Peter Hollingworth was born in 1935.  After completing his national service, he joined the Anglican ministry, serving both at the parish level and in philanthropic roles.  He spent a quarter of a century helping to run a leading Australian charity, Melbourne’s Brotherhood of Saint Laurence.  Appointed Anglican archbishop of Brisbane in 1989, he was named Australian of the Year in 1992.  Prime Minister John Howard appointed Hollingworth Australia’s 42nd governor-general in 2001 (upon the retirement of Sir William Deane, whose incurable unctuous leftism earned him the widespread nickname “Shadow Minister for Social Security”).

Bill D’Arcy, born in 1939, upheld ethics somewhat different from Hollingworth’s.  He worked from the early 1960’s as a teacher, in which function he distinguished himself by an innate inability to let schoolgirls alone.  With one student, he proceeded somewhat cautiously, confining himself to undoing her bra, fondling her, and vowing to thrash her if she complained.  At least three other girls found him more overtly violent.  One unforgettable day, he carried sex education to its logical conclusion by raping a pupil in front of her classmates, pour encourager les autres.  It took almost three decades for this background, which ultimately resulted in 18 indecency charges, to damage D’Arcy’s political career.  From 1972 to 1974, and again from 1977 to 2000, he represented a Labor electorate in Queens-land’s legislature; during the 1980’s, he served as Labor’s deputy leader (its leader at the time being, piquantly enough, fellow convicted rapist Keith Wright).  He rendered heroic service to Peter Beattie—the former Wright campaign manager who has been Queensland’s Labor premier since 1998—by helping to preserve Beattie’s first administration, which lacked a parliamentary majority.  This task turned out to be no sinecure.  On 143 occasions (according to Hansard’s report of May 29, 2003), Beattie happily accepted D’Arcy’s vote to stay in office.  In 2000, the Brisbane District Court sentenced D’Arcy to 14 years in jail, a term that was subsequently reduced on the grounds of the criminal’s alleged ill health—to 10 years.

So which V.I.P. has inspired Der-Stür-mer-esque baying for his blood?  D’Arcy?  Guess again, comrade.

Worse, as early as 1997, Beattie—not yet premier—had been warned by Labor colleague Lorraine Bird that at least one sex criminal (whom she did not name) inhabited the Queensland party’s inner circle.  Mrs. Bird described, via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio network on May 21, 2003, Beattie’s response to the warning: open laughter, accompanied by the words “Righty-oh, okay.”  During 1997, Pauline Hanson and her One Nation Party were approaching the apex of their political fame.  Thus, Mrs. Bird feared the electoral consequences of an anti-Labor backlash over D’Arcy’s corruption.  She did well to fear: A One Nation candidate defeated her at the cliffhanger 1998 state election (the one that gave Beattie the premiership), after which D’Arcy’s vice became publicly known.  It still took another two years to persuade D’Arcy to leave parliament, and, even then, he quit only after extracting from Beat-tie the promise—duly kept—of $600,000 Australian in severance pay.  Melbourne’s News Weekly mentioned this scandal on June 14, 2003; the mainstream Queens-land press completely ignored it.

Meanwhile, the moral sense that so conspicuously deserted Beattie in the matter of D’Arcy has been—if we are to believe Beattie himself—working overtime in the matter of Hollingworth.  It emerged in 2002 that Hollingworth, in his archiepiscopal role, had allowed a pedophile clergyman to continue working within Brisbane parishes.  Although neither during the 1990’s nor later did anyone formally accuse Hollingworth of willfully suppressing knowledge of the clergyman’s habits, this little fact failed to slake the lynching bee’s bloodlust.  For weeks, especially before the Iraq war, broadsheets as well as tabloids had the greatest difficulty in devoting even part of their front pages to non-Hollingworth-related Australian news.  Hollingworth, however, refused to obey the clamor for his resignation.  Over a few precious days, it actually looked as if Rupert Murdoch and his fellow sansculottes (who, since 2001, had openly wanted to chase Hollingworth out of the governor-general’s post, justifying their rage by pious “separation of Church and state” humbug) could still be cheated of their victim.

No such luck.  As soon as Hollingworth looked likely to escape, Federal Labor parliamentarian Lindsay Tanner came to Beattie’s aid and swung into action.  Under the quaintly styled institution of “parliamentary privilege,” he cited accusations of Hollingworth having raped a woman named Annie Jarmyn at a youth camp in Bendigo, Victoria, 40 years before.  Miss Jarmyn—with whose long-standing and very public history of mental illness Baron Munchausen would have sympathized—had killed herself on April 22.  Other than her say-so, not a skerrick of evidence against Hollingworth existed, as Hollingworth himself complained with understandable bluntness on May 7:

I did not rape her, I did not sexually assault her.  I deny absolutely that I have ever raped or in any way sexually assaulted any person.  Not only did I not hold any of the positions alleged by the woman in question, I did not know her.  I never attended any meeting at St John’s church in North Bendigo.  I never organized a youth camp for the diocese of Bendigo.  I never attended a youth camp organized by that diocese.

In the end, Hollingworth’s career ended not through the lunatic rape charge, nor because of the original Anglican report that taxed him with pastoral negligence in employing a pedophile.  Nor was Hollingworth forced out by the rather ill-advised public comments of Sydney’s Catholic archbishop, George Cardinal Pell, who has come perilously close to implying that because he himself needed to endure totally fraudulent charges of sexual misconduct, all other Christian leaders must similarly be prepared to do so.  (Convinced that Australia’s presence in Iraq satisfied “just war” criteria that eluded John Paul II, Cardinal Pell assured a Catholic News interviewer on May 27: “I think even in a just war, it’s not appropriate, for example, for an archbishop to be farewelling our troops.  The separation of church and state in Australia is a blessing and we should preserve it.”

No, what destroyed Hollingworth was his incautious televised description of the girl molested by the convicted Anglican clergyman as a “Lolita.”  That one trisyllable—whether justified or not in the particular circumstances that Hollingworth had in mind—consigned its speaker to the same perdition as Samuel Francis, Trent Lott, Congressman James Moran, and every other public figure in modern America who has failed to comprehend post-Christian discourse’s unwritten law: Always apologize, always explain.  And when you have finished apologizing and explaining, apologize and explain yet again.  (After all, look how brilliantly successful this groveling proved for Darkness at Noon’s Rubashov.)

Vae victis.  John Howard first announced that he would stand by Hollingworth and then switched to “we-don’t-want-to-lose-you-but-we-think-you-ought-to-go” mode.  (The regular contrast between Howard’s heroics against straw men and his obeisance to real threats—most famously, of course, to the antigun brigade, but, more recently, to the stem-cell Strangeloves—evokes words once apocryphally ascribed to former Victorian premier Sir Henry Bolte: “I do not bow to mob hatred . . . only to mob applause.”)  At least the prime minister chose on June 22 an above-average successor for the governor-general’s post: Major-General Michael Jeffery, who, while governor of Western Australia during the 1990’s, expressed himself with rare frankness on the theme of Aboriginal welfarism.  So something may yet be saved of the vice-regal wreckage after all, even though that something does not include Hollingworth and even though the Fourth Estate’s troglodytes imagined they were paying Jeffery some kind of compliment when they unanimously hailed him as “a man of the people.”  (The religious bimonthly Annals Australasia reported in June 2003, that, at the outcry’s height, and with a softheartedness entirely typical of him, Hollingworth paid spindoctor Andrew Reynolds $750 Australian per day for public-relations “services” rendered.)  Yet any Australian monarchist who imagines after Hollingworth’s downfall—as, alas, Australian monarchists still do by the thousands, if not indeed by the tens of thousands—that the 1999 constitutional referendum’s antirepublican outcome provided a serious obstacle to Australian Jacobinism really should go on the waiting lists for a brain transplant.