From the moment the news broke that Victoria Police intended to charge Cardinal with the sexual abuse of two 13-year-olds in the sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral directly after the inaugural High Mass for his appointment as Archbishop of Melbourne, most without investment in the cardinal’s guilt scoffed at the idea. The idea that a man of George Pell’s conservative character and habits could commit such grisly deeds in such fraught circumstances was preposterous.
Of course, the legion of Pell-Haters, some sickening to mental and emotional derangement, were jubilant. Whatever the insanity of the charges, Cardinal Pell belonged in jail. That was the way things should be in our socially enlightened society.
A tight analogy would be claiming gay activist Alan Joyce, appointed to head up one of Australia’s icons, QANTAS, sneaked off during his inaugural celebrations and forced a child of an employee to engage in oral sex. The idea is insane – just as insane as the idea that Cardinal Pell would jeopardise everything about him and his achievements in such a wanton act.
The fact that most people gauge their reaction to a person on his known character was of no account for the police, the jury in the second trial, and for the majority judgement in the Cardinal’s Appeal in the Supreme Court of Victoria. Nor was the fact of no direct corroborative evidence of any account. Nor was the necessary alignment of many points of organization and routine of a High Mass of any account. Nor was the worldwide critical analysis of the case by people at least as intelligent as the appeal judges of any account. Nor was the detailed judgement of the third appeal judge, Mark Weinberg, who smashed the majority judgement of any account. Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Justice Christ Maxwell found Cardinal Pell’s protected anonymous accuser ‘credible’ and dismissed Cardinal Pell’s appeal in a flimsy judgement that reeks of arrogance and self-importance.Continue reading Was it incompetence? Ideology? spinelessness?