The application had passed up the chain of command. No one was willing to make a decision on what was rapidly becoming an extremely over-heated potato. Finally the head of Border Protection knocked on the door of his Minister.
“Yes?” asked Peter Dutton looking up from secret on-water matters.
“We have an application for a re-entry visa. We are not sure how it fits with our new rules on people going overseas to work with foreign extremists.” explained the bureaucrat. “It is from a senior activist cleric. He went overseas last year to take up a key role in the HQ of an extreme religious organisation.”
“The rules are simple!” replied the Minister. “Providing he pays a co-payment on his visa. Oh, wait, That was my last ministry. The rules are still simple. He cannot come back to Australia!”
“Perhaps if you have a look this application.” said the Head of the Department.
“Ok. Let me have it.” Dutton took the file, read the name and the colour left his face. “I think I need to take this to the PM.” he muttered.
His Department Head anxiously watched as he entered the Prime Ministerial office. Indistinct shouting was heard from inside.
A short time later Dutton emerged with the file and a black eye which hadn’t been there when he had entered the office.
And that is how a re-entry visa was granted to Cardinal George Pell.