For whom the Pell tolls


One of Australia’s leading public relations and image-making specialists says unfairly sacked Cardinal George Pell will have to do more than just admit himself to hospital for a few days to get his Vatican posts back.

“Clearly Pope Francis, widely regarded up to now as a caring, gentle and kind Pontiff, must know he’s committed an egregious error of judgement here,” said Mark Makeover from his executive suite on top of The Toaster at Sydney’s Circular Quay.

Makeover was commenting following news that Cardinal Pell, shattered and sickened by his unfair sacking, had been admitted overnight to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney looking pale and innocent.

While his precise ailment was not disclosed, overseas news reports have suggested Pell is suffering from severe litigation, but a St Vincent’s Hospital spokesperson said patient confidentiality prevented any comment.

“Pope Francis wouldn’t have a leg to stand on in a legal sense for sacking Cardinal Pell because of his age,” Makeover said. “But this is not going to be a legal stoush. This is personal and it’s about probity and principle. It’s all about Christian decency, really.

“His Eminence can apparently be quite stubborn seeing he has been without sin all his life and especially once he became infallible the moment he was white-smoked, until now that is, so I’m afraid a short time in hospital by Australia’s most loved, most senior and most respected Catholic cleric is not going to do the trick.

“Don’t get me wrong. Sure, it’s a good first step to show Pope Francis how much damage he’s done to Cardinal Pell’s pell shuffling

“But my advice to Cardinal Pell would be to also use the Alan Bond and Christopher Skase plays next, and you can’t deploy them from a hospital bed.

“I’d have Cardinal Pell  shuffling along a street today, still in his hospital smock, looking like a drooling, brain-dead simpleton (pictured) to show the Pontiff just how badly the decision has affected George mentally as much as physically. Tear up and stomp on a journalist’s calling card if he can. Great imagery that simply screams: “See what you’ve done here, Frankie boy!pell as skase.jpg

“Another tactic that you can’t try from a bed is the Skase “I told you I was ill” manoeuvre, where you’re photographed surrounded by oxygen tanks, drips and medical specialists. Okay, okay, I know that later on Christopher found out he actually was sick but that’s by the by.

“It’s images like those that will make Pope Francis come to his senses far more quickly than some media releases from a hospital administrator.

“And as soon as Cardinal Pell gets his old jobs back, he can recover as quickly as he possibly can – who knows, it might indeed be a miracle recovery and someone, somewhere will be half way to a sainthood –  and the cardinal will be back where he belongs, delivering his spiritual and loving guidance to his adoring flock, especially the young.”