Tag Archives: Cardinal Pell

‘Australia is now on trial’


George Weigel Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center has followed up his previous condemnation of Cardinal Pell with the following bringing into question Australia’s system of justice.

Has it occurred to anyone else debating the perverse verdict rendered against Cardinal George Pell, which convicted him of “historic sexual abuse,” that the cardinal did not have to return to his native Australia to face trial? As a member of the College of Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church and a Vatican official, Pell holds a Vatican diplomatic passport and citizenship of Vatican City State. Were he guilty, he could have stayed put in the extraterritorial safety of the Vatican enclave, untouchable by the Australian authorities. But because Cardinal Pell knows he is innocent, he was determined to go home to defend his honor—and, in a broader sense, to defend his decades of work rebuilding the Catholic Church in Australia, the living parts of which owe a great deal to his leadership and courage.

Cardinal Pell and I have been friends for over fifty years, and in the past two and a half decades of that friendship I have been appalled at the calumnies to which he has been subjected, in both the hyper-secularist Australian media and in Church circles determined to hang on to their dreams of post–Vatican II revolution.

Read on…

‘The case does not stand up’

George Weigel is the distinguished senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies. He is the latest to highlight the incoherences in the Pell conviction.

On appeal, a panel of judges can decide that the verdict could not rationally have been reached on the basis of the evidence.

With the lifting of the trial judge’s order banning coverage of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell this past December on charges of “historical sexual abuse,” the facts can finally be laid out for those willing to consider them. (Disclosure: Cardinal Pell and I are longtime friends.)

Victoria police commenced an investigation one year before any complaints had been filed. During that investigation, the police took out newspaper ads seeking information about any untoward behavior with minors at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne —without any hint of such misbehavior having been received by the authorities.

Read on…


Pell-haters triumph – Australian justice system collapses

Cardinal Pell’s enemies inside and outside the Church have triumphed. It took years of mockery, vilification, fabrication, defamation, and calumny to achieve it. But there it is. The years of poison they have pumped into the Australian population, particularly in Victoria, meant Cardinal Pell was never going to get a fair trial. Indeed, it is likely there were some among the jurors who were determined to destroy the Cardinal before a word had been said in court.

Media sewer rats Louise Milligan and David Marr can be pleased with the brilliant results of their biased character-destroying books.

I don’t believe for one instant -never have and never will – that Cardinal Pell is guilty of the charges for which he has been convicted. What was charged never happened. What the motives were of the person who out of the blue made the charges, I cannot say. The public is not allowed to know anything about him. The public is not allowed to know details that may mitigate in Cardinal Pell’s favour, that may cast doubt on the accuser’s credibility.

Did the accuser have a vested interest in Cardinal Pell’s destruction?

To have doubt cast on the accuser’s veracity would be repugnant to the Pell-hating media who want the story kept as tight as possible and who prowled around outside the court building like hungry wolves. I watched the Channel 7 bulletin directly after the suppression order had been lifted. Their unabashed reporters showed they had long thought Pell guilty and were eagerly waiting for permission to pour out their disgust. Which they did in buckets. Not one mention of the questions that could be raised.

Ironically, the ABC whose commentators have played a determining role in the destruction of Cardinal Pell allowed comments of doubt from two high profile Catholics. Paul Collins, former priest, and Fr Frank Brennan, both critics of Cardinal Pell and on the Catholic left, said they were ‘gobsmacked’ by the verdict. They obviously did not think the Cardinal would have been found guilty. The shock generally among Catholics is reported to be tremendous. With good reason.

Apart from the effects of years of vilification, I have several reasons for rejecting the verdict.

First, such behaviour was totally out of character. I have followed Cardinal’s career closely for years. He was an articulate defender of the Faith orthodox Catholics wanted. To defend the Church against its critics inside and outside the Church, one has to be tough. But his behaviour was otherwise unimpeachable. He preached and acted out the Faith fearlessly. It is just too much to believe that such a well-organised man was so stupid as to jeopardize his newly assumed position as Archbishop of Melbourne with such risky action. It does not wash.

Second, in 2015 the scandal of clerical sexual abuse had been in the headlines for years. In 1996 Cardinal Pell had set up a body to deal with cases in Victoria. Compensation would be made. It was only a question of how much. Then all of a sudden around 2015, a basket of accusations of sexual abuse was laid at Cardinal Pell’s feet. Victoria Police were falling over themselves to arrest and charge him. Which they did. It was as if a faction had colluded.

Why did the successful accuser wait so long before he went to the police when he must have known he would have been treated with kid gloves if he had done so years before? The reasons he gives for waiting are not convincing. Why would an innocent 13-year-old who must have gagged and choked at the action he was forced to carry out not have stumbled shocked and half-conscious from the sacristy and then have escaped the notice of the people milling around in the church? And why, if he did indeed escaped attention, did he not saying anything about such violent action? The story is just not credible.

Third, the time and location of the alleged actions make them improbable, if not impossible to have happened. If people examine the location of the sacristy where the action was alleged to have taken place, then they must conclude not only would anyone in Archbishop robes find it extremely difficult to do what was charged, but they could not have done so without being seen. There would have been people everywhere at that time. See Fr Brennan’s article for far more detail supporting my analysis.

The far left – the Marxists – have always used demoralisation to undermine their ideological enemies. Most Catholics in Australia must be feeling utterly demoralised at the moment. Some who know their history must be thinking that not much has changed since the penal laws and anti-Catholic bigotry came ashore in Sydney Cove on the 26th of January 1788.

One must fear for the life of Cardinal Pell in prison. That would be the icing on the cake.