Christopher Pearson has passed away

The Australian is reporting that Christopher Pearson has died aged 61.

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73 Responses to Christopher Pearson has passed away

  1. Tracey

    I’m genuinely sorry to see this (assuming it is true). He was a wonderful writer and I enjoyed reading his pieces in the Australian.

  2. Tintarella di Luna

    That is so terribly sad to see another good man gone. Vale Christopher Pearson. Rest in Peace.

  3. Fisky

    Shocking news. Very sorry to hear this.

  4. Gab

    A good man, gone too soon to heaven.
    Vale, Christopher.

  5. Johno

    This is very sad news. He was a good man.

  6. Cold-Hands

    Adelaide Now confirms his passing. Condolences to his friends and family. Vale to a thoughtful writer and a good man.

  7. val majkus

    he wrote great columns! Always looked forward to them

  8. blogstrop

    The right-minded MSM ranks are thin enough without losing Christopher. He’ll be missed. Condolences to his family and friends.
    How will the left handle this? He was conservatively inclined, but on the other hand …

  9. Christopher Pearson was a very brave man, and a man of real integrity. He accepted that acting out as a homosexual person was incompatible with his decision to embrace God and the fullness of the Catholic faith, and so he gave up acting out.

    And he spoke and wrote about it publicly, and that was the bravest thing of all – to open himself up to so many attacks on that front.

    Oh, how easy it all would have been for him to just pony along with the ‘new Church’ line – to be a token Catholic gay, to be feted by Eureka Street and the Tablet, and to spend his time running down the very Church he claimed to support.

    Instead, Christopher Pearson faced the truth about himself and about God, and chose God over himself and his own desires. And because he did so in this life, I think it’s fair to expect that he won’t have quite so many problems doing so now in person. May he rest in peace.

  10. Vale Chris Pearson.

    I think he said in one of his columns that he had *never* had sex full stop, pre-conversion included.

  11. Tintarella di Luna

    Christopher Pearson was a very brave man, and a man of real integrity.

    His piece in September 2009 was deeply thoughtful and very thought provoking. It carried the light of his faith. His criticisms of the happy-clappies were spot on.

  12. dover_beach

    This is very sad news. I heartily concur with Philippa and the sentiments of others here. RIP.

  13. Hi Tim –

    Possibly. But hey – he wasn’t ashamed to be thought of as gay. This gets us into the tricky waters of ‘what is a gay man?’ Is it:

    a) a man who predominantly identifies as same sex attracted, whether he’s ever had sex or not?
    b) a man who claims to be straight, but has sex with other men sometimes?
    c) a man who claims to be same sex attracted, and has sex with other men sometimes?
    d) a man who claims to be same sex attracted, and has had anal sex with other men?

    You will find each claim has its own supporters. It’s rather like the whole thing of ‘gold star lesbians’ and those who aren’t; it’s a self-referential culture, and there’s plenty of shrieking noisy voices trying to pin their own identity rules on everyone else.

    The best thing about Christopher Pearson is that he cut straight through the crap and refused to be defined either by his type of sexual attraction or how sexually active he’d been.

  14. Andrew

    Sad news. Chris had a lot going for him:

    – Monarchist
    – Opposes same sex marriage
    – Conservative
    – Speech writer for John Howard
    – Catholic

    Will be missed.

  15. Leigh Lowe

    That is sad news.
    I used to enjoy getting a coffee and spreading to Oz out on the table to digest his writings at a leisurely pace.
    And that it what his work deserved – always so rich, thoughtful and well constructed.
    We seem to lose talent like his too soon. Although a completely different style, I am reminded of the untimely death of Peter Ruehl a couple of years ago, who was one of the few at the AFR worth feeding.

  16. Tintarella di Luna

    We seem to lose talent like his too soon

    . yes Leigh and Matt Price-miss him heaps

  17. candy

    A down to earth journalist enjoyable to read, and he had a kindly likeable manner.

    Well he’s in God’s hands now and going to have a real good chuckle on 14 September!

  18. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    This is a real loss, he was a fine man. What a shame.

  19. C.L.

    Really sad news and a shock.

    He was a fine Catholic thinker and a gifted essayist.

  20. mareeS

    A real and saddening loss. He was a thought-provoking writer and a deeply thoughtful person whose contribution to Australia’s public conversation will be sorely missed.

  21. stackja

    Well he’s in God’s hands now and going to have a real good chuckle on 14 September!

    Amen!

  22. Sirocco

    Sad News. I will miss his columns. I enjoyed them very much.

  23. Rob

    Very sad news, always a highlight of the Saturday Oz.

  24. Jannie

    Very sad news. He must have been a brave man. I will miss his work.

  25. tbh

    Vale Christopher. I too enjoyed his work.

    Although a completely different style, I am reminded of the untimely death of Peter Ruehl a couple of years ago, who was one of the few at the AFR worth feeding.

    Absolutely. Loved Peter’s work over many years.

  26. Shane Easson

    As Gore Vidal said after the death of Truman Capote: “A wise career choice”.

    Sad that in an era when the world moved rapidly to give full equality to Christopher and his kind that Pearson renounced his homosexuality and joined an institution where so many priests deny their sexuality. Sadder still that he died alone.

    He made a big contribution to his party and society but his next to last column in the Australian showed he had significant self esteem issues. I feel so sorry for him

  27. Megan

    Christopher’s columns were always a delight to read and very often forced me into rethinking my view of the world. Vale Christopher, the Weekend Oz is poorer for your absence.

  28. MT Isa Miner

    Condolences to his family and friends. He was a brave man to fight the personal and intellectual battles that he did. And to then have the strength of character to submit to his faith as a fully grown reasoning man- I admired him more for that.

    At my father-in-laws funeral we were told not to be sad for him as he was with God and so we were being sad for ourselves. There are so few writers who are able to articulate the Christian conservative voice in Australia- I am sad because I’ll miss his columns.

  29. MT Isa Miner

    I read that he converted to Catholicism in 1999.

  30. PeterF

    And right on cue the left,courtesy of that giant intellect Bob Ellis,decide to publish some of the most disgusting comments regarding Christopher Pearson. We all need to read Ellis’ blog to understand these morons.

  31. Helen Armstrong

    I am sorry we have lost him a great and insightful man. I will miss his writings and thoughtful views.

  32. PeterF

    At least someone with a modicum of decency has forced him to take down his disgusting poem about Christopher.

  33. Sandra

    Not all readers of the Australian appreciated some of his views, clearly he will be sorely missed by his closed friend Tony Abbott and Cardinal Pell

  34. Cuckoo

    The two things I always turned to first in the Australian were Matt Price and then Christopher Pearson. Now they’re both gone.

  35. Lysander Spooner

    OMG I just heard this! 🙁

  36. Chris Kuhle

    The two things I always turned to first in the Australian were Matt Price and then Christopher Pearson. Now they’re both gone.

    Interesting contrast. One had integrity – the other was a poison pen.

    Christopher Pearson was like a Queenslander who plays for NSW in SoO – hopelessly conflicted

  37. mct

    Ahh, the linking of the truly good ‘uns… Devine, Price and now Christopher Pearson.

    Sad day indeed.

  38. Peter - Reynella, Adelaide

    There was nothing populist or tokenistic when it came to Christopher Pearson. Indeed, this staunchly conservative, monarchy supporting, catholic, homosexual white Australian male bucked all trends. Notwithstanding his excellent wordplay and courage under fire inside of media colosseums such as the ABC’s ‘Insiders’ (and from where I am certain Christopher will be greatly missed), Christopher Pearson challenged my own one-eyed views on a number of social issues. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of journalists and writers who have had this effect on me. Curiously, but not so surprisingly, I find myself mourning more than I would have anticipated. May God grant you His mercy, love and Eternal Salvation, Christopher.

  39. Hugh

    God bless you, Chris – from all your many friends.
    I hope we meet up again in heaven.

    I’m praying for you.

    In paradisum te ducant te angeli.

  40. Hugh

    “deducant” – sorry, I’m a bit choked up at the moment.

  41. Ray Sanderson

    I know Mr Pearson was a conservative Catholic but his article recently about the fate of children of gay people was truly bizarre. As a gay man himself he should have been more sympathetic to gay and lesbian people. A strange fellow indeed.

  42. Tony

    I was working in a bookshop in the mid-90s when Christopher came in urgently wanting to purchase a copy of “Wind in the Willows”. Unfortunately, we were out of stock. He puckishly replied “Must you rub salt in my wounds!”. We then had a delightful conversation about nothing in particular. It made my day. Jack Snelling, the former SA Treasurer, commented on the weekend that Christopher had “a genius for friendship”. I can well understand why.

  43. Philip Maguire

    Christopher Pearson was not “gay.” Yes, he dealt with same sex attraction throughout his life and in 1972 he helped form South Australian Gay Liberation. But it was all behind him by the time he converted in 1999 and he was living a chaste life up until his death. His life is a testimony to the power of grace and he will be greatly missed by many many Australians. Vale Christopher.

  44. I am shocked having just learned of Christopher Pearson’s death. I don’t really know quite what to say my heart is so heavy. Christopher had a great Faith obviously caught not taught and his writings were full of wisdom and a special personal spirituality that were inspirational and helped me a great deal. I will miss him.
    I also remember Matt Price who was a man of decency and great to read.

  45. I often think of Frank Devine too and recall him commenting on the Greens getting rid of plastic bags and Frank said he thought about how he would get his mince home, he drew pictures with his words.

  46. Jeremy Buxton

    Christopher Pearson was a wise and good man with a lively sense of humour. It was a privilege to have met him at the 1998 Constitutional Convention. Of course as an Anglican very supportive of the ordination of women, I couldn’t agree with some of his columns on religious matters – while being respectful and glad that he was prepared to proclaim his faith in the pages of ‘the Australian’. He added a great deal to political and religious discourse and it is to his credit that the disgusting Bob Ellis took the trouble to denigrate him.

  47. boy on a bike

    I’m going to miss his writing.

  48. I loved Frank Devine’s writing. Devine and Pearson, also Paddy McGuinness, had a generosity of spirit, a geniality and wisdom that seems lacking in the next conservative/right-wing generation. Younger writers are more pugnacious but lack their forebears capacity to charm and delight; that is a pity. We can learn a lot from the likes of Pearson.

  49. Devine and Pearson, also Paddy McGuinness, had a generosity of spirit, a geniality and wisdom that seems lacking in the next conservative/right-wing generation.

    Just to illustrate that, compare the Devines – Frank and Miranda – and McGuinness and Keith Windschuttle. I’d much prefer the company of the older generation.

  50. Leigh Lowe

    His last piece this weekend was ironically about a colleague and friend (Howard Twelftree) who passed away last week.
    The generosity of the eulogy to his friend could easily be re-run without much editing as a tribute to Christopher.
    One small sample when describing Howard’s Aunt Connie, a former senior Police Officer …..

    Connie viewed the world with a gimlet glance and it wasn’t until the day of Howard’s funeral that I learned he had preserved her glass eye, said to be the kindlier in aspect of the two, in a matchbox.

    Deadpan and elegant delivery of a very funny line and, as he knew the subjects of this piece well, I am sure he would never have written it if it would cause offence.

  51. what planet am I on?

    Vale Christopher Pearson.
    May perpetual light shine upon him, may he rest in peace.
    The world is lesser for his passing.

  52. Catherine (val) Ricciardo

    Just read the sad news In the Australian. One fine writer, one fine person. Will miss you as you help them out in heaven……only the good die young
    The Lord have mercy on your soul Christopher Pearson.

  53. Catherine (val) Ricciardo

    Rest in Peace fine man.

  54. Pickles

    And still Mungo, Adams and Ellis live on.

  55. I am deeply saddened and feel an overwhelming sense of personal loss. He always seemed to enjoy life so much and his commentary was a highpoint of the weekend. A year ago he decided to review my book on the care of the dying for the Easter edition of the Australian. It was so typical of Christopher that he thought that it being Easter gave him licence to review a book on that topic. He was quite proud of the position of his column opposite the Australian letters letters page. I do hope that The Australian finds someone of his intellectual capacity and independence of thought. There are few people I have met in public life that I could say that I loved them, but he was one. He was first and foremost a gentleman, a man of great integrity, boundless humour and kindness, at ease in his own identity and a wonderful conversationalist. His taking up Catholicism ten years ago was great hearted and I suspect that he came to it through the transcendental of beauty, rather than through truth and goodness, in the first instance, because he loved great liturgy and pageantry, and he loved classic Catholic writing, such as Belloc and Chesterton.

  56. moira rayner

    He was a brave man who wrote well and I usually disagreed with him, but I read him. A lonely man. God love him and give him joy. Adieu.

  57. Bunyip

    Of course you disagreed with him, Moira. He was a decent, thoughtful person, not one of your Eureka Street style hounds, always ready to bay the approved chorus on behalf of whatever fashionable cause or antipathy is setting eyes a’roll amongst Tony Kevin set. Your mob must be so proud of keeping that lunatic in print and pixels between the periodic and outrageous outbreaks of his insistence that Australia is a racist mud pile where we are all quite happy to see boat people drown. He’s at it again this morning in The Age, I see. Better rustle up a nice award for Kevin’s mantelpiece — something sharp and pithy. This might do: “Thanks, Tony, for helping to keep my diversity consultancy busy. Pity about all those drowned border-hoppers, but sometimes folks just have to die so people like you and I can strike poses of moral superiority.”

    Actually, it’s not just your lot’s advocacy of Kevin or that other nong, Collins, that argues against you being allowed to comment at the Cat, a forum for adults. It’s Eureka Street’s habit of axing comments its party-line moderators can’t abide. I’ve commented many times at Eureka Street — politely and with nary a salty word — and not one of those comments has seen the light of day.

    Then again, on the other hand, a word of ostentatious mourning will certainly hold you in good stead. As the Victorian convener of Emily’s List, you’ll soon be snivelling by the corpse of Ms Trollop, PM. Ninety-seven days to go.

  58. Hugh

    Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Christopher Pearson:
    This coming Saturday, June 15, 10.00 am.
    St Laurence’s Priory, cnr Hill & Buxton Sts, North Adelaide.
    Traditional Latin Mass (“Extraordinary Form”). Booklets with English translations will be provided.
    Music: Gregorian chant propers, (Dies Irae, &c), Palestrina’s “Sicut Cervus”, and the hymn “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” as the coffin leaves the church.
    The cemetery is a 2 hr drive south of Adelaide. (It is yet to be confirmed if the burial is to be on the Saturday. I’ll keep you posted and update on the location spec.s.)
    I’m sure he’d be delighted if many of his friends, acquaintances and grateful readers (plus those who disagreed), Catholic and otherwise, attend the ceremonies to pray for his soul and/or pay their last respects. No doubt he would also be very happy if they commune over a glass or two of good wine afterward in his memory.

    RIP

  59. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Bunyip, Moira’s comment is a lot more gracious than the ones Sinc has retrieved from the spamminator and has just put up on another thread. I don’t know the politics of all who comment here (although I am more aware of Moira’s now), but perhaps that is not so relevant anyway? It is the civility of thoughts that count when the Reaper has just arrived.

    Moira, should you assume that Christopher was lonely? Perhaps you know more than I do, but it seems to me that no-one is lonely when their words are so well read, and it seems that Christopher had many personal friendly exchanges with many people, often. He would have been fun to meet in a bookshop and share a few-safely cerebral flirts with.

    Loneliness is the human condition anyway. It burdens us all, at some time, no matter how loving and busy our world. In the last, we all walk alone, or with our God. Christopher had found his.

  60. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    oops. a few safely-cerebral

  61. Gab

    Ninety-seven days to go.

    96 days, time just flies, Bunyip but very well said for the rest of it.

  62. C.L.

    A lonely man.

    How the hell do you know if he was lonely?

    Is this Eureka Street code for “lived as a chaste homosexual (silly fellow)?”

  63. Tintarella di Luna

    his article recently about the fate of children of gay people was truly bizarre.

    why? because he cared about them? He was a gay, not insentient or insouciant.

  64. Blogstrop

    I’ve made this point before as well, but good to see Bunyip lay it out. Not that I have any interest in becoming a harasser of lefty idiots in their own blog habitats, but the behaviour is apparently widespread.

    Actually, it’s not just your lot’s advocacy of Kevin or that other nong, Collins, that argues against you being allowed to comment at the Cat, a forum for adults. It’s Eureka Street’s habit of axing comments its party-line moderators can’t abide. I’ve commented many times at Eureka Street — politely and with nary a salty word — and not one of those comments has seen the light of day

    .

  65. Leigh Lowe

    Moira,
    Deepest sympathies re Laurie Marquet.
    How do you keep him posted these days? Ouija board?

  66. I don’t believe Andrew Bolt has even mentioned this at his blog. (Correct me if I am wrong.)

    That’s a little curious, isn’t it? Surely their paths must have crossed at some point.

  67. Although having been a total stranger to you, I still can see you, dear Christopher Pearson, through my mental eyes , while listening now to the Mozart’s Requiem, in your remembrance, and praying for your precious, gentle, yet forcefully straightforward soul, with whom I feel suddenly, and mysteriously identified through your substantial articles in that excellent paper, The Australian provided for its appreciative readers.
    In my daily reading you will still appear before my eyes on the same page of that paper, and thanking to our Creator for showing through you the way of how to live a principled life for the benefit of all humanity.

  68. Genevieve Gough

    With terrible sadness I heard this morning of Christopher’s death. I shall remember my late husband spending many fruitful and delightful hours on the phone when discussing certain issues. He was indeed a lovely man ! Genevieve Gough

  69. Hugh

    Reposting on this thread just to cover all bases:

    Further update on Christopher Pearson Requiem details.
    Burial:
    In the cemetery attached to St James Anglican Church, Main South Road, Delamere. [130ks south of Adelaide.]
    @ 3.00 pm.

    The wake to be held at:
    The Victory Hotel
    Main South Rd
    Sellicks Hill
    South Australia 5174
    http://www.victoryhotel.com.au/
    This is about halfway between Adelaide and Delamere, on the same road.
    [Anyone wishing to stay on for an evening meal at the Victory should consider booking ahead of time: (08) 8556 3083)]

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