Shame on the Cardinal Pell funeral protesters


Brendan O’Neill

(Credit: Getty images)

Brendan O’Neill

3 February 2023

12:08 AM

In Sydney today, the LGBT movement had its Westboro Baptist Church moment. It protested at someone’s funeral. Like that cranky religious sect in the US that noisily demonstrates at the funerals of soldiers, LGBT activists waved placards calling the deceased a ‘monster’ and ‘scum’. They chanted for him to ‘go to hell’. ‘Burn in hell’, said one banner. ‘Nonce’, said another. It was a truly disturbing spectacle. A new low in identity politics.

It was Cardinal Pell’s funeral. Pell was Australia’s most important Catholic leader. He served as Archbishop of Melbourne and later as Archbishop of Sydney. He then went to Rome where he was Secretariat for the Economy in the Vatican. He was found guilty of child sexual abuse in 2018 but his conviction was later quashed by the High Court of Australia. Pell died earlier this month, at the age of 81.

Catholic churches have been horribly desecrated by anti-Pell mob

I knew Pell was an unpopular figure in right-on circles, as much for his orthodox Catholic beliefs as for those quashed accusations of abuse. But even I was shocked to see LGBT agitators besiege St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney where Pell was being laid to rest. What were they thinking? You don’t protest at a funeral. Ever.

Some were there to represent victims of child sexual abuse. Others were there to slam Pell for what they described as his lifelong ‘crusade’ against gay rights and transgender rights. Their slogans were extraordinarily intemperate, even cruel. They relished in Pell’s death and hoped for his speedy descent to hell. ‘Infernal resting place’, said one banner, with an arrow shaped like a devil’s tale pointing down to the abyss.

Pell’s personal secretary, Joseph Hamilton, likened the protests to a ‘tsunami of hate’. He’s not wrong. There were flashes of violent menace too. ‘Death to all who stand in the way of freedom for queer people’, said one placard. Seriously? There’s an unhinged theocratic vibe to such foul statements. They bring to mind hotheaded Islamists in Iran who chant ‘Death to America, Death to the Great Satan!’.

A protester outside St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney during the funeral of Cardinal George Pell (Credit: Getty Images)

It really did echo the mad protests of the Westboro Baptist Church. Only the Pell-bashers have effectively flipped that cult’s infamous slogan, so that it isn’t ‘God Hates Fags’ but ‘Fags Hate God’, or Cardinal Pell at least. The intolerance of the Westboro mob more than met its match in the zealous contempt for a cardinal on display in Sydney today. ‘Thank God for dead soldiers’, say those Westboro loons. ‘We don’t mourn a dead bigot’, said one of the organisers of the anti-Pell demo, ‘with a grin’. These are two sides of the same wickedness.

Some are saying there is old-fashioned anti-Catholic bigotry in all this dancing on Pell’s grave. I think they’re right. Catholic churches have been horribly desecrated by anti-Pell mobs. When he was acquitted of the abuse charges in 2020, the doors of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne were graffitied with the words ‘PEADO RAPIST’. A comedy troupe desecrated a plaque for Pell at St Mary’s Cathedral with the words ‘convicted paedophile’. And today protesters yelled about hell and took pleasure in an old man’s death outside a Catholic funeral service. No other religion would be expected to put up with such hateful defilements – why should Catholicism?

But there’s a broader issue here, too. Which is the sheer intolerance of identity politics. Australia’s Pell-haters and others in the modern LGBT movement pose as caring and progressive – ‘Love is love’ – yet they behave in an increasingly dogmatic and unforgiving fashion.

Question their secular catechism that says ‘trans women are women’ and they’ll denounce you as a transphobe and seek to hound you from polite society. Bristle at their creed of genderfluidity and they will No Platform you for blasphemy. Oppose same-sex marriage, as Pell did, of course, and they’ll damn you as a bigot and possibly even turn up at your funeral to hurry your soul to hell.

The only fire and brimstone I see these days is from so-called ‘progressives’, not from the Catholic Church. It’s been centuries since the Church threatened homosexuals with death. Yet now some demonstrators threaten death to anyone who ‘stands in the way of freedom for queer people’. The identitarians have become the thing they claim to hate – a furiously doctrinaire movement that punishes dissent and laughs when ‘heretics’ die. The irony is too much: Pell was a thoughtful, sincere and fiercely intellectual Christian; it’s his haters who behave like medieval crackpots.

We’re witnessing the rise of a Woke Westboro movement. It is a menace to freedom and decency. Surely the shocking agitation outside Pell’s funeral service will open more people’s eyes to just how unhinged identity politics has become.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Comment by Nelle Pity ignoramus couldn’t get facts before opening their stupid mouths- If they only did they would know that this man deserves respect not denigration

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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