What would Jesus say to Cardinal Pell?


Cardinal Pell has been found guilty by a Melbourne jury of several sex offences on Dec 11th 2018. The Australian media was ineffectually gagged in the face of another trial coming up in February 2019, as the news immediately spread around the world. Pell’s legal team is no doubt satisfied all the same, because of the similarity with comparative cases eventually ending up in the High Court, to be dismissed.

What would Jesus say to Cardinal Pell?

We all have our reactions to this news. Tim Minchin’s 2016 song Come Home reflects the hatred and disgust at Pell’s hypocrisy shared by many. But what would Jesus say to him if he was to visit Pell for a frank eye-to-eye? If Pell was able to look him in the eyes, that is. Jesus would no doubt ask him a question: My brother George, he would say, If the law sets you free, would you be free? 

Pell would be taken aback at being called my brother by Jesus instead of having accusations being thrown at him. Was Jesus just here to just ask some questions? Without even forcing him to answer them? Cool. But of course, Jesus is the Saviour! He’s come to save me because he died for my sins! That guff must be right after all.

Jesus smiles broadly as he guesses what goes through the old man’s head.

My brother George, Jesus takes up again, I did not die for your sinsyour church lot made that up. Oomph! A blow to the stomach for George.

Jesus goes on, hoping that he’s not overwhelming Pell’s alertness here. Everyone is responsible for their own actions, Jesus says very slowly. You might escape the justice of the law but you know how much I despise laws that help people to lie, don’t you? There is a higher law, my brother, that you will be answerable to. That law is written in your own heart, and not on any tablets of stone, nor in any Catechism or Canon. The penalty for breaking the law of your heart is separation from your own goodness, because you, and only you, have banished it. Not having the joy of your natural goodness in your heart, you will feel bereft, George.

Jesus pauses here, because it was rather a lot to take in at once. Then he continues with what are no doubt the most unlikely words our Cardinal expects to hear:

I know, dear brother; you felt bereft when you molested children, thinking that this would fill a deep hole in your heart, but it only made it bigger, didn’t it? This pain made you a good liar as well because you thought that was the way you had to protect yourself.

There comes a time, dear brother, when all that comes home to you in brilliant clarity, and then it’s time for you to weep for the harm you have done to the children’s souls, and to your own.

Don’t be afraid of that time, George, and let it come before you die, because truthfulness and humility begins the way into real happiness. Forget what you know about sin and hell – hell doesn’t exist except for the one you’re creating for yourself right now.

Emotions tear George this way and that, but as he gets ready to defend himself, Jesus heads him off.

I have good news for you and bad news, George. The good news is that contrary to your beliefs, you were never judged by God! But you don’t get off scot-free, in case you think I’m offering you a spiritual loop-hole here, even better than the Jesuit one.

“No,” bursts out George! “I’ve had enough; get me out of here!” Jesus puts him back in his seat and says,

I’m here at this crucial time of your life because it is giving you a rare opportunity to clear the slate a little bit and help you make a new start.

But George doesn’t know where to look or how to look. He is crestfallen, eyes down, hunched over, staring at his hands. His ego rears up: Why is there no respect for his importance as Cardinal?

What will happen to me?” he whispers then, because he needs to see some kind of end-game.

You’ll be in touch with your real feelings, says Jesus, and you will want to recompense those you have hurt. You will begin to respect yourself as the Child of the Divine that you truly are and grant that same respect to everyone, because we’re all just different members of the same Divine family of God.

Some deep phrases of truth there from Jesus, but George begins to get the drift.

Time will tell if Cardinal Pell will remember this visit from Jesus; whether he will publicly tell the truth and claim his true redemption, or whether he will choose to reap the whirlwind some other time.

Carla van Raay, author God’s Callgirl and Desire. Perth WA 19 December 2018