Respected commentator Father Raymond de Souza observed a little-known fact about the convoluted case of Australian Cardinal George Pell: “No judge who had a future to worry about sided with Cardinal Pell. Every judge whose future was secure from recriminations for judging fairly sided with the cardinal.”
One such fair judge was the lone dissenter on the lower court, Justice Mark Weinberg. Father de Souza’s observation has implications far beyond one Australian legal case. Let me come right to the point: Retired professionals, we need you back on the playing field!
Let me explain.
Obviously, the top jurists in the Australian legal system do not have “a future to worry about.” These judges on the highest court of the land are the ones who ultimately exonerated Cardinal Pell. Let’s zero in on Weinberg, who, as noted above, was the lone dissenter at that level. His 200-page dissent utterly demolished the majority opinion, which upheld Cardinal Pell’s convictions. Father de Souza pointed out something I did not previously realize: Weinberg is a 71-year-old retired judge who is called in for special cases because of his expertise.
Let’s apply this seemingly offhand observation to the broader situation of living out Catholic teaching in the modern world. The entire developed world is in the grip of an ideology that is every bit as toxic and irrational as communism or fascism. This ideology demands conformity, imposes penalties for dissent, and controls all the major institutions of society. The ideology promises to create heaven on Earth, if only we allow the ruling savior class enough power to reshape law, media, education, entertainment and, of course, the judicial system.