The leading Catholic in the nation and spiritual adviser to Tony Abbott, Cardinal George Pell has played a key role in the greatest challenge to face his church for centuries: the scandal of child sex abuse by priests.
In The Prince, David Marr investigates the man and his career: how did he rise through the ranks? What does he stand for? How does he wield his authority? How much has he shaped his church and Australia? How has he handled the scandal?
Marr reveals a cleric at ease with power and aggressive in asserting the prerogatives of the Vatican. His account of Pell’s career focuses on his response as a man, a priest, an archbishop and prince of the church to the scandal that has engulfed the Catholic world in the last thirty years. This is the story of a cleric slow to see what was happening around him; torn by the contest between his church and its victims; and slow to realise that the Catholic Church cannot, in the end, escape secular scrutiny.
The Prince is an arresting portrait of faith, loyalty and ambition, set against a backdrop of terrible suffering and an ancient institution in turmoil.
Longlisted, 2014 Walkley Book Award
‘An indictment of Pell for blind, evasive, flint-hearted reactions…Has a more devastating portrait of a “respectable”, living, non-politician, Australian public figure ever been published?’ —Gerard Windsor, Sydney Morning Herald
‘An incisive discussion of the character and personality of Pell’ —Jack Waterford, Canberra Times
‘Descriptively superb. This is where David Marr rivals Lytton Strachey’ —Peter Craven, Weekend Australian
‘Marr makes good use of his skills as an investigative reporter as he looks at Pell's role in the scandals and analyses the Church's struggle to save its reputation … This is outstanding long-form journalism.’ —Walkley Magazine, Best Non-Fiction Book of 2014
David Marr has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Monthly, been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners, presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch and now writes for the Guardian. His books include Patrick White: A Life, The High Price of Heaven, Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson) and five Quarterly Essays: His Master’s Voice, Power Trip, Political Animal, The Prince and Faction Man.