""Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?"".....
(sometimes expressed as troublesome or meddlesome)
Who sought the destruction of Cardinal Pell, one wonders, and were the 12 Jury members parachuted in from outside Melbourne to cut him down with their legal swords, under Judicial Direction?
Felix Lechat summed up the issue.
Trial by leftard media of a man who for years was pilloried and demonized for being very vocally opposed to all the fad leftard causes: abortion on demand, ssm, transgenderism foisted on kids, the global-warming hoax, and so on. I doubt that anywhere in Australia could have been assembled a jury that would not have felt the impact of this, at least subconsciously.
Found guilty, then, not on any evidence but on mere unsubstantiated allegations from a single complainant, that presented a totally implausible scenario that in any unbiased court would have been dismissed immediately.
If Pell's conviction is not reversed on appeal the whole of Australia should mourn, not only for Pell, but for the total breakdown of our justice system.
Barely has the fish and chips stained the pages of the National newspapers than the wholly parochial Catholic newspaper in Tasmania was withdrawn because a local worthy had dared to question the veracity and stainlessness of the souls of Pell's various accusers, most of who had no dog in the fight. Think of the media frenzy condemning the Covington Boys recently.
To the good Dr Daintree I say, stand, sir. The Taverners stand with you. To the Church hierarchy, boo, hiss. To the stables with you.
Enough with the Suppression of Free Speech.
YOU ARE NEXT
For those not in the Oz Bar who came in to see what the hub-bub was about, we had a couple of fine folk explain.
Anna Silvas (aka. Anna the Sinner and clearly one of us) was first to her feet.
Cardinal Pell is innocent, that's why«I don’t believe that justice was served in this jury trial. It has all the smell of a ritual sacrifice for an ugly agenda».
«In 1996 Pell refused the communion to a gay crowd that disrupted a mass. The homosexualist agenda in Church and Society has been gunning for him ever since».
«Also within the Australian Church, there is a large party of hostility to Pell. Many of these will be aging clergy of the Spirit of the Seventies».
To begin with: I don’t believe that justice was served in this jury trial. It has all the smell of a ritual sacrifice for an ugly agenda, to me.
I have often attended Mass in that right transept under the organ loft of the Cathedral in Melbourne (the most beautiful Cathedral in Australia, with the most noble Gothic spire in the world, I would say). I have often been a few metres from that door that leads down a short passage into the area of the sacristies, and often seen the altar servers, choir and priests processing in and out of there. I just cannot see that there could be a place for the perpetration of the vices of which Pell has now been convicted in a jury trial, least of all in the circumstances of High Mass on Sunday.I have had the privilege of listening at length, more than once, to Monsignor Charles Portelli, who was Pell’s Master of Ceremonies in the five years Pell was Archbishop of Melbourne. Portelli is a man of fine intelligence, probity and culture. He captained the Archbishop in all that concerned the Sunday Liturgy, and all its preparatory and subsequent circumstances. All Pell’s deeds were witnessed and accompanied by Portelli.George Pell too is a man of great probity, intelligence and culture, exceptionally so, I would say, among Australian bishops. That already puts him offside, in the Tall Poppy Syndrome, quite a cultural characteristic in Australian society.
I have no doubt that Cardinal Pell, like me, is a sinner, and in his inner journey of chastity before the Lord, he has had his struggles, for virtue untested is not virtue. But the arena for this was internal, in the privacy of his soul.
It is unthinkable that after thirty years or more of committed and proven intellectual, moral, priestly and episcopal life, that he, just having been appointed a Metropolitan, should on the first occasion of a Sunday Mass stoop to so crass and crude and sordid an exercise of pedophilia of which he has been legally convicted. No, it requires a certain preparatory moral degradation to resort to such casual stunts.Now for a little of what I can see of the wider context of the Australian Church and society.First I mention a news item of 1996 which I clearly remember. Very early on, a ‘gay’ crowd staged a public ‘rainbow’ protest in a Sunday Mass. When they fronted up to received Holy Communion, Pell refused them.
The homosexualist agenda in Church and Society has been gunning for him ever since. One of the most vicious attacks on him lately has been that of David Marr.
He is a ‘public intellectual’ of left wing Australia, a long ‘outed’ homosexual and advocate of the ‘gay’ cause, and virulently anti-Catholic.
The passionate moral indignation of such a figure who would wag his finger against the Catholic Church, tells us that something is going on much deeper than the to and fro of legal and political debate.For decades Australian politics (including the erstwhile ‘centre-right’ Liberal Party), the mainstream media, and the cultural elites have been drifting steadily Leftward into the totalitarian and conformist world of Political Correctness. Part of that shift involves a less and less disguised hostility to the Western tradition and its Judaeo-Christian underpinnings in general, and to the Catholic Church in particular.Alas, within the Australian Church herself, there is a large party of hostility to Pell. Many of these will be aging clergy of the Spirit of the Seventies.
For Pell was always an intentionally orthodox Catholic priest, his stance towards the Second Vatican Council in the spirit of Pope Benedict’s Hermeneutic of Continuity. Never subscribed to the rebellion against Humanae Vitae. Thus you find the strange paradox that Catholic ‘progressives’ who are in favour of changing the Church’s sexual ethic, who are soft on divorce and remarriage, abortion, homosexuality, and are predictable sponsors of the latest faddish political enthusiasms, themselves exploit the incidence of sexual abuse within the Church to perversely promote their cause.
They have the spirit of David Marr in them.Alas, as a retired bishop said to me recently, we have given a lot of ammunition to those who would attack us from without—or subvert us from within.
There has been a disturbing number of priests in the Melbourne Archdiocese implicated in sexual scandals over the last three or four decades, as has emerged in public enquiries in recent years. Without a doubt, the Church, whether in Australia or worldwide is semper purificanda.
We are long overdue for a severe chastisement, if you ask me,
.....and I think things are set to become much worse for us. Just consider soberly the state of our higher leadership right now.In the midst of the exposure of the moral and spiritual weakness of the Church in Australia, we also have another tragic fallout: the accusation of innocent priests and others.
It is hard to be caught between the victims of clerical sexual predation crying out for vindication against a culture of cover-up, and the clerical victims of predatory false accusation and slander.
I have heard tell that these days any priest who is accused is likely to be treated as a ‘hot potato’ by his bishop: he is basically dropped.
They seem a cowardly lot, bishops.
Or perhaps they will style it ‘prudent’.I do not know whether the legal appeal against Pell’s conviction will succeed or not. Let us consider the worst-case scenario, that it will not. In that case, my reading of Pell’s situation would go something like this.
Jesus Christ his Lord loves him too much to leave him at the pinnacle of ecclesiastical advancement. Pell joins the ranks of the innocent sufferers, from Abel even to our Lord. Perhaps he is called to carry a burden of vicarious suffering for fellow-priests and believers who are not so innocent, and for a Church in great need of repentance.Perhaps in another way Cardinal Pell is winning the greatest ecclesiastical ‘advancement’ of all, to approach something of the original condition of the Apostles in the earliest years of the Church: For it seems to me that God has displayed us apostles at the end of the procession, like prisoners appointed for death.
We have become a spectacle to the whole world, to angels as well as to men.
I shall, m'dear. A cleansing drink for the Lady.We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are honored, but we are dishonored.(1 Cor 4:9-10)Pray for Cardinal Pell, and pray for …Anna the Sinner
On her feet the moment Anna sat, Lianne Laurence took the attention to give details others might have missed.
Jailed Cdl. Pell would likely win appeal based on ‘unreasonable’ guilty verdict: expertsLegal experts say Australia’s Cardinal George Pell has a strong case to appeal his sexual abuse convictions on the basis of "unreasonableness," the Guardian has reported.
That’s also the opinion of American Catholic writer George Weigel, a longtime friend of the 77-year-old prelate who is now in protective custody at a maximum security prison awaiting his sentence on March 13, after which time the appeal process can start.
Just two wanted him convicted. 10 did not find for Guilt.Pell was found guilty by jury in December of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys 22 years ago. Each of the five convictions — one of sexual penetrating a child under 16, and four of an indecent act with a child under 16 – carries a maximum jail term of 10 years.Pell’s first trial on the charges ended in September with a hung jury, with 10 of the 12 supporting Pell’s acquittal. The Crown opted literally to try again.
Looks like the 'authorities' found 10 more to vote 'properly'.
Pell’s lawyer Robert Richter said at a plea hearing Wednesday the appeal will be based on three grounds: unreasonableness, the ban on video evidence in Richter’s closing summation, and the makeup of the jury.While the last two grounds seem “flimsy,” Pell’s legal team has a strong case for appeal grounds of unreasonableness, which means the jury’s verdict is not supported by evidence, it reported.“This is the defence’s best shot,” Professor Jeremy Gans, University of Melbourne law school’s criminal appeals and procedure expert, told the Guardian.Moreover, winning an appeal on the grounds of unreasonableness means “there can almost certainly be no new trial, Gans said, “Because once a court decides a guilty verdict is unreasonable it means they don’t think guilty should be the verdict in the next trial either. They would almost certainly acquit.”One judge initially reviews the appeal application, but it’s virtually certain it will be heard.“No judge would decide not to allow an appeal in such a high-stakes trial,” Gans told the Guardian.
“Their grounds of appealing on unreasonableness is solid.”Three judges will hear the appeal and unanimous agreement is not required for a ruling.The process can take ten months or more, according to the Guardian, but because of Pell’s age and health — he is recovering from double knee replacement surgery — it’s likely the process will be accelerated.
There are a number of reasons Pell’s appeal will succeed, Gans told the Guardian, most notably that the prosecution had only one key witness, and the second alleged victim, who died five years ago, denied he had been sexually abused.However, a jury is free to convict if they find one witness “believable,” he said.A number of observers have joined Weigel in decrying the verdict after Judge Peter Kidd lifted a publication ban on the trial earlier this week.It’s now revealed the lone complainant alleged he and another choirboy left the procession after Sunday High Mass at Melbourne’s cathedral, went into the sacristy and were drinking sacramental wine when Pell surprised them and proceeded to sexually abuse them.Weigel listed in the National Review the ten “improbable” things that would have had to have happened within 10 minutes for this story to be true:• Archbishop Pell abandoned his decades-long practice of greeting congregants outside the cathedral after Mass.• Pell, who was typically accompanied by a master of ceremonies or sacristan when he was vested for Mass, entered the carefully controlled space of the vesting sacristy alone.• The master of ceremonies, charged with helping the archbishop disrobe while removing his own liturgical vestments, had disappeared.• The sacristan, charged with the care of the locked sacristy, had also disappeared.• The sacristan did not go back and forth between the sacristy and the cathedral sanctuary, removing missals and Mass vessels, as was his responsibility and consistent practice.• The altar servers, like the sacristan, simply disappeared, rather than helping the sacristan clear the sanctuary by bringing liturgical vessels and books back to the sacristy.• The priests who concelebrated the Mass with Pell were not in the sacristy disrobing after the ceremony.• At least 40 people did not notice that two choirboys left the post-Mass procession.• Two choirboys entered the sacristy, started gulping altar wine, and were accosted and abused by Archbishop Pell — while the sacristy door was open and the archbishop was in full liturgical vestments.• The abused choirboys then entered the choir room, through two locked doors, without anyone noticing, and participated in a post-Mass rehearsal; no one asked why they had been missing for ten minutes.It’s clear to Weigel that Pell has been wrongfully convicted.“If it is not reversed on appeal, that false verdict will constitute a new indictment:
the indictment of a legal system that could not bring itself to render justice in the face of public hysteria, political vendetta, and media aggression,”
he wrote in First Things,He compared the public mood in Australia to that of “Salem, Massachusetts, during the witchcraft hysteria of the seventeenth century.”Victoria police began a “fishing expedition against Pell, a year before any complaint had been received from an alleged victim,” wrote Weigel.
Tellingly, the Guardian’s David Marr noted that “sitting quietly up the front” at Pell’s plea hearing Wednesday “was Detective Chris Reed, the Victorian policeman who has pursued Pell for the last four years.
And do I have a view? From behind the bar?His work is also on trial here.”Known for his doctrinal orthodoxy, Pell has been subjected for some 25 years to “calumnies” in “both the hyper-secularist Australian media and in Church circles determined to hang on to their dreams of post–Vatican II revolution,” wrote Weigel.The Holy See announced Wednesday it is opening an investigation into allegations against Pell. The Cardinal in his former role as Vatican treasurer was tasked with cleaning up corruption and was considered the third most powerful man in the Vatican.
Yes. I say there is doubt. Considerable doubt. Reasonable doubt.
And no man should be convicted unless a jury is Certain, beyond a reasonable doubt.
A man with so many enemies, at home and abroad, is vulnerable to wickedness.
But wait. Who am I to 'doubt'? Oz Courts of Law are notoriously 'fair' and 'honest'. No-one ever tells a lie in a Court. They swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, innit? And the dictum is that it is better ten guilty people go free rather than one innocent one goes to jail. Innit? Who ever heard of an innocent dingo ever going to jail for taking a baby when there is a mother to do the time.
And what possible reason would someone have for telling a lie about something 22 years ago? Fame? Money? Excuse? "I'm depraved, yer 'onner' cuz of what that man did 22 years ago. Gimme me compo". Hey this wasn't Smollet and Trump.
I pray for Cardinal Pell. I am no-where near convinced of any guilt on his part.
That is not to say that victims of abuse do not have cause for my prayers too. One has to properly establish that they really are victims though, and not liars and embezzlers from the Parish Collection plates.
Drinks for the two ladies and for the gentleman.