Category Archives: Religion

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…

Fr Brennan comments on the Pell Affair

Lessons Learned from Pell’s Sad Saga of Suffering.

Father Frank Brennan SJ

The Australian, April 11, 2020


Two weeks before Cardinal ­George Pell faced the jury of 12 fellow citizens who convicted him of vile sexual assaults on two choirboys, Scott Morrison delivered the national apology to victims of child sexual assault. Morrison told parliament: “Not just as a father, but as a Prime Minister, I am angry too at the calculating destruction of lives and the abuse of trust, including those who have abused the shield of faith and religion to hide their crimes, a shield that is supposed to protect the innocent, not the guilty. They stand condemned … On behalf of the Australian people, this parliament and our government … I simply say I believe you, we believe you, your country believes you.”

In Pell’s case, the jury believed the complainant, Mr J, who said he recalled events from 22 years previously when he was a 13-year-old member of the St Patrick’s Cathedral choir. They were convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Pell committed these crimes in the priests’ sacristy after a Sunday 11am solemn mass. Now the High Court has unanimously decided that the jury got it wrong. The court has ruled that on the evidence presented at trial, no jury could properly be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that these assaults occurred. The highest court in the land has determined that Pell is not guilty of these charges. How can this be? What lessons are to be learnt for the wellbeing of victims and complainants? How can the Victorian criminal justice system be improved to ­assist complainants who come forward many years after experiencing dreadful trauma, while at the same time protecting those who are wrongly accused?

Continue reading Fr Brennan comments on the Pell Affair

Facing the rot in Vicpol (2)

This is the second part of an in-depth essay by Paul Collits on the stinking swamp of bigotry in which Daniel Andrews’ police force is mired.

Reforming VicPol in a Post Pell Environment – Part Two

Written by Paul Collits

Accepting that the Victorian institutions involved in getting Pell need reforming, this two part essay explores the uncanny parallels between the Pell case here and similar cases in the UK, and draws lessons from these in charting a course towards reform.

The Henriques Report on Operation Midland in the UK

The second UK case study which has an almost creepy resonance with the Pell case is the Carl Beech affair and the UK Met’s infamous Operation Midland (2014 to 2016).  To recap, a complainant known initially as “Nick” and subsequently revealed to be one Carl Beech alleged all sorts of horrendous crimes supposedly committed by a very high profile British political and other figures.  This was the paedophile ring’s paedophile ring.  He named names.  Big names.  And the Met simply “believed him”, trapped as it was in the moral panic associated with the sex abuse of children that followed the Jimmy Savile revelations and the various legal changes that had occurred in Britain, many driven by the Tony Blair Government.  Beech is now serving an 18 year prison sentence after his fabrications were revealed as such. 

A good summary of the relevance of the Beech case to Cardinal Pell can be found here, at Damian Thompson’s UK Spectator podcast, Holy Smoke.

Just as police trawling found its grim way from Britain to Victoria, so too did MeTooism and the treatment of all complainants as “victims”, flipping the presumption of innocence in the process.

Read the rest here

‘Pell’s kangaroo court’

Lawyer Michael McAuley’s summary of the Pell case on Mercatornet is the best I have seen among many outstanding commentaries and analyses following the High Court’s 7-nil decision favouring the cardinal.

Pell’s kangaroo court

A Sydney lawyer dissects the arguments in Australia’s most famous criminal trial by Michael McAuley Apr 20, 2020

On 7 April 2020 the High Court of Australia (which is equivalent to the US Supreme Court) upheld Cardinal George Pell’s appeal, quashing a Melbourne jury’s conviction of five charges of sexual assault. Cardinal Pell was released from prison (to the cheers of other inmates, some of whom he had got to know) where he had spent over a year.

The experience of Cardinal Pell gives fresh meaning to the term ‘kangaroo court’.

Complaint

The assaults were alleged to have occurred on either 15 or 22 December 1996 after Solemn High Mass, and on 23 February 1997, again after Solemn High Mass. There was one complainant, formerly a choirboy, at St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria. There was a second alleged victim, but he had died before the first alleged victim made a complaint to the police in 2015. The second alleged victim had, as an adult, denied to his mother he had ever been the victim of sexual assault.

Rest the rest here

Derryn Hinch – bigots never give up

Derryn Hinch tweeted ‘keep this is mind, George Pell has not been found innocent. He has been found not guilty “beyond reasonable doubt”’. Hinch’s purpose, of course, is to incite people to reject the High Court’s emphatic 7-nil verdict and keep the lynch mob moving.

Here’s the scoop, Derryn. In all criminal cases, the accused does not have to prove his innocence. The prosecution has to prove guilt. Watch my lips: An accused is innocent until proven guilty. Innocence is assumed. That’s our system. Cardinal Pell was innocent through the course of the legal action. The High Court showed to what appalling depths the operation of the law has sunk in Daniel Andrew’s Victoria.

There is a second consideration here that Hinch’s addled mind seems to have missed. In throwing doubt on the Pell verdict, he undermines those cases where he has no doubt about the person’s innocence. Indeed, he throws all not-guilty verdicts into doubt. It is surely an unwished for outcome of his bigotry.

Hinch can comfort himself, and no doubt he does, with the collective cry across twitter that Cardinal Pell is not innocent – merely not guilty. The great Barrie Cassidy, frontline ABC warrior, like Hinch, could not help himself. He just had to blurt out in high emotion that Pell was merely ‘not guilty’. What does it say about the ABC when one of its ‘most respected’ journalists cannot help sinking to the level of an unthinking bigot?