Wednesday, June 28, 2017

So, folks, another "Scarlet Bowl" is now in the books... but its full picture is still to be had. And as the usual clearing of desks that marks the end of the "Vatican Year" is only just getting underway, in terms of news, there's simply no end in sight.

Even if it's already made for quite the week in the mine, don't be surprised that – both at home and from Rome – there's more to come....

At least, if you’ll make it happen.

As this shop has its bills to pay – and at month's end, the costs especially tend to gang up – yet again, the reminder's in order that these pages keep running solely by means of your support:

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SVILUPPO (9pm ET, Wed 28 June) – In a watershed development after a lengthy, high-profile investigation, early Thursday morning in Australia, law enforcement in the state of Victoria made the blockbuster announcement that Cardinal George Pell – Pope Francis' hand-picked field marshal to lead a wholesale financial reform of the Vatican as Secretary of the Economy, as well as a member of the pontiff's "Gang of 9" principal advisers for the revamping the Roman Curia – had been charged with multiple "historical sexual assault offenses" and was summoned to appear in court there on July 18th:

For clarity's sake, the counts against Pell – now, by far, global Catholicism's highest-ranking cleric to face criminal scrutiny on sex-abuse claims – are not tied to the work of the Royal Commission (the years-long Federal inquiry on abuse in religious institutions), its final report expected to be released late this year.

Formerly the archbishop of both Sydney and Melbourne – respectively the Australian church's most prominent and largest outposts – Pell testified before the national probe over four days in early 2016 via videolink from Rome, after the cardinal's legal team argued that his health prevented him from returning home. At that time, a viral song released by the Aussie comedian/musician Tim Minchin which blasted Pell whilst beseeching him to "come home" and face the moment topped the continent's singles charts over its week of release; the song's effect likewise fueled a successful crowdfunding push that allowed a group of survivors from the cardinal's home-diocese of Ballarat (in Victoria) to make the trip and watch his testimony in person.

Having "strenuously denied" the charges anew in a written statement issued overnight, Pell is slated to make a live response to the media – from no less than the Holy See Press Office – at 8.30 Thursday morning in Rome (2.30am ET, 4.30pm Sydney), an hour before the Pope's major Mass on this feast of Saints Peter and Paul.

As ever, no shortage of context and institutional memory are needed to flesh out this story, and this shop has a good bit of it stocked up...

..but when it comes to the Economy, well, that's the one job here that belongs to the other side of the screen. And with what's now on deck – long, complex and ugly as it's bound to be – the necessary high-grade content will only be possible with this readership's according backup.