. And how much did this idiot make? we all know you only have to pay out 5 to 10 % of the money one collects. What a con job!

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