George Pell Vatican church

Well, there was never any likelihood that the conviction of (still) Cardinal George Pell wouldn’t be a major moment in the culture wars. Even so, it’s a helluva thing to watch the right commentariat throw itself into the defence of Pell with utter abandon. The full court press by Bolt, Henderson, Akerman, Devine et al has marked them off pretty decisively from the parliamentary wing of the right (with the rule-proving exception of Craig Kelly), who were quick to ring-fence Pell from what remains of their politics.

John Howard may be bitterly regretting his decision to do so now. Tony Abbott’s -- no letter, can’t recall being asked for one, but gives Pell a farewell call -- is pure Abbott.