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Cardinal

The Rise and Fall of George Pell
Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, True Crime
4.5 out of 5 stars (83 ratings)

Non-member price: $29.95

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Publisher's Summary

The book suppression has now lifted, and multi-award winning Cardinal is available for listeners for the first time, with new revelations and a foreword by Thomas Keneally.

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's most powerful Catholic, has been found guilty of five sexual crimes against children. He is the most senior Catholic figure in the world to be charged by police and convicted of child sex offences. The abuse involved choirboys at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral.   

George Pell was a Ballarat boy who studied at Oxford and rose through the Catholic Church ranks to become adviser to Pope Francis and Vatican treasurer. He has been expelled from the Pope's inner circle of trusted cardinals. As an outspoken defender of church orthodoxy, supported and championed by the powerful, Pell's ascendancy was remarkable and seemingly unstoppable. As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse brought to light horrific stories about sexual abuse of the most vulnerable, Pell portrayed himself as the first man in the Catholic Church to tackle the problem. But questions about what the Cardinal knew, and when, persisted.   

Louise Milligan pieces together decades of disturbing activities highlighting Pell's actions and cover-ups. The book is a testament to the most intimate stories of complainants. Many people entrusted their secrets to be told here for the first time. Multi-award-winning Cardinal reveals uncomfortable truths about a culture of sexual entitlement, abuse of trust and how ambition can silence evil.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2017 Louise Milligan (P)2019 Audible Studios

What members say

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  • Bec
  • 09-06-2019

The full story

Listening to this book was a harrowing experience, but I am glad of it. Stories of clergy abuse and about Ballarat have been part of the back drop of my life in Melbourne for years, but as an atheist living in secular circles it was never a focus. The allegations against Pell changed that and this book is a thorough and painstakingly researched account of Pell’s life. More importantly however, Cardinal is a reminder of how power corrupts; and a reminder of the responsibility of every citizen to protect children, challenge authority and to look after each other.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A hopeful and important read

I was nervous that this book would be too devastating to read. What I found here was a strength and healing that I did not expect. It's so important to have an insight into the environment that created this damage and abuse. This is what I felt this book delivered so beautifully. I recognise many of the locations and people in this book. My mother was a young nun in Ballarat during a time when many of these offenses occurred. Reading peoples accounts, and the impact that the actions of others had on them, was painful, but I also felt the importance and necessity for them to be heard and their pain acknowledged. This is why I loved this book so much and can't stop recommending it. It's not just about Pell, it's about us and our communities and I felt empowered and moved after reading this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Minter
  • Brisbane QLD Australia
  • 14-10-2019

Insightful must listen to audiobook

Louise Milligan has done a wonderful job investigating and assembling this audiobook. Child abuse in the papers and on the gb is never easiest subject matter to study and this book goes the extra mile to understand the two then young boys, the Ballaratt community and the cover ups and abuse in the Australian Catholic Church. If you want to understand who George Pell is listen to this audio book if you want to believe in fantasies then listen to Andrew Bolt.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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a powerful advocate for the truth...

a well researched piece that respectfully presents the dreadful stories of the abused. my heart goes out to the many, many victims.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Empathic and insightful. A fine piece of writing

Milligan’s storytelling and investigative journalism is seconded only by her empathy and warmth in this must-read look at what is to be the most significant issue of our time.
It is an impressive balancing act as she brings the anguish of victims and families to life while never starting from her rigorous, evidence-based reporting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Shame shame shameful

As I was from Inglewood and met and have encountered this horrible priest and have had friends whom were not included in this book, just shows you how many ppl survived this priests pool room and alter boys storyline.
As for Pells lies for so many year may he rest in hell. And why is he not in the mainstream of the jail. This is so still looking after him. Put him amongst the prisoners and show him the life that many of his victims felt on a daily basic. There has to be another book to cover the victims and the parents of these victims. Maybe as a podcast interview read book. Thank you for writing this book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Pep
  • Australia
  • 08-11-2019

Meticulously researched but pacing is exhausting

I know the narrator is not an actor and they may have had challenges funding a narrator for this work, but the pacing of the narration needs to be slowed down. The narrator needs to take a break between pars - some chapters sound like there isn't a single paragraph break in it, which makes it hard to digest the information presented and make the transition to new topics. Not sure if I will get all the way through this one, might be easier to read as a physical book. The content is fascinating though!

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A MUST READ

A book at all people should read. It's written beautifully, with honesty and integrity.

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Louise Milligan: more power to your arm!

This book (actually my audiobook) will bring tears to your eyes!

She has written a powerful account of the Catholic Church thinking, knowing that it was above the law.

Julia Gillard: hero!

Dissident Catholic theologians, priests: heroes!



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Fascinating, well researched

Fantasticly well researched and read. A great resource for media students too. Great stuff.

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  • Kent
  • 23-05-2019

Let us never Forget

A very important piece of investigative writing, important that we remember the terrible sacrifice of the innocence of youth...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful