Come home Cardinal Pell

by Grania

Tim Minchin has published a new song.

It’s poignant, catchy and like several of his other songs, deeply controversial. But it shouldn’t be controversial at all. It is simply a protest about a case in Australia which requires Australian Cardinal George Pell to give evidence in the investigation into the horrific child sex abuse scandal uncovered in that country.

It’s the story we’ve become all too familiar with: widespread exploitation and rape of vulnerable children by Catholic clergy, with the hierarchy’s only response being to safeguard the Church as an institution by stymying legal processes and attempting to delay or silence the survivors.

Pell, however, has refused to travel to Australia to give testimony, citing ill health as his reason. He has said he will meet survivors in Rome if they travel there. That is a long and expensive journey from Australia, which prompted the creation of the Send Ballarat Survivors To Rome fundraising initiative which this song is in aid of.

You can buy the song here on iTunes: or Google Play:

The Go Fund Me campaign has reached (as of yesterday) and exceeded its goal now and have left a touching message on the page:

It’s the fact that our support for the survivors has come as a wonderful surprise to so many of them. They’ve told me repeatedly in the last week that they didn’t think we in the wider community cared about them. They thought we didn’t want to know about what happened to them, but your donations changed that.

You’ve made them feel cared for and like what happened to them mattered to all of us. You’ve genuinely changed these people’s lives. Never forget that.


  1. Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Had the great joy to see Minchin perform at the Reason Rally in 2012. What a great cause the proceeds are supporting.

    Come home!


    • Posted February 21, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      That’s where I saw him, too. He’s brilliant, and this song is perfect. I especially love the last verse.

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Remember the sign language interpreter for his F&ck The MotherF&cker song? That was the first time I’ve seen signing for music, what a song to sign to, it was hilarious.

        Small world.


        • Posted February 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          I didn’t see that. Darn! I did see that the crowd was clumped in places that — well, if you used a drone for an overhead shot of all the people, their positioning would have illustrated the interference of sound waves from the huge speakers! That was so cool that I walked around, between the small groups and through them, to hear the differences in volume and clarity. (I love physics.)

        • largeswope
          Posted February 21, 2016 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          That was one of my favorite parts of the Reason Rally. She was awesome!

          • Posted February 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            Was there video? Can we have a detailed description? I’m dying of curiosity!

  2. Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Make a joyful noise!

    Great song.

  3. Geoff Toscano
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I wonder whether the Vatican has any extradition treaties, or perhaps they felt it was somehow inappropriate, rather too ‘worldly’ for them?

    Wouldn’t it be great if Pell were to be considered for prosecution and became subject to an extradition request!

    • John
      Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Hitch and Dawkins tried to get the pope arrested last time he visited UK….establishment protects such people…

  4. John
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Witty, to the point, cutting and brilliant…

  5. tubby
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I saw it and bought a copy to support the GoFundMe campaign. I’d be happier if Pell could just be stuffed in on a plane and flown to Australia for a little sunshine, clean air, and testifying before a court as to what he knew and what he did. Sadly, he probably sees himself as forgiven by god for his role in this and nothing the survivors can do or say will make him fell any kind of responsibility.

  6. Randy Schenck
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    That is a great song. i’ll buy it.

  7. John Scanlon FCD
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    There’s a musicological analysis at The Conversation, which is mostly over my head (though I was first there to point out how close the chorus melody is to that of ELO’s ‘Telephone line’).

    • Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      Just an extremely nit-picky comment on nomenclature: musicology refers to the study of the history of music. That analysis would fall under the purview of music theory.

      • John Scanlon FCD
        Posted February 23, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        I didn’t know that, thanks. Always appreciate a nitpick!

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Brilliant song from a national treasure. I cannot be brought to write what I think about the scumbag subject of this song.

    And what does the Pope say?

    • Posted February 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Only that Trump’s words are unChristian. It seems Pell’s actions don’t compare.

  9. KD33
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Love Tim Minchin. In case you’ve missed it, look up his animated short Storm on youtube – an all-time great satire on pseudoscience.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    “Cardinal Pell” — sounds like it could be a Catholic high school, the kind that competes for the state football championship every year.

    So His Eminence says the sex-abuse survivors can come from Australia to pay him a visit in Rome, huh? Christ, I looked at the globe; doesn’t seem you can even get there from there.

    Really cool tune from Minchin, though.

  11. bluemaas
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    And remember these further kiddos from earlier than y1960, and Australia (and very many places elsewhere as well !) and the violence against these thousands of boat – children wrought by Roman Catholic priests / brothers in the far west of that continent ?

    Also and more recently themselves, now long and long adults, ‘told’ (if to garner whatsoever any so – called reparation or apology therefor) to get back to England by themselves. Not only, then, known to, but also sanctioned by, the Royalty and Churchill.

    As if most of them could manage even just the self – funding of that at all ! And very many of their true and never – actually – wholly – surrendering mamas are, of course, quite dead.

    … … “black – robed men eating toast and drinking tea.” and


    • Posted February 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      I went to read those links, Blue. Words can’t express the horror. And this is in a supposedly civilized, relatively secular country!!! What must go on where the religious are in full control?

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Read “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It’s a novel about just such a thing.

  12. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm | Permalink


    But why couldn’t Pell’s sect pay for the survivor’s trip? Don’t they feel they have (to pretend) responsibility!?

    • Barbara Radcliffe
      Posted February 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      You beat me to it! I think the Vatican should pay the fares (preferably business class), as well as accommodation in a 5 star hotel.

      • Posted February 21, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

        It’s not like the Catholic Church can’t afford it. Look at all the hospitals they own (where abortions are blocked even when necessary to save a mother’s life, despite their written propaganda). Look at all that religiously tax-free income (from the added medical costs for taking substandard care of those mothers, along with all the rest of the care they actually provide). There was news on that front, recently, and again, and it was ugly. Of course, there are many other ways the Catholic Church rakes in the money, tax-free, making unkept promises, as well.

  13. bluemaas
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Not only that denomination of christianity but also more as portrayed, Mr Jost, in thus: and

    I believe but am not at all certain that, of just the three kiddos portrayed in this film, two of them, both sisters, may still be alive; their Cousin Gracie, the third one, is dead.

    All three true women are actually seen in the last panels of the film. “Rabbit – Proof Fence” on dvd is available at many public libraries and certainly by interlibrary loan.

    I have viewed it very many times and am, always, sickened. I just cry and cry: these girls were so courageous that I cannot even begin to imagine. It is fictionalized history, I know, but still quite accurate as to the control of others taken for only themselves … … by faith – deranged persons.

    And how many others must there have been ?

    ps Including these Nations’ children in the USA done “to encourage the ‘civilizing’ process” of: i) and as instantiation, here, Ms Sandra White Hawk, still quite alive, of and ii) the ones absconded from off of East Coast cities’ streets by workers for priests and put onto transports known as the Orphan Trains of which documents violence against them done by so very many Midwestern – USA’s faith – deranged including Iowans.

    I have some time ago heard in person Ms White Hawk speak. She stated that all that her true mama had had left of her little two – year – old when Sandra was taken ? Throughout all of the intervening years when Sandra went missing to her? One wee red shoe that her mama was able to grasp onto and slipped off of Sandra’s toes as the toddler was forced from mama’s arms and plunged through the christian driver’s pickup truck window, then immediately driven off from mama left standing there somewhere in the stark Dakotas. Childless.

  14. kelskye
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny that the Vatican response is to accuse people of wanting to destroy Pell’s reputation – as if reputation is the thing that’s on the line with child molestation / child rape. Though that they’re still doing it now indicates they learnt nothing from Spotlight.

  15. grasshopper
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Some on the web have been trying to crowdsource enough funds just to send Cardinal Pell on a one way trip to Lourdes, by taxi. Heck, he could even borrow the Popemobile for the journey. A flight to sunny Australia, in full health, is just what the poor guy needs

    There is a danger, though, that he might trip over a pile of discarded walking frames and crutches and harm himself again.

    • John Scanlon FCD
      Posted February 23, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      But not over a wooden leg.

  16. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted February 21, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Why would the survivors want to go to Rome? I mean, if I was being offered a free trip, I’d say thanks very much, but could I go to Paris instead? Or St Moritz?

    If necessary I’d send Pell a postcard, “I was going to come and tell you what an asshole you are but frankly, you’re not worth it and skiing is more fun”.


  17. Posted February 21, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    How about some facts first? Pell has already appeared twice before the Royal Commission, once in person, and once in video link (like many other witnesses). The implication of this aricle is that Pell is avoiding giving evidence , which is plainly a falsehood.

  18. Diane G.
    Posted February 22, 2016 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Minchin is just brilliant.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted February 22, 2016 at 3:41 am | Permalink

      Agreed, and I prefer the new look.

      • Diane G.
        Posted February 22, 2016 at 5:26 am | Permalink

        I noticed that too, and I concur.

  19. Robert Seidel
    Posted February 22, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I remember watching a debate between Cardinal Pell and Richard Dawkins. One of Pell’s arguments was that before Christianity, there were slavery and gladiator games in ancient Rome, but they, see, put a stop to that. He seems good at obfuscating, and I do not envy those who have to untangle his testimonies.

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