David Marr’s third update of his 2013 The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell leaves no room for doubt on Pell’s guilt.
The book now opens with the disgraced cardinal being sent down to Melbourne’s city prison, leaving behind him a litany of lives wrecked by his own hands, those of his colleagues and by the church for which he had lied for so many years to protect.
With the forensic eye of the skilled investigative reporter that he is, Marr never strays from the evidence as it is presented to build a case against the highest official in the Roman Catholic Church to be charged with child abuse and its systematic coverup.
Behind the arrogance and coldness of this towering figure is the might of the Church determined to protect the guilty so it may survive at all cost.
Marr exposes Pell’s ruthless ambitions that are rooted more in the traditions of the House Of Borgia than the humility of the Christ Child.
Victim after victim are dismissed as Pell’s rises to the highest positions in Melbourne, Sydney and eventually the Vatican, all the while denying any wrongdoing by himself of the Church.
The fact that Pell could flourish and have such a fruitful career owed as much to the silence and acquiescence of a corrupt police service, judiciary, and an unbelieving public.
This is a study for our times as a giant figure and a mighty institution are brought to heel on the testimony of the weakest, the victims.
Reviewed by John Moyle