Cardinal George Pell’s lawyer, Robert Richter QC, described the child sexual offences for which his client was convicted as "No more than a plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating.” Cardinal George Pell's victims were two 13 year-old choirboys. So the lawyer, Robert Richter, says that Vanilla Sex is normal even when forced on the two 13 year-old choirboys by a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. That’s an extraordinary thing for an experienced defence lawyer to say of a Cardinal of Rome. The comments are "profoundly damaging”, disrespectful, destructive and outrageous to everybody - but especially to Survivors of Clerical Rape. The Cardinal’s lawyer’s description of the crimes reflected an anachronistic understanding of child rape.
Robert Richter suggested there were "no aggravating circumstances" and "no implement was used" on the two 13-year-old boys who Cardinal Pell has been convicted of sexually offending while they were choirboys at St Patrick's Cathedral. By its very nature It is rape, because the two 13-year-old boys had not, of course, consented. Most children don't even have the words for what was happening to them - how could they? It is and was an abuse of power by a powerful man - a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and was a true betrayal of trust and a spiritual transgression of the highest order.
The Cardinal’s lawyer continued by saying in open court, “Cardinal Pell was not, as he put his penis in that boy’s mouth, acting as Archbishop but only as a man. Mass had finished and that was the only reason Pell was at St Patrick’s.”
The lawyer continued “The only differential of power is that he is an adult – for reasons inexplicable – with an urge to do what he did. He is not abusing his position as Archbishop but he is abusing his position … as a grown man.”
It got worse. The Cardinal’s lawyer pointed out, helpfully, that (if Pell had in fact done anything at all) he exerted “No force greater than was required to achieve penetration.” There were no physical injuries, no ejaculation, no recording of the offences and he did not commit them while on bail or parole.
Pell’s actions totally destroyed the two boys’ lives forever, with one of them committing suicide a few years later. Of all the risk factors for childhood in terms of damage to mental and physical health, sexual rape is the highest. There is no child sexual offence, with or without penetration, that does not potentially harm the child, period. I am talking here from my own experience as a Survivor of Clerical Rape. Survivors of child sexual rape always experience serious trauma throughout their entire lives. It permeates their personal relationships, their friendships and their family. For the Survivor, there is a resurfacing of all those memories, almost daily, till the day they die.
I was left speechless when the term Vanilla Sex was uttered, so I ask a question: what please is Vanilla Sex? The British Medical Journal regards conventional sex between homosexual couples as "Sex that does not extend beyond affection, mutual masturbation and oral and anal sex.”
“Vanilla Sex” is just non-kinky sex. Basically people are going to define "Vanilla" differently but in broad terms, it's sex that doesn't involve anything "extra" such as a power play dynamic, pain, humiliation, worship, etc. So “Vanilla Sex” is just plain sex. Vanilla Sex is somewhat like that in that it's a question of perspective. I would define Vanilla Sex as sexual practices and attitudes that conform to the average as represented by other people within one's own culture, sub-culture, group or sub-group. In other words, it's what any given person perceives as less interesting, evolved, permissive or liberated than what they personally consider normal or average.
Did Cardinal Pell know the difference? Because his sex certainly wasn’t “Vanilla Sex” - it was the rape of children and was an act of a powerful Pedophile - Cardinal Pellophile. Let’s be clear here; there is nothing normal or Vanilla about the rape of children.
Owen Felix O’Neill