If the choirboy was ‘believable’, what does that say about Pell’s police interview?

The appeal majority said Cardinal Pell’s accuser “came across as someone telling the truth” and rejected the appeal. They kept the Cardinal in solitary confinement. So, in a vital criminal case, it comes down to the accuser’s believable appearance. This for most clear-headed unprejudiced people must be outrageous.

How weak and fragile the legal system in Australia must be when criminal cases are decided on mere appearance. I refer to the previous post where Chris Friel destroyed the supposed corroborative evidence of the accuser ‘accurately’ describing the priests’ sacristy. He did not. It was a lie that befits the talents of the best hoaxers and con artists.

How is it that two supposedly eminent judges seem not to know that the best hoaxers and liars come across as utterly believable? How is it that two eminent judges seem not to know that abstractly speaking nothing is impossible except a contradiction, and that the accusations of wrongdoing depend on the empirical evidence? It’s mind-blowing.

Now have a look at Cardinal Pell’s police interview in Rome. The least of it is that the Cardinal corrects some police errors or misapprehensions. The significant point is that Cardinal Pell reacts naturally and immediately to the absurdity of the charges. If anyone can project a complete lack of artifice, Cardinal Pell does it in this interview. On the appeal judges’ measures, they have unjustly condemned an innocent man to jail. See the video HERE.

The shifting story of Cardinal pell’s accuser

In his latest essay, Chris Friel shows how the police and Cardinal Pell’s accuser had to desperately patch up his original story to deal with a great gap that became obvious over time. But the fabric of the accuser’s concoction has become so torn and frayed that no patching is possible. Again, this is appalling and explosive stuff. If the High Court does not uphold Cardinal Pell’s appeal in five minutes, they, too, will be the laughing stock of the legal world – here and abroad.


Locating the Wine in the Alcove

Chris S Friel

 In this note I shall assess the evidence regarding the claim that Pell’s complainant had prior knowledge of the Priests’ Sacristy, in particular, that he could locate the place where the wine was stored. On the face of it, the claim has not been challenged, but I shall argue that it is almost certainly false.

Thus, in his recent submission to the High Court Bret Walker acknowledges that “he was correct that the wine was located in a particular corner,”i a point that Walker diminishes on the grounds that he might have gained such knowledge from a tour.

Again, the point had been raised by the Crown in their submission under factual matters of contention (11) that the complainant “described entering the Priests’ Sacristy just before the first incident and finding a wood panelled area containing cupboards and finding a storage kitchenette. It was in this area that he and the other boy found wine.”ii It was further claimed that he had correctly described the layout, and that this was out of view.

The majority, too, had made the same point, something they found striking. They had not actually viewed the initial police statement made in June 2015, but nevertheless they opine:

Read on…

Pell-Queen chronology

The defence team for Cardinal Pell handed a chronology of events to the High Court. The key names for the defence in the process are included.

Portelli – Cardinal Pell’s Master of Ceremonies

Porter – St Patrick’s Cathedral sacristan

McGlone – altar server

Connor – altar server

Fr Brendan Egan – Mass sayer at second Mass (27 February 1997) at which Cardinal Pell presides in choir dress

Portelli, Porter, McGlone and Connor say Cardinal Pell was never unattended while robed.

The Prosecutors’ ‘lack of Principle’

The so-called ‘hiatus’ is the critical element in the prosecution’s case against Cardinal Pell. It refers to a time framework during which the sacristy where Cardinal is alleged to have abuse two choirboys was unattended, allowing Pell to have free unimpeded use. Anybody who knows anything about serving Mass – not just at St Patrick’s Cathedral – knows that people are everywhere active after Mass. It is especially the case at St Patrick’s Cathedral when it is a Solemn High Mass for a special occasion.

It’s just embarrassing nonsense for the state prosecutors and the majority in the appeal to seriously maintain there were five to six minutes when the fully robed archbishop, unimpeded, could take two 13-year-old boys and force them to engage in three sex acts as if in some miraculous way the priest’s sacristy with Pell and the choirboys had warped into another dimension. Indeed, that’s what it would have taken – warping into another dimension. The prosecution and majority had to execute some tricky ballet moves to get what they wanted but only ended up tripping themselves into a farcical tangle. It would make a great Monty Python sketch if it wasn’t for the appalling injustice.

Chris Friel takes up the impossibility of the five to six minutes to focus on the lack of principle in the prosecutions’ fancy footwork to make the free-time proposition credible.


It Only Takes Five Minutes

Chris S Friel

What I shall do, though, is show just how unprincipled the case against Pell is, indeed, sneaky.

The Crown has been check-mated by the hiatus. According to the prosecution the complainant was assaulted during an interval of five to six minutes in a normally busy sacristy. It can be shown,however, that no opportunity existed for such an assault to occur undetected. The Crown suggest that a hiatus arose within the hive of activity. But a breakdown of the cases shows that this is impossible.

For either the hiatus was early, that is, before the processing altar servers returned to the sacristy or else it was late, that is, just after the servers returned. It can’t have been early for the room was locked, and besides, the errant choristers could not have got to the room before the servers. It can’t have been late for the court heard evidence that the activity of clearing up the sacristy began immediately, and besides, concelebrating priests were also part of the procession and when they arrived at the sacristy they stayed to chat.

The game is over.

Along with others, I have argued this point in fine detail over many pages.i However, in this paper I shall spell out the unprincipled way in which the prosecutors tried to have it both ways. Sometimes they painted a picture of an early hiatus; sometimes they painted a late hiatus. It’s the lack of principle that I wish to spell out.

In what follows, then, I shall try locate the contentions, first for an early, and then for a late hiatus.Individually, these arguments cannot be sustained but I shall not dwell on the point here as elsewhere I have already attended to the issues with some care. What I shall do, though, is show just how unprincipled the case against Pell is, indeed, sneaky. Let’s begin with the early hiatus.

Read on…

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…

Milligan incites the ABC lynch mob against Andrew Bolt

Malicious delusional Louise Milligan is at it again in her usual one-sided, question-begging, distorting way, inflating a case again Catholic St Kevin’s College to make it appear such things only happen in the Catholic Church and Catholic schools – all run through the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), Australia’s Anti-Catholic Central. How wonderful it is to have a billion-dollar state enterprise at one’s disposal. Nobody and no institution does bigotry as well as Milligan and the ABC.

Andrew Bolt dared to make a mitigating comment about the St Kevin’s case. That was enough for Milligan to rise in fury and set the lynch mob on him. Bolt can handle himself, but he should know that he has risen high in list of those Milligan and her class are out to destroy. He should remember the mob outside St Patrick’s Cathedral shouting, ‘We’ll get you in the end, Pell.’ They got him.

Here’s Bolt’s answer to Milligan and her lynch mob:


I don’t trust anything that the ABC’s Louise Milligan says in her reports on the Catholic Church or George Pell. Nor should anyone trust her tweets, like this appeal to my boss at Sky to, what, sack me?:

Read on…

Review of Milligan’s Cardinal

Gerard Henderson reviews Louise Milligan’s CARDINAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF GEORGE PELL.

According to Melbourne University Press, Cardinal uncovers “uncomfortable truths about a culture of sexual entitlement, abuse of trust and how ambition can silence evil” in the Catholic Church.  In an email forwarded to me on 30 May 2017, MUP chief executive Louise Adler wrote that Cardinal is an “important contribution to the community’s understanding of the Catholic Church’s response to child abuse”.  Ms Adler was defending Louise Milligan’s refusal to answer questions about Cardinal – despite the fact that her journalistic career has been built on asking questions of others.

In fact, Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell is neither of the above.  Cardinal  does not uncover “uncomfortable truths” about the Catholic Church.  The scandal of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been known for decades.  Nor is the book a contribution to “the community’s understanding of the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse”. As the author acknowledged when interviewed on the ABC TV News Breakfast program on 17 May 2017, Cardinal was written “from the complainants’ point of view”.

So Cardinal is not an objective analysis of either the Catholic Church or Cardinal George Pell.  Rather, it is the case for the prosecution – primarily researched by ABC journalist Louise Milligan while working for the taxpayer funded public broadcaster.

Read on…

Cardinal Pell, Australia’s Alfred Dreyfus

Christopher Akehurst, Quadrant, 11 February 2020

The new legal year began this month with various ceremonies, among them the traditional celebration of a “Red Mass” in the Roman Catholic cathedrals of the state capitals. In Melbourne, the judges and lawyers who attended St Patrick’s must have pondered the strange combination of circumstances that have made that imposing Gothic building the alleged locus delicti of Australia’s most publicised and divisive legal case in living memory; and have seen Cardinal George Pell, the prelate whose archiepiscopal seat the cathedral once was, convicted for child sexual abuse – offences committed, it is said, in a sacristy just across the transept from the assembled jurists participating in the Mass.

The Pell case is one of those indicators, like climate change, of where one stands politically. The Left is pretty much anti-Pell en bloc, not so much for any privileged access to evidence, but because he is a conservative, someone who can therefore do no good – just like President Trump, who even if he could somehow fulfil the leftist dream and abolish “global warming” overnight would get no thanks for it. Those who have publicly stated their belief in Pell’s innocence tend to be conservative (Pell’s two most eloquent champions have been Keith Windschuttle, Editor-in-Chief of Quadrant, who has dissected the evidence with a forensic skill unusual even in the highest levels of the legal profession, and columnist Andrew Bolt) but they believe him not because of shared political or other views but because conservative thinking requires good reasons for its conclusions and is not swayed by shallow emotionalism and the shouts of the mob, and the evidence adduced against Pell is about as far from conclusive as any evidence accepted by an Australian court could ever have been.

On March 11, the full bench of the High Court will come together to hear the long awaited appeal by Pell, former Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, then cardinal in charge of reforming (i.e. cleaning up) the finances of the Vatican, now prisoner no. CRN 218978 at Barwon, Victoria. When it does, the hearing will push whatever is obsessing the media at the time – coronavirus, the horrors of a Trump re-election, the collapse of the British economy after Brexit (that’ll be the wishfully thought-up fake news from the Nine media and the Guardian) off front pages round the world.

Read on…