Tony Abbott's eulogy for His Eminence George Cardinal Pell AC

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This funeral, is less a sad farewell to a great friend; and more, a joyous tribute to a great hero.

It’s the celebration of a wonderful life; a once-in-a-generation gathering, of the people of faith; to re-dedicate ourselves to the ideals, George Pell lived for; and to draw strength, from each other, for the struggles ahead.

He was a priest, a bishop, and the prefect of a Vatican Secretariat, but he was never, a mere functionary; in each of these roles, a thinker, a leader, a Christian warrior, and a proud Australian who wanted our country, and our civilisation to succeed. 

In the pulpit, from the lectern, on TV, in the opinion pages, across the dinner table, after Mass, in the confession – as everyone here would know – he was always thoughtful, often charismatic, occasionally imperious, constantly concerned for the well-being of others, and a pastoral priest, who could find an echo of Christ even in the worst sinner.

In short, he’s the greatest Catholic, Australia has produced; and one of our country’s greatest sons.

No one else, has been both Archbishop of Melbourne, and Archbishop of Sydney. No other Australian, has been as senior in the leadership of the Roman Church; or as influential in its conclaves.

He was instrumental, in the foundation of three centres of higher learning: the Australian Catholic University; the University of Notre Dame, here in Australia; and Campion College – perhaps his favourite – named for the Jesuit martyr; our first liberal arts school, dedicated to giving its students a good grounding in the great books, and the great debates, that have shaped our civilisation; and made it man’s finest social and cultural achievement so far. 

And far from being an apologist, or a dissembler about the sins of the Church – personal, financial, or intellectual – he was their hammer. As he knew: “eccelesia semper reformanda” – the Church is always in need of reform.

Here in Australia, he was the first archbishop to sack misbehaving clergy, and report them to the police, rather than hide them in another parish. In Rome, he tried to ensure that the collections, from the faithful, were used for the glory of God, rather than the indulgence of the higher clergy. Most recently, he called a draft Vatican document further eroding the apostolic tradition a “toxic nightmare”. He was never one to mince his words.

To the smug, to the venal, to the lazy, to the wayward, and to the intellectually sloppy, he was an existential reproach – and because, that’s all of us, in some way, it’s hardly surprising that he became a target.

For all his presence and his natural authority, he was personally humble; and never fell for the modern conceit, that he was bigger than that which had shaped him: faith, church and country.

In his celebrated eulogy for another Catholic hero, BA Santamaria, he declared: that it was “the mark of the false prophet that all men speak well of him”; before observing that Bob, had “triumphantly avoided this fate”. And so it was, even more, with the cardinal himself. 

His recent observation, that the climate change movement, quote, had “some of the characteristics of a low level, not too demanding pseudo-religion” was the kind of comment that enraged its adherents, precisely because it was true.

Throughout history, that’s what people have been martyred for, for telling the unpopular, unpalatable truth; and it’s not possible to honour the Cardinal, without some reference to his persecution.  

He was made a scapegoat for the Church itself. He should never have been investigated, in the absence of a complaint. He should never have been charged, in the absence of corroborating evidence. And he should never have been convicted in the absence of a plausible case – as the High Court so resoundingly made plain.

Had he died in gaol, without the High Court’s vindication, this – today – would have been a very different event, even though his innocence would have been no less, had it been known only to God.

Still, the presence of so many here, from all walks and stations of life; many, not Catholic; some, not Christian; a few, without any religious faith at all, is an overdue tribute; and perhaps an admission that we should strive to do right in death, to those who’ve been wronged in life. 

His greatest triumph, in fact, was not to have held the highest ecclesiastical offices of any Australian; but to have kept his faith, in circumstances which must have screamed: “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”. Not to succumb to anger, self-pity or despair – when almost any other human would – and instead to have accepted this modern day crucifixion, walking humbly in the footsteps of Our Lord; that’s the heroic virtue that makes him, to my mind, a saint for our times.


And as I heard the chant “Cardinal Pell should go to Hell” I thought “ah ha!”, at least they now believe in the afterlife! Perhaps this is St George Pell’s first miracle.

Indeed, the ultimately triumphant life of this soldier for truth; to advance through smear and doubt to victory, should drive a renewal of confidence throughout the universal church.

If character means, to “trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too”; if it means, bearing “to hear the truth you’ve spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools”, George Pell was the greatest man I’ve ever known. And if faith, means the ability to endure crushing adversity, no one could be a better advertisement for it – especially with those of us, for whom it often remains tantalisingly out of reach. As a centurion in the Gospel said, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” 

So, I will hold onto him in my heart, from love of a friend and mentor; and as a gentle chide for virtues sought, but not yet attained.

And in these times, when it’s more needful than ever, to fight the good fight, to stay the course, and to keep the faith; it’s surely now for the Australian church to trumpet the cause of its greatest champion. There should be Pell study courses, Pell spirituality courses, Pell lectures, Pell high schools, and Pell university colleges; just as there are, for the other saints. If we can direct our prayers to Mother Theresa, Thomas à Beckett, and St Augustine, why not the late cardinal too, who’s been just as pleasing to God, I’m sure, and has the added virtue of being the very best of us.


A bit of unbiased barracking from The Age's newest aviation correspondent

Not one, but two puff pieces in today's advertising-friendly The Age!

Despite the hype, Qantas’ mid-air turnbacks are a sign of strong safety systems

Expect cheaper fares, fewer delays: Qantas chief Alan Joyce

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When you’re the CEO of Qantas, people are always keen to tell you how they think the airline is doing. Whatever their feedback is, I always see it first and foremost as a reflection of the strong connection Australia has with its national carrier.

To be honest, we know that connection has been tested at times. Six months ago, a lot of people felt we’d let them down and the figures showed why. Almost half our flights were late, our rate of misplaced bags had more than doubled and we were cancelling up to 7 per cent of our schedule.

Perception-wise, it didn’t help that this came after some controversial restructuring decisions to make sure we survived COVID. And it didn’t matter that airlines around the world had the same problems as travel restarted. If your flight to the Gold Coast has just been cancelled, it doesn’t make you feel any better to hear the delays are worse in Amsterdam.

Knowing that we were routinely letting customers down was hugely disappointing for everyone at Qantas. Last August, we apologised and promised to fix it. And almost every week after that, things improved.

We’ve now been the most on-time of the major domestic airlines for five months in a row. Our service levels – bags, cancellations, catering and the call centre – are back to what customers expect from us.


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Independent RBA announces no King Charles for $5 banknote after 'consultation' with Albanese Gvt

 

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The Reserve Bank has decided to update the $5 banknote to feature a new design that honours the culture and history of the First Australians. This new design will replace the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The other side of the $5 banknote will continue to feature the Australian Parliament.

This decision by the Reserve Bank Board follows consultation with the Australian Government, which supports this change.

The Bank will consult with First Australians in designing the $5 banknote. The new banknote will take a number of years to be designed and printed. In the meantime, the current $5 banknote will continue to be issued. It will be able to be used even after the new banknote is issued.

Background

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are respectfully advised that the following includes the names of some people who are now deceased.

The first $1 banknote, issued in 1966, included imagery of Aboriginal rock paintings and carvings and designs based on a bark painting by David Malangi Daymirringu. Australia's first polymer banknote, a $10 issued as a one-off in 1988, included examples of ancient and contemporary Aboriginal art, echoing the appreciation of the art's significance, both nationally and internationally.

The current $50 banknote features author, activist, inventor, musician and preacher, David Uniapon, a Ngarrindjeri man from South Australia. The $5 banknote showcases the Forecourt Mosaic, which is based on a Central Desert dot-style painting by Michael Nelson Jagamara titled ‘Possum and Wallaby Dreaming’.

Enquiries

External Communications
Secretary's Department
Reserve Bank of Australia
SYDNEY

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Important work from Viv Forbes on our natural climate cycles

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Achieving Net Zero 

According to the clerics of the Green Cult, once we blow up our last coal mine, send all diesel engines to the wreckers, stop using concrete, reinvent sailing clippers, cover the grasslands with solar clutter and the hills with wind machines and then slaughter all of our cattle. . .  global climate will become serene - not too warm, not too cold. Wild weather will cease, and there will be no more droughts, floods, cyclones or snow storms and no more plant and animal extinctions.

But the records written in the rocks tell a far different story about climate changes. Even when nature was in full control, it was not a serene place.

Long before the first steam engine puffed along the first railway, earth was periodically battered by natural disasters – earthquakes, tidal waves, pole shifts, magnetic reversals, volcanic eruptions, wild weather and droughts. Huge areas were covered by suffocating continents of ice, desert sands, massive flows of mud and lava, beds of salt and thick coal seams. Thousands of species disappeared including dinosaurs, mammoths and Australia’s megafauna.

Modern humans are not immune to the threat of extinction, but it will not come from today’s warm, moist, atmosphere or from the gas of life, carbon dioxide. It will probably come from the next glacial climate cycle of this era, where long bitter glacial eras are separated by short warm periods. These global weather cycles are triggered by changing orbits in the solar system.

In every short warm era like today’s Holocene, the warming oceans expel enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to support the abundant plant and animal life that currently surrounds us. But never has this “global warming” prevented the cyclic return of the ice. The Holocene warm era in which we live has already passed its peak and long before we reach Net Zero Emissions, the cold will return.

When blizzards blow and glaciers grow, the great ice sheets will spread again. Carbon dioxide will be removed from the atmosphere into the cooling oceans and most of mankind will be threatened by frosts, droughts, crop failures and starvation. A lucky few living in equatorial regions or clustered in shelters and hot houses around coal or nuclear power stations may survive.

Those still able to extract uranium, coal, oil or gas may manage to generate enough warmth and carbon dioxide plant food to partly offset the cold sun, the permafrost and the dry, barren atmosphere. And a few with appropriate skills and tools may become hunters and gatherers again (but most Neanderthals did not survive the last glacial cycle).

We should celebrate, not fear, the Modern Warm Era and give thanks for the many benefits gained from using those marvellous natural stores of hydro-carbon and nuclear energy to warm our homes, pump water, recharge batteries and feed our animals and plants.

These good times will not last forever.

When the ice returns, derelict wind turbines and snow-bound solar panels will remain as stark tomb-stones in the graveyard of the failed Green religion.

Viv Forbes

1 February 2023


The great multi culty fantasy alive and well in Bankstown.

Australia is so lucky to have invited such amazing people to enrich our otherwise bland culture.

Today we saw the rich tapestry of the multi-culti fantasy unravel inside a shopping centre at Bankstown. 
 
Garbage at its finest. 
 
Someone bravely said once:
 
“Multiculturalism is based on the lie that all cultures are morally equal.”
 
Just ask the police.