Regretfully, I have to repeat the accuser’s distasteful charges to make my point.
The anonymous accuser claimed that the then Archbishop Pell exposed his penis, grabbed the two boys, forced his penis into their mouths one after the other and finished by fondling one of the boys while he masturbated. This scenario is so incredible as to be practically impossible. First, the archbishop’s robes or vestments.
One can view a video of an archbishop vesting for a Solemn High Mass here. In this video, the archbishop is wearing a cassock before he begins vesting. It’s probable he has shirt and trousers on underneath the cassock. He has at least underpants on. But let’s count that as two layers.
He puts on the Amice and ties it tightly in front of him. I will count that as a restriction to movement. Next comes the Alb, a long white robe reaching to the floor. Three layers.
A girdle or cincture is tightened and knotted around his waist. The girdle acts as a severe restriction. Restriction number two.
A stole is wrapped around the neck and kept in place by the girdle. Then come two layers of tunics or dalmatics. Finally, the assistants help him on with the Chasuble.
Thus, we have (not counting the probable pants) six layers of clothes and two restrictions on movement – the amice and girdle. The girdle is especially significant in this case because it means the garments cannot be pushed aside to expose the penis, as the accuser claimed. This is a fortress defence of the archbishop’s private area.
To finish the vesting, the archbishops puts on long white gloves and a mitre and carries a crozier. The archbishop processes to the altar and exits the sanctuary so clothed. A crucial point is the number of assistants necessary, as we see in the video.
The ceremony of the Solemn High Mass as well as the help needed for vesting and devesting makes it laughable that Archbishop Pell escaped the ceremony alone. If he had deviated from the procession after Mass, he would have had a whole posse of soutaned and surpliced assistants running after him. The only way Archbishop Pell could have left the procession and turned up in the priest’s sacristy was if he possessed the gift of bilocation.
Let’s say Archbishop Pell has done the impossible and arrived at the door to priest’s sacristy alone. And say for some unaccountable reason nobody is around – no choir, none of the dozens of Mass servers, no concelebrants, and none of the laypeople who normally hang around the sanctuary. Here then is the scenario.
Fifty-six-year-old, burly, 6-foot-3 Archbishop Pell, a stickler for routine and accuracy of ceremony, is suddenly seized by lust at the sight of two thirteen-year-old boys swigging the altar wine. Against all rules and routine, the altar wine has been unaccountably left out of the safe. Defeating all the inclinations and habits of order and routine of years, Archbishop Pell discards his Crozier and Mitre and completes an amazing act of contortion of which Houdini would be proud.
Somehow, he has been able to get his hands through the layers of clothing tightly held in place to expose the anatomical area in question. He must to this by unbuttoning his trousers and pushing the trousers and underpants to his knees. At the same time he has to loosen the cincture and lift up all the garments at least to waist level.
So here we have him with his trousers and underpants around his knees and an enormous load of garments suspended in both hands whose weight and awkwardness would test a much younger man . He needs both hands otherwise the clothing would fall on both sides of his grip blocking the necessary access. He needs a third hand to make a mere attempt to expose his private member. Without the third hand, the six-foot-three archbishop would surely smother the boys in a heavy load of garments asphyxiating them and preventing the act of which he was accused. He would sooner be charged with murder than sexual assault.
To think that two ‘eminent’ Victorian judges could swallow this outrageous concoction is breathtaking.
But we have a second set of problems that present an equally impossible scenario. It concerns male sexual arousal. I continue in the next post.