Category Archives: Media

The Royal Commission and the Get-Pell campaign

Lawyer Michael McAuley has written a devastating critique of the Royal Commission’s treatment of Cardinal Pell. In brief, he argues convincingly that the evidence does not support the commission’s findings against the cardinal. He concluded the campaign morphed into the Get-Pell campaign, the campaign that resulted in sending an innocent man into solitary confinement for more than a year, destroyed his health, and left him vocationally and socially liquidated.

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Was the Royal Commission hand in glove with the “Get Pell” campaign?

A close study of its “findings” reveals serious flaws

Michael McAuley, Mercatornet, 29 May 2020

After Cardinal George Pell’s successful appeal against his conviction for sexual abuse, the “Get Pell” campaign died down. But the release of three unredacted reports of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has given it a second wind.

Although they were not directly relevant, these documents were redacted because they might have prejudicially swayed the juries in the Cardinal’s two trials.

In the redacted text, the Royal Commission effectively accused Cardinal Pell of lying about two important meetings involving abusive priests. His position was that he was deceived about their sexual abuse in both instances. The Royal Commission contended that this was implausible. Armed with this criticism, Pell’s critics are having a field day.

The Royal Commission is a mixed bag. It got much right — and some things seriously wrong, especially his knowledge of the crimes of two serious abusers, Gerald Ridsdale and Peter Searson. Its findings should be compared to a 2015 inquiry by the Family Development Committee of the Victorian Parliament, Betrayal of Trust: Inquiry Into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non Government Organisations. That inquiry made no finding against Pell, although it was critical of other Church leaders.

Read the rest here…

PM Morrison carried along by the Pell-haters

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a good man and a prime minister that conservatives should be relieved to see in the position. It was fortunate he was there to step forward after the terrible Turnbull turmoil. So, it was sad to hear him treat Cardinal Pell as guilty long before the legal process had run its course.

Outstandingly credentialled (in law) Augusto Zimmerman catalogues in the article below the series of Morrison’s rash ill-considered comments about Cardinal Pell’s assumed guilt. Why was he so careless? The answer seems to be that the combined forces of Pell-haters (ABC, Age, SMH, Milligan, Fitzsimons, Marr, etc. etc) had him cowed. Augusto Zimmermann is right. The prime minister owes Cardinal Pell a deep regretful public apology.

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Why ScoMo Owes Cardinal Pell an Apology (And to Every Victim of a Miscarriage of Justice in Australia)

Augusto Zimmermann, The Caldron Pool, 25 May 2020

The High Court’s unanimous acquittal of Cardinal George Pell, after two previous judicial rulings that failed to acknowledge a reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, appears to indicate that the administration of justice in Australia has been corrupted by a desire to persecute and punish, not prosecute justly.

There has been a strong odour of miscarriage of justice about the whole matter. However, when Cardinal Pell was still awaiting trial, the Australian Prime Minister implied his guilt by making statements about those who ‘abused the shield of faith and religion to hide their crimes shall stand condemned’.[1]

Before the High Court finally overruled the Cardinal’s conviction, Scott Morrison stated: ‘Our justice system has affirmed no Australian is above the law’.[2]  Mr Morrison also stated that ‘the courts had done their work well’.

Read the rest here…

The Royal commission – no justice for Cdl Pell

Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Institute has been at the forefront of the sustained criticism of the royal commission into clerical child sexual abuse and the legal fiasco of Cardinal Pell’s trials. He has taken apart the arguments condemning the cardinal. In particular, he destroyed the case run by Louise Milligan, leaving that deluded ABC flunkey nothing to say other than that Henderson defends paedophiles. That’s her stock reply to criticisms she cannot answer.

In his latest article about Cardinal Pell and the royal commission, Henderson is no less compelling in his criticism after the release of the redacted pages, the last great hope of the Pell-haters. His irresistible conclusion is that the Cardinal was denied justice.

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Royal commission denies George Pell legal justice

Gerard Henderson

The Sydney Institute, MAY 17, 2020

The ignorance of some journalists never seems to surprise. Take, for example, the release last week of the non-redacted report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse covering its case studies in the Catholic diocese of Ballarat and archdiocese of Melbourne.

Sections of both reports had been delayed pending the result of the outcome of the charges laid against Cardinal George Pell for historical child sexual abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 and 1997. On April 7, in a unanimous decision, the High Court quashed Pell’s conviction.

Many of Pell’s media critics, who were disappointed with his acquittal, looked forward to the release of the royal commission’s findings, which they expected to be hostile to Pell. They were not disappointed. Nor should they have expected to be, in view of the hostile reception Pell faced during his appearances before the royal commission comprising close to 20 hours — especially from counsel assisting Gail Furness SC.

Immediately after its release, Nine Entertainment’s Peter FitzSimons, a leading Pell antagonist, referred to the report as “a judgment”. No, it wasn’t. A royal commission is not a court of law. Moreover, in this instance, half of its members did not have legal qualifications.

Royal commissions make findings, not judgments. And their burden of proof is far lower than guilt beyond reasonable doubt. It’s closer to the balance of probabilities that prevails in civil cases.

Read the rest here…

Cardinal Pell and mob rule

Pillars of justice abandoned in mob pursuit of George Pell

HENRY ERGAS, The Australian

No matter how dramatic its ­current impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic may, 10 years from now, seem like a seismic shock that strikes, devastates and then recedes, allowing reconstruction to begin.

The case of Cardinal George Pell, on the other hand, highlights a sickness in the body politic that is all the more dangerous for being ongoing, widespread and deeply entrenched.

After all, more than a month has passed since the High Court quashed Cardinal Pell’s conviction, reversing the decision of Victoria’s highest court of appeal. That the Victorian Court of Appeal made grievous errors of law is undeniable. It is, moreover, every bit as certain that those errors capped a long series of missteps, stretching from the initial investigation to the decision to prosecute.

Read the rest…

The redacted pages – The lynch mob goes on the attack

It was no surprise to see the contemptible David Marr give vent to his mind-disturbed anti-Catholic biogtry on the release of the unredacted pages of the Royal Commission’s report about Cardinal Pell. It does not matter how tenuous the connection or how faulty the reasoning the Marr-type will exploit it to its maximum. Of course, the delusional hysterical Louise Milligan was right there with him also giving vent to her hate-filled twisted opinions.

There are three basic issues for me about the Royal Commission. First the RC’s unseemly aggression towards Cardinal Pell as if they had already made a judgement regardless of what he would say. Second, the totally disproportionate focus on the cardinal as if they had already made a judgement. Third, if Cardinal Pell’s counter to the accusations that he ‘knew’ were ‘implausible’ or ‘inconceivable’, why just him?

Remember that Cardinal Pell was an assistant priest in the 1970s and the early years of the 1980s, and a bishop with limited authority and responsibilities in the 1980s. The commission’s pages create a surreal picture of Fr Pell knowing while everyone else in the close company of the abusers wandered around like ghosts unaccountably oblivious to those same acts. Former priest and leftist scribbler Paul Bongiorno lived with the worst abuser Gerald Ridsdale as did Fr Pell. Nothing to see there, though, for the commission.

I find the use of the words ‘implausible’ and ‘inconceivable’ inappropriate and degrading of the RC’s purpose. The ready response to these two words about Cardinal Pell’s explanations is: ‘says who?’ Indeed, the use of ‘inconceivable’ raises the same issues about reasoning as found in the majority judgment in supreme court appeal. Nothing is inconceivable or impossible except a contradiction. If the RC found Cardinal Pell’s explanations ‘inconceivable’, then that’s just their opinion. The commission was not a court case and the information offered the commission distant and extremely limited. Their view smacks of partiality. It has Daniel Andrews’ sickening odour all over it.

Andrew Bolt covers some of these points in an interview with Peter Westmore who attended of the sessions of cardinal Pell’s trails.

A targeted assassination

NATIONAL AFFAIRS
Cardinal Pell: The story of a targeted assassination

by Patrick Morgan

News Weekly, May 16, 2020

The pile-on against Cardinal Pell, which began when he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, has now dragged its weary way through a quarter of a century.

It first manifested itself as an internal insurrection when some local liberal Catholics began to object to his alleged personal style as bullying and authoritarian, though this was based on scuttlebutt, as no actual examples were advanced. On the contrary he was himself publicly humiliated by fellow Catholics on a number of occasions. They disliked him primarily because he asserted basic Christian positions, a grievous fault these days in an archbishop.

Read the rest here…

Cardinal Pell responds to the redacted commission papers

STATEMENT FROM CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

 7 May 2020

Cardinal Pell said he was surprised by some of the views of the Royal Commission about his actions. These views are not supported by evidence.

He is especially surprised by the statements in the report about the earlier transfers of Gerald Ridsdale discussed by the Ballarat Diocesan Consultors in 1977 and 82.

The Consultors who gave evidence on the meetings in 1977 and 1982 either said they did not learn of Ridsdale’s offending against children until much later or they had no recollection of what was discussed. None said they were made aware of Ridsdale’s offending at these meetings.

The then Fr Pell left the Diocese of Ballarat and therefore his position as a consultor at the end of 1984.

As an Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne 1987-96, Bishop Pell met with a delegation from Doveton Parish in 1989 which did not mention sexual assaults and did not ask for Searson’s removal.

Appointed Archbishop of Melbourne on 16 August 1996, Archbishop Pell placed Fr Searson on administrative leave in March 1997 and removed him from the parish on 15 May 1997.

ENDS

Cardinal Pell’s Inquisition

Peter Westmore attended the Rome interrogation by the Royal Commission’s shameless lawyer who took on the self-appointed role of prosecutor. Like many he was disgusted by the cardinal’s treatment. In the comment below, he refutes the claim by the Pell lynch mob that Fr Pell, as he was in the 1970s, knew and covered up clerical sexual abuse. He makes the obvious point, as others have done, that if Fr Pell in his position knew about the abuse, then so did others.

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ROYAL COMMISSION
Hatchet job on Cardinal Pell breached basic principle of fairness

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, May 16, 2020

Findings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Cardinal George Pell covered up allegations of child abuse in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s are totally unsupported by the evidence, and constitute an abuse of power by the Commission. They could more accurately be described as accusations.

Nevertheless, the ABC and other sections of the media that for years have been running a vendetta against Cardinal Pell and were clearly unhappy that his conviction for child sex abuse had been overturned in a unanimous judgement of the High Court of Australia, reported the sensational claims at great length.

In doing so, they further trashed the reputation of the first Australian church leader seriously to deal with the problem of child sexual abuse, and the first to set up a redress scheme for victims over 20 years before the Royal Commission recommended such a body.

Read the rest here…

The need to investigate the ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

The Cardinal Pell Affair has not finished by a long shot. There is much still to be said about the legal fiasco of Cardinal Pell’s trials – about the shocking perversion of Victoria’s legal system. There are other matters that also need investigation. For example, a formal body should investigate websites like Broken Rites and groups like the Ballarat Survivors Group. To what extent did these activists contribute to the undermining of Victoria’s legal system? Victoria’s police force is also screaming out for investigation.

At the top of my list for investigation, though, is The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which in a way could be called The Royal Inquisition into the Catholic Church through the Figure of Cardinal George Pell. I’m not the only one to say it. The bias and unseemly aggression with which Cardinal Pell was interrogated belongs to something from the files of Germany’s Gestapo.

Gerard Henderson in his unmissable Media Watch Dog blog made many criticisms of the proceedings of the Royal Commission. Below is one made three years ago which brings into focus the curious case of former priest and leftist scribbler Paul Bongiorno who shared accommodation with Fr Gerald Ridsdale, the worst of the clerical abusers.

Continue reading The need to investigate the ROYAL COMMISSION INTO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSES TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

The Pell lynch mob is off Rumbling again

The news reports of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse gave me the impression it was a Royal Commission into George Pell who they all knew was as guilty as hell of covering up all the sexual abuse cases from the colonial period to his disgusting neglect and cover-up in the Ballarat diocese. That Cardinal Pell was a mere assistant priest at the time has nothing to do with it.

Witnessing the naked aggression with which Cardinal Pell was interrogated was eye-popping. I wonder now why the interrogators did not put the cardinal under a spotlight borrowed from the MCG to squeeze the guilt out if him.

The interrogations provided a wonderful time for Pell-haters watching with their crisps and gin tonics the prolonged torture of that hateful bit of Catholic rubbish.

Louise Milligan and her feminist cronies at your ABC awaited the unredacted papers papers of the Royal Commission with slavering anticipation. The High Court unjust verdict declaring Cardinal Pell innocent would be overturned. And so they saw it happen. They could not contain themselves writhing with pleasure and blowing their tops in the media bubble they inhabit. Monica Doumit of the Catholic Weekly provides some perspective for those who have not lost their minds

Monica Doumit: Misplaced blame for horrific abuse

By Monica Doumit -May 7, 2020

Look closer, the cardinal’s actions speak for themselves

The long-awaited unredacted Royal Commission reports for the Diocese of Ballarat and the Archdiocese of Melbourne were released today.

The abuse that occurred in Victoria is horrific, and the damage done in Ballarat simply criminal.  Nothing can detract from that.

But again, it seems that there is a desire to blame it all on one man.  Although the unredacted portions dealt with a number of people, the media focus has been exclusively, and unsurprisingly, on Cardinal George Pell.  The banner across the ABC report has labelled them “the Pell Papers.”

Despite the media interest that will develop over the next couple of days, the reports – which together comprise some 800 pages – tell us very little that we did not already know.  In this piece, I’d like to break down the key findings as they relate to Cardinal Pell and provide just a little bit of commentary on each.

Read the rest here…