Dressed in scarlet garments, the blood-like red representing his willingness to die for his beliefs, Cardinal George Pell wore his faith as blatantly as he could.
A gold ring adorned the index finger of his right hand, gifted to him by the Pope himself, and kissed by Catholics all over the world who greeted him.
With a zuchetti sitting on the crown of his head, a scarlet hat indicating his willingness to spill blood for his church, Pell asserted himself as not just a Catholic, but as the highest ranking one in Australia.
But we learned on Tuesday that George Pell is not a Catholic at all.
The 77-year-old has been found guilty of five counts of child sex abuse.
He is a man who proclaims himself as one thing and acts as another. A wolf in sheep’s clothing – to use a phrase from the bible.
Pell does not represent the one in five Australian students who attend Catholic schools or the 60,000 teachers who run them. He does not represent the more than five and half million Australians who identify as Catholic – not because they wear a crucifix – but because of how they choose to live their lives.
A Catholic is my grandmother, who buried her husband, her brother and her son, and would speak to God when she found herself crying in the middle of the night.
A Catholic is my grandfather, who says God found him rather than the other way around, and who thinks the single most important question you can ask yourself is: ‘Am I a good person?’
A Catholic is the teacher who plans liturgies for her Year Three class, the message of which is ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’.