March 12th 2016

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Several items missing from list of the big spend

CANBERRA OBSERVED Greens back Coalition in Senate voting reform

ENERGY Nuclear reprocessing feasible here: SA inquiry

HISTORY OF TAIWAN Fifty-year journey from poverty to prosperity

SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT Warning: wolves in anti-bullying clothing

EDITORIAL Turnbull ignores three elephants in the room

DOMESTIC AND FAMILY VIOLENCE Family portrait or ideological caricature?

OPINION Goebbels revisited: the attack on Cardinal Pell

FAMILY AND SOCIETY SSCA apologists try to shrug off media furore

EUTHANASIA Legitimate denial of choice at end of life (Part II of two)

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Welcome backdown on vaccinations

ENVIRONMENT Food bowl emptied due to conservationist myopia

MUSIC Much-loved concertos clouded with melancholy

CINEMA Spotlight in the darkness: Spotlight

BOOK REVIEW Governing Middle-earth

BOOK REVIEW A land of contrasts


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Goebbels revisited: the attack on Cardinal Pell

by Anne Lastman

News Weekly, March 12, 2016

In my education, which now seems a million years ago, European history was a must and I remember we had to learn about World War II. Indeed, we spent a lot of time learning about this war.

Vicious precedent to the

attack on Cardinal Pell.

As a young person I didn’t see any need for this. I didn’t see the need to know about people like Hitler, Goebbels and Mussolini. However, in these last few weeks, several of these names have been resurfacing in my mind – and not happily.

As I follow the persecution by media of His Eminence George Cardinal Pell, I am slowly being reminded of things I read and learned as a young person in grades 10 and 11 in St Brigid’s, West Perth. I am reminded of what I learned about the tactics that Dr Goebbels used to attack the Church in Germany during the Nazi years. At least when he wasn’t attacking the Jews.

This is the Joseph Goebbels, the minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany, who said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”


Goebbels oversaw the designing of the strategy to attack and destroy the Catholic Church and its schools in Germany. His propaganda machine, together with the media of the day, was not interested in truth but in the demolition of the Church.

The modus operandi of his Ministry of Propaganda, through the daily paper Völkischer Beobachter, was to drip-feed information about the “immorality” of the Catholic clergy exposed during indecency trials being carried out at the time.

These trials were to be given ongoing coverage even after the trials ended so that this story remained fresh before the eyes of the German public. That is, historic stories were to be rehashed.

Letters to the editor by individuals sympathetic to the cause were the only ones to be published so as to keep the outrage going. This ensured that the German population’s aggravated concern over paedophile clergy was maintained against the Church.

This further ensured that what had the appearance of public outrage at the immorality/debauchery of the 0.23 per cent of clergy who were perpetrators and who had already been removed was still being used by the media as a tool to harm the Church and its ministers.

Of course, this punishment was also a directive from further up than Goebbels (Hitler) because of the anti-Nazi encyclical of Pope Pius XII, Mit Brennender Sorge (With Burning Sorrow), which had been read throughout Germany in all churches.

The idea of the propaganda machine was to insinuate that the immoral behaviour of those few who had been found guilty and removed was not limited only to them, but was typical of Catholic clergy. This of course called into question the Sacrament of Penance as a means of covering up of all manner of crimes.

The Ministry of Propaganda, together with Völkischer Beobachter (the Nazis’ daily newspaper), led the smear campaign against the Church. Its campaign ultimately led to the removal of clergy and the closure in 1940 of all Catholic schools in Germany.

How does this remind me of the persecution of Cardinal Pell? In Australia there is a relentless smear campaign against the one person who actually did or tried to do something about the issue of sexual abuse by clergy.

The TV/print/social media victimisation of Cardinal Pell is reminiscent of pack hunting, a well-staged and managed strategy to attack the Church in Australia through him.

There is often the mention of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Seal of Confession. Like Goebbels’ Ministry of Propaganda machine, it is not interested in truth but in its quarry (Pell) and the Church: to humiliate the Church because the Church today is too big to bring down but it can be harmed and humiliated.

Catholic schools cannot be closed today because the government schools couldn’t cope; they would go into meltdown. If Catholic hospitals closed, public hospitals would go into meltdown; they couldn’t cope. If Catholic charitable works closed, government organisations would go into meltdown.

But what the media hopes to do is to bring humiliation to Cardinal Pell, the highest ranking Catholic in Australia, maybe even jail, if it can. Think what a win that would be!

So, we have unrelenting Goebbels-like pressure to sway popular opinion. Channel 10’s The Project and its idiotic segment. That idiot Minchin song. So hurtful. Even Fr Bob Maguire. When will he retire into graceful anonymity and stop hurting the Church that has supported him for so long?

How proud today’s media would be of their grandfather, Joseph Goebbels? He only had speech, radio, newsprint and film. Today the world has the 10-second sound bite, used incessantly.

Indeed, how proud would Goebbels be of his followers? They are following his script perfectly. He couldn’t have wished for more.


Please also see Peter Westmore, J’accuse: a travesty of justice

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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