Yesterday, the always-controversial Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine penned a piece in which she expressed her deepest concern that Cardinal George Pell – who is right now giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in Rome – was the victim of an entirely underserved slew of widespread vitriol.

“Watching Pell tomorrow [now today] will be a self-invited group of about 120, including 50 journalists and assorted victims, supporters and Pell-haters who have travelled to Rome, largely on the proceeds of an abusive ditty by anti-Catholic crooner Tim Minchin, calling Pell “scum” and coward,” she wrote.

“The royal commission has sent “support staff” and media people, at unknown cost, to assist this unofficial lynch mob.”

And so it goes on, with Devine asserting that the worst accusation being levelled against Pell is that he helped move notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale from parish to parish in the 1970s. Look, it’s not fun reading, and we don’t really recommend you do it. Perhaps as the frequent target herself of widespread vitriol, Devine is merely sympathising with someone at whom so much hate has been directed.

Which is partly what makes the below so interesting, precisely because it’s not a keyboard-smashing rage piece. (Guilty.)
Ballarat woman Clare Linane, whose husband, brother and cousin were all sexually abused by Brother Edward Dowlan in the 1970s, posted her response to Devine’s column on Facebook, and rather than raging at someone who called her loved ones “assorted victims” like they were a pack of pic-n-mix, it’s calm, measured, and ultimately heart-breaking as hell.

For example:

“You correctly state that “Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton claimed 43 suicides related to child sexual abuse in the Victorian Church, but, after an internal investigation, only one could be confirmed”. As stated by my husband, it seems that ‘unless you put a post it note on your head and say “I’m committing suicide because I was sexually abused”, it is very easy to dismiss individual cases. The reality is, many of the victims themselves don’t even make the connection. So let’s look at the patterns, Miranda. Of Phil Nagle’s 1974 grade four class at St Alepius, 12 out of 34 (35%) are dead, by premature death including suicide. I see you were born in 1960 Miranda. I encourage you to look up your grade 4 class list and see if 35% of them were dead by the age of 50. I’m guessing they weren’t. Hopefully the Commission will look into why broader patterns such as these were not considered when the internal police investigation was conducted.”

Have a read of the full thing below:

Unfortunately my response was too long to post on Miranda’s article directly. So here it is ..Hello Miranda, my name…

Posted by Clare Linane on Sunday, 28 February 2016

Photo: Daily Telegraph / Facebook.