Cardinal Pell’s Innocence and Collegial Guilt

As justice has it, each of us deserves his day in court, and should be deemed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. But such does not always ensure justice is done. That is why the case against George Cardinal Pell seems so unjust, for there seems to be not only lots of reasonable doubt of his guilt, but even more reasonable assurance of his innocence. Peruse George Weigel’s recent commentary, and his pointed remarks concerning the unhelpful comment of the interim Vatican spokesman, who claimed the Vatican has ‘maximum respect for the Australian judicial system’. Given this outcome, many have lost that respect, if they had it in the first place. People cheered when Pell was given his six-year sentence; the Aussie anti-Catholic, and anti-clerical, bias is growing. Here’s hoping that at least justice is served in the appeal.

I’m not sure what this college scam signifies, but not much that is good about the bloated, busted university system in America (the same in Canada, but in a different way with all its universities publicly funded). Dozens of rich and famous people – really rich – have been caught paying hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to have their children’s SAT scores ‘modified’ and resumes doctored, just so they get into the ‘best’ schools. They could be facing some serious jail time, and one wonders, with all that money, why bother?

Well, it’s not really about the education, but rather about the ‘connections’ one makes at the Ivy Leagues. They are a quasi-gnostic sect, but not so much about knowledge, but rather, the credentials that will get you ahead. Who cares what your degree is in, from queer studies to quantum gravity, the important point is that you ‘belong’, part of the new-born aristocracy, which used to mean ‘rule by the virtuous’ but, alas, no more.

While on schools, Ontario will soon announce a legal ban on cell-phones in the classroom as of next year. As the article says, they are not sure how this will be enforced, but as part of public law, teachers can in theory now call the police should a student prove recalcitrant, as many likely will. Hence, the escape clause, that (e)xceptions would be made for when teachers want to use cellphones as part of their lesson, for medical reasons and students with special needs”. Oh, well. I’m not a fan of governmental and legal overreach, and would rather cell phones be banned – I almost thought damned, there – by a cooperation between the natural authority of the teacher and the virtue of the student, who should truly want to learn, something no ban can enforce.

They – and we all know who ‘they’ are – in this case, a group that goes by the name of ‘Copenhagen Pride’ – have just developed a ‘genderless’ voice, that identifies as neither male nor female, which is ambiguous, as a voice cannot really identify, but one cannot identify it as male or female. They used ‘genderless’ people – at least, those who identify as such – to record a bland, blended version. It’s all very confusing. And, is it just my impression, or are voices becoming more genderless, anyways, outside of technology? Are men’s voices going higher, and women’s, lower? Maybe it’s just me; or perhaps it is indeed the hormones in the water. Regardless, I have my doubts about this catching on, since people generally want female voices, not least when seeking help.

And on a more serious note, we should pray for all those who lost their lives in the airplane crash last Sunday, on its way from Ethiopia to Kenya, with eighteen Canadians on board, and provide comfort to all their families. The plan was a brand-new Boeing 737 Max-8, the second one to crash in a similar manner, minutes after take-off. There are 41 of them in service in Canada, but Marc Garneau, the federal transportation minister, has so far refused to ground them, while many other countries have done so, saying he would be happy to board one. I’m not sure everyone feels the same way, even if air travel is amongst the safest forms of travel, ironic, perhaps, given that we are moving hundreds of thousands of people every day, flying through the air in aluminium tubes at 500 miles per hour at 35,000 feet. I sort of think that air travel is a quasi-miracle, and guardian angels have a lot to do with the fact that there are not more tragedies. For reasons known only to God, the souls of these people were ‘required of them’ at this time, and that time will come for us all.

Lent is a good time to prepare for that inevitable eventuality, so have a grace-filled one.