A man of courage

Christopher Pearson was not your typical Catholic.

For a start, he was devoted to the Latin Mass. And then there was his battle with homosexuality.

Christopher Pearson wrote about his struggle in The Australian. His columns reflect a humble man who had fallen and then found the strength to rise above his demons. As a result, Christopher Pearson can truly be described as courageous.

In 2009, Christopher Pearson marked the tenth anniversary of his conversion to Catholicism with a wonderful column. He acknowledged his past and his move towards higher things. It is inspiring for anyone to read.

And in this day, when rainbow Catholics are all the rage, it is a sober reminder that happiness is not found in fads and the acceptance of flaws, but in correcting them. He wrote about the truth he had discovered, even if it was not necessarily easy for him to accept:

“There was no getting around the fact the New Testament said we were all meant to be chaste or monogamously married and I had reluctantly concluded that St Paul was right about homosexual sex.”

In fighting his battle, Christopher Pearson personified for us all the real meaning of human dignity. We are not made to succumb to our weaknesses, whatever they may. We are made to conquer them, to become perfect, to become like God Himself.

Christopher Pearson also wrote eloquently about the necessity of the sacraments. Especially Penance. He decried new-age novelties, such as the removal of crucifixes from Catholic hospitals.

And he loved to remind us all of the importance of praying for the dead.

As Christopher Pearson passed away over the weekend at the age of 61, I can only hope that he has found peace with God. But he may well be in purgatory, hoping for the same assistance he rendered to the Holy Souls while he was alive.

So, Christopher Pearson, you will be in our prayers.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. What an unpleasant exchange.

    For what it’s worth, if “John Lee” has as much direct personal knowledge of Christopher Pearson as he hints at and indicates particularly at the end of this piece, I am amazed that he can be bothered crapping on about it so soon after the actual man’s actual death in a minor commbox for about eight readers.

    On the other hand, if he’s just some aspiring David Marr (“rather florid” was particularly unintentionaly droll), give it a rest until you’ve written your biography of Patrick White, mate.


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    • Oh “Michael” or should I say “Nick Minchin” for it may be you or it may be Jensen Button for all we’d know…Your “amazement” is of no interest to anyone, so probably best to keep to yourself. An “aspiring David Marr”? Typical lazy shortcut I’d say – want to sum up a whole bunch of qualities you revile so you smear someone YOU most certainly will never know.

      So, “Michael”, stick to the points – of which you cover none – of the original argument, not descend into some personal invective thats actually rather sad.

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  2. I find the comments made about the late Christopher Pearson from John Lee and Michael Furtardo rather insulting. It even seems like Mr Furtardo is going so far as to usurp the role of Christ in judging the soul of Mr Pearson mocking his faith in Christ as a “perverse religiosity” and writing off his defence of the Church as a exercise of pomposity and tedium. Mr Furtardo and Mr Lee would do well to take heed of what seems to be every liberal “Catholic”s favourite line from Christ “Judge lest not ye be judged.”

    I really think we have to be careful when we consider the views of modernist Catholics from the generation that has produced the like of Lee and Furtardo. They are a part of a generation of greying rebels who seemed to dump the rock of God for the sand of Marxism, relativism and other trendy ideologies they used as a foundation for the construction of their ersatz Catholic Church which eshewed the concerns of God for those of the world. Men like Mr Furtardo and his ilk seem deeply confused at the best of times as to how they reconcile their Catholicism with their trendy, godless ideas. Such men must be treated with sympathy, not admiration.

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    • Nick,
      I can live without your sympathy (and I’m sure Michael can as well). You are really in no position to judge whether i have dumped the Church for “Marxism, relativism and other trendy ideologies” based on a single blog post – any more than I can tell whether you too are a dinosaur theologically, a low-towing Latin Mass demagogue whose idea of spirituality stops at the Confessional door, and who worshipped the shallowness of Pearson’s “:conversion” for its apparent political reverberations…
      As to whether its fair to judge someone as holding “trendy godless ideas” because you dont agree with them…its pretty poor standards of debate.
      You touch not one whit on the issue at hand – that reverence for Pearson, as witnessed in Abbott’s rather florid piece or The Australian’s gushing political canon, omits any reference to the massive contradictions that lay behind him both spiritually and politically. His journey from Maoist gay libber to latin-intoning celibate dilettante, a journey littered with some truly atrocious personal trauma and misgivings, was based on such a tragic and obvious quest for acceptance. The hollow dimensions of his conversion, his vile personal behaviour and political thuggery (re-read his Hindmarsh Island campaign if you doubt this) all underline the appallingly confused nature of his life and its sad decline.
      The last few years, after he sold out from the Review, were in a large part the crescendo of his own sense of worthlessness, railing at political foes on behalf of his latest and longest crush, Abbott, eating and drinking like some eighteenth century roue (albeit ashamed to even acknowledge his sexuality) and plotting a conservative slide back to nineteenth century Catholicism with a small and increasingly eccentric coterie.
      I dont think you have to be a Maoist to judge Christopher – his friends all did over the years as his boorishness banished them from intimacy. To pretend that a campaign for Church-induced morality equates to a virtuousness that should not be traduced is just plain lazy.

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  3. I respect your views, but to others of us in the Church he represented a particularly odious strain, self satisfied, smug and backward-thinking.

    A colleague, Michael Furtado, probably expressed it best:

    “It was his perverse religiosity which drew him into a kind of Catholicism that was all but dead, but is now ascendant in some revanchist pre-Vatican II quarters in the Australian Church as well as globally.

    And he wrote tediously and pompously of antediluvian social practices, especially his obsessive eating, long past their use-by date.

    This put him at odds with, among many others, the great renewal of Catholics entailing a shift with Vatican II towards a theology of justice, which his reactionary politics positioned him as pathologically hating.
    In this sense he was both behind the times as well as rampantly reactionary in both his ecclesiology and his understanding of popular culture and politics.

    It doesn’t surprise that he admired Muggeridge and Santamaria. This sounds a timely warning about Abbott, who has publicly bemoaned his loss.”

    We can all mourn a departed soul, a life ended, but we really should not overlook the damage and malevolence he created, nor the divisive political legacy Pearson so revelled in creating.

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    • John Lee,

      Pray that you are not judged by your adjectives.

      There are so many uncharitable expressions in this post that by the time we get to “malevolence”, I imagine most readers will be thinking of glass houses.

      “Self satisfied” is particularly wide of the mark – I presume you didn’t know him. He was acutely conscious of himself as a sinner, but took comfort in the infinite mercy of his Redeemer.

      His funeral commenced with an acknowledgement by the celebrant that Christopher had made it clear that what he wanted and needed was prayers for his soul, not praise. The liturgy was thus suffused, not with the presumption of universal salvation that characterises most modern funerals (or “celebrations of the life” of X), but with the beauty which drew Christopher to the Church – from, it must be said, a long way off.

      This sort of thing used to happen quite a lot, before the Church discovered tambourines and pizza-hut architecture.


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      • Lyle, with respect – I did know him. I would imagine few of his many acquaintances would not agree he WAS smug and self-satisfied in his proudly-strutted anachronistic spirituality. It was a major part of his latter decades, and one which to many of those of us who enjoyed his literary talents, was quite tiresome.
        And tossed off lumping of “tambourines and pizza hut architecture” with any criticism of CP is just lame and lazy. I have no love myself for much of the trappings of the modern churches but I know a fraudulent spiritual fashion when I see it, and despite the solemn invocation of “beauty” at every step, I know its just plain ugly. Pearson’s bullying and triumphalism did so much to negate his claims at righteousness – if you don’t get that you probably haven’t spent much time in his company.

  4. Christopher Pearson saw the destructive forces unleashed by the decriminalisation of homosexual activity, and turned to God. He was a rare man with the courage of his convictions who faced his demons and overcame them. A true Christian hero.

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