Tag Archives: Quadrant

What Everyone has overlooked

This recent essay in Quadrant by Chris Friel ‘What Everyone has Overlooked‘ should rather be titled, ‘Demonstrating Pell’s accuser lied’. He shows that the accuser’s story of what happened in the priest’s sacristy could not be right. His case is in the open paragraphs:

The Crown claimed, and still claim, that the complainant’s credibility was enhanced because he located the wine in the correct area of the sacristy, that is, in the alcove in the corner. To this the defence replied that maybe he got that knowledge from a tour back in 1996. But an attentive viewing of the interview with Pell and the police in Rome shows that originally the complainant did not locate the wine correctly at all. Beyond doubt the original location was a storage area that may be called a kitchenette as it contains two sinks (above). When the complainant visited the sacristy with the police he looked at that kitchenette and said that it was just the same as 1996. But the police were to learn after the interview that in 1996 the “kitchenette” was a wardrobe. The sinks had not been installed and the wood panels that apparently the complainant had described so well were not there. It was used for hanging albs.

‘So it is simply not true that, at first, the complainant correctly located the wine. What he did was place the wine where in 2016 it might reasonably be thought that the wine would be located – and incidentally, he got the colour of the wine quite wrong, as in 1996 only white was used. What this shows is that he could only have acquired his knowledge at a much later date, either from a visit or from coaching – an explanation that naturally he denied. Manifestly, this puts a completely different light on the complainant’s credibility; indeed, it destroys it. But these facts, which are very clear from open sources, appear not to have been appreciated. It’s important, then, that these points are made known before the High Court rules in a couple of weeks’ time. The jury, which may have been understandably misled by the Crown’s claims, would surely have taken a different view had they understood the evidence properly.’

Read the rest of the essay HERE. This is one of the most important of Chris Friel’s many essays on the Pell Affair. He adds some further explanation in a later essay, The Wine in the Wardrobe Revisited.

George Pell and the Disappearing Priests

Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant, 18 February 2020

Yet another powerful article by Keith Windschuttle, utterly blowing apart the case against Cardinal Pell, and showing how very degraded Victoria’s justice system has become.

The Priests’ Sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne gets its name from the fact that it is where the priests robe and disrobe before and after Mass. Priests are normally part of the Sunday ceremony and the final procession out of the cathedral. They return to the priests’ sacristy along with the altar servers at the back of the procession, following the choir. (Some other altar servers lead the procession ahead of the choir.) When they arrive at the priests’ sacristy, the altar servers are engaged in their own separate duties of retrieving liturgical items from the cathedral sanctuary and storing them in the priests’ sacristy. In December 1996, when the Archbishop’s own sacristy was being refurbished, any concelebrant priests joined then Archbishop George Pell in robing and disrobing in the priests’ sacristy. The cathedral’s master of ceremonies, Charles Portelli, said that he could remember helping Pell to robe and disrobe when he first said Mass as Archbishop at his first Sunday Solemn Mass at the cathedral. Portelli added that concelebrant priests were present in the priests’ sacristy at the time Pell both robed and disrobed. [cited by Weinberg, minority judgment, Victorian Court of Appeal, paragraph 716] This was at the same time, and in the same room, that the choirboy claimed Pell sexually abused him and his friend.

[see also Keith Windschuttle: The Crown prosecutor’s bent trump card]

The sacristan responsible for the whole of the cathedral’s sacristy area, Max Potter, told the trial the concelebrant priests took part in the procession after Mass. They were positioned towards the rear of the procession, behind the choir. Potter added that these priests would disrobe in the priests’ sacristy after Mass, and remained there talking among themselves while waiting to farewell the Archbishop when he returned after meeting and greeting worshippers on the cathedral’s front steps.  This evidence was not challenged by the prosecution. [Weinberg, par 72] Here is the exchange between Pell’s defence counsel Robert Richter and Potter:

Q: Let’s put it this way. (To Potter) When you were not in the sacristy were you aware as to what the altar servers were doing? A: Taking things what I gave them from the sanctuary to put in the sacristy, and then they would come back out — out — out, and to see if there was anything else to come off the sanctuary.

Q: Would there have been more than — sorry, by then would the priests have arrived back from the procession? A: They would — they would arrive back and disrobe.

Q: And they disrobed in the priest sacristy? A: Sacristy, yes.

Q: And sometimes they would sit around and talk? A: Or waiting for the Archbishop to come back. Yes. …

Q: So, Monsignor Portelli comes back with the Archbishop. There are people in the sacristy waiting for the Archbishop?  A: Yes.

Q: They say their goodbyes? A: Yes.

Q: Everyone unvests? A: Yes. [cited Weinberg, par 732]

Read on…

The Crown prosecutor’s bent trump card

Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant

The first of the two incidents that convicted Cardinal George Pell of sexual abuse of two choirboys supposedly took place after a Solemn Sunday Mass in St Patricks Cathedral, Melbourne, in December 1996. The choirboy who complained about Pell said he and a friend were abused in the priests’ sacristy of the cathedral shortly after they left the exit procession at the end of the Mass. The priests’ sacristy was the room in which then Archbishop Pell was assisted to robe before the Mass, and to disrobe afterwards. Concelebrating priests who took part in the Mass also robed and disrobed there. It was the room to which altar servers returned sacred objects used in the Mass. What remained of the sacramental wine was returned there, and the cash from the worshippers’ collection was deposited in its vault. It was out of bounds for choirboys. However, shortly after the procession, the choirboy and his friend allegedly found the sacristy unlocked and empty and went inside to swig the sacramental wine, when Pell suddenly appeared and assaulted them.

In my most recent piece for Quadrant Online, I showed that the submission by the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions in answer to Pell’s pending appeal to the High Court contains an argument originally put to the jury by Crown prosecutor Mark Gibson at Pell’s trial, but which the trial judge ordered him to retract. The offending argument was that the priests’ sacristy was empty at the time the choirboys found it because altar servers from the exit procession, who had arrived at the sacristy a little earlier than the boys, had quickly left it and gone to the nearby utility room in order to provide a five-or-six-minute ‘interval of decorum’ or ‘private prayer time’ for worshippers still in the cathedral after the Mass.

Read on…

The Borrowed Testimony that Convicted George Pell

Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant, 8 April 2019

“Billy” was a 10-year-old student at St. Jerome School in 1998, and an altar boy just like his older brother before him. A sweet, gentle kid with boyish good looks, Billy was outgoing and well-liked. One morning, after serving Mass, Rev. Charles Engelhardt caught Billy in the church sacristy sipping leftover wine. Rather than get mad, however, the priest poured Billy more wine. According to the grand jury, he also showed him some pornographic magazines, asking the boy how the pictures made him feel and whether he preferred the images of naked men or women. He told Billy it was time to become a man and that they would soon begin their “sessions.” A week later, Billy learned what Engelhardt meant. After Mass, the priest allegedly fondled the boy, sucked his penis and ordered Billy to kneel and fellate him – calling him “son” while instructing him to move his head faster or slower – until Engelhardt ejaculated. The priest later suggested another “session,” but Billy refused and Engelhardt let him be.
                              
— Sabrina Rubin Erdely, “The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex-Crime Files”,
                                                                                   Rolling Stone, 15 September 2011

What is the difference between this account of child sex abuse in a Catholic church in Philadelphia and the evidence given by the sole accuser in the Victorian court case that convicted Cardinal George Pell of sexually abusing a thirteen-year-old choir boy at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, in 1996? Not much…

Read on…

The Philosophy of  Roger Scruton

Mervyn F. Bendle is one of Australia’s foremost conservative intellectuals. He frequently contributes to Quadrant magazine and Quadrant Online, Australia’s foremost organ for the display of conservative thought. Quadrant‘s importance is highlighted by the constant attempts of Australia’s dominant leftist class to shut it down. It is a magazine that belongs in the library of every philosophical conservative. The article below is a survey of the philosophy of the world’s foremost conservative intellectual Roger Scruton. There could hardly be a more readable survey and introduction to Scruton’s thought than this article. Lovers of the writings of Edmund Burke will recognise Burke’s deep influence on Scruton.

Continue reading The Philosophy of  Roger Scruton

Christmas Culture – the King James version of the Nativity

One should distinguish between Christianity as the cultural backbone of Western Civilization and Christianity as religious belief and commitment. You can acknowledge the cultural force of the stories of the Old and New Testaments – like the stories of Job, Daniel in the lions den, and the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son – without committing oneself to the doctrines of the various Christian confessions.

That is not to discount the indispensable place of Christianity as a religion in Western Culture. Edmund Burke claimed (in the Reflections) that  man is a religious animal and warned (with great prescience) that if people get rid of Christianity something else, more than likely evil, will come to fill the void. No, the Edmund Burke Society is primarily concerned with culture and proposes that the Christmas period is the time to reflect on the second greatest event – the birth of Christ – in the New Testament for its cultural importance. We can connect this reflection with the English language as its vehicle.

Continue reading Christmas Culture – the King James version of the Nativity

Muhammad’s Bloody Creed

Islamic groups, leftists and empty-headed multiculturalists did everything they could to foil the publication of Robert Spencer’s new book on the history of jihad. No wonder. With the possible exception of thuggee stranglers, there has never been a religion more devoted to rape, murder and conquest.

The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS
Robert Spencer
Bombadier Books 2018

Once upon a time in a primitive land of polytheist idolaters far, far away, an egomaniac zealot with high ambitions hit on a bright idea.  On learning of the ancient Jewish prophecy of a Messiah, and the newish Christian communities’ worship of Jesus as the “Chosen One”,  he decided to nominate himself  as the latest in the line – the  Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets.  If the Angel Gabriel could give the name ‘Jesus’ to Mary, why couldn’t Gabriel be recruited to authenticate Muhammad’s pronouncements?

The polytheists who worshipped 360 idols in the Ka’aba of Mecca thought this was fake news and made life difficult for the would-be prophet-poet. In thirteen years he attracted only 150 followers.  So he decamped to another town. The Jews of Medina first welcomed him as a protector, but after they heard his story about travelling to Jerusalem and then to Paradise on a winged white horse with a human head, and questioned him on religion, they declared him a phony. Muhammad decided a new business model was needed: conversion by the sword. Beginning as a highwayman raiding passing caravans, he invented a unique rallying cry: “Allahu Akbar!” (My) God is the Greatest!  The shout inspired his followers to kill, loot and enslave. It continues to terrify the world 1400 years. later.   Read on…