From the moment the news broke that Victoria Police intended to charge Cardinal with the sexual abuse of two 13-year-olds in the sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral directly after the inaugural High Mass for his appointment as Archbishop of Melbourne, most without investment in the cardinal’s guilt scoffed at the idea. The idea that a man of George Pell’s conservative character and habits could commit such grisly deeds in such fraught circumstances was preposterous.
Of course, the legion of Pell-Haters, some sickening to mental and emotional derangement, were jubilant. Whatever the insanity of the charges, Cardinal Pell belonged in jail. That was the way things should be in our socially enlightened society.
A tight analogy would be claiming gay activist Alan Joyce, appointed to head up one of Australia’s icons, QANTAS, sneaked off during his inaugural celebrations and forced a child of an employee to engage in oral sex. The idea is insane – just as insane as the idea that Cardinal Pell would jeopardise everything about him and his achievements in such a wanton act.
The fact that most people gauge their reaction to a person on his known character was of no account for the police, the jury in the second trial, and for the majority judgement in the Cardinal’s Appeal in the Supreme Court of Victoria. Nor was the fact of no direct corroborative evidence of any account. Nor was the necessary alignment of many points of organization and routine of a High Mass of any account. Nor was the worldwide critical analysis of the case by people at least as intelligent as the appeal judges of any account. Nor was the detailed judgement of the third appeal judge, Mark Weinberg, who smashed the majority judgement of any account. Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Justice Christ Maxwell found Cardinal Pell’s protected anonymous accuser ‘credible’ and dismissed Cardinal Pell’s appeal in a flimsy judgement that reeks of arrogance and self-importance.
If I was author of such a judgement, I would feel acute intellectual embarrassment when I compared my effort with that of Justice Weinberg whose analysis of the case was twice as long and twice as detailed.
So what motivated the majority?
Was it judicial incompetence? Justice Weinberg was the only one of the three to have a background in criminal law. Indeed, he is highly regarded as one of Australia’s leading criminal lawyers. Anne Ferguson is a specialist in commercial law. Chris Maxwell’s seems also to be in commercial law. His activities and associates puts him squarely in the legal left circle (see Wiki).
The Ferguson/Maxwell judgement boils down to three grounds. They accepted the prosecution’s claim it was not ‘impossible’ that the cardinal did what he was accused of. The defence claimed it was impossible in the concrete circumstances.
First, in this the majority seems to turn around the bedrock principle of innocent until proven guilty. Cardinal Pell had to prove it was not impossible.
Second, it is this question of logic which pervades the majority judgement. Any reputable philosophy student would know at the end of his first year of study that abstractly speaking everything is possible except a contradiction.
Abstractly speaking, there is no contradiction in the claim that the cardinal bilocated from the front steps of the Cathedral to the sacristy where he abused the choirboys, There’s no contradiction in claiming he had a magic wand that made him and the boys invisible in the open sacristy. It is meaningless to talk of abstract possibility or impossibility. One must review the concrete circumstances. What does ALL the evidence say?
The prosecution seemed to catch out the cardinal’s master of ceremonies when under questioning, he admitted that, although it was the strict routine to accompany the archbishop from beginning to end in the ceremonies, it was possible on the rare occasions he deviated from the routine. Of course, abstractly speaking it was possible. But did he? The majority seemed to be weighed by the abstract possibility rather than Charles Portelli’s claim that he did not budge from the cardinal’s side on the day in question. And why on earth would Portelli choose such a grand occasion to deviate from a rigid routine? It makes no sense.
The second ground of the appeal majority was the ‘credibility’ of the accuser. The accuser came across as entirely believable. I have already commented on the idiotic reaction of prosecutor Christopher Boyce to the accuser’s performance. Nobody accepts a person on mere appearance when matters of importance are involved. Not Prosecutor Boyce, nor their esteemed justices. It is really quite pathetic and a signal of the quality of justice in the state of Victoria that Ferguson and Maxwell swallowed the accuser’s story on mere appearance without solid supporting concrete evidence.
Third, they offered one piece of corroborating evidence – of a sort. The accuser was able to describe the sacristy where the abuse was alleged to have happened. I leave aside Keith Windschuttle’s and Chris Friel’s demolishing of the accuser’s claims because of the constant change of his evidence which stinks of coaching by the choirboy team. See my previous posts.
But, so what, if he was able to get his description about right? As a choirboy whose routine was to change in a room near the priest’s sacristy, surely he had the opportunity to ‘poke’ around at times, as he said he ‘poked’ around on that fateful day in December 1996? Indeed, his dead friend offers support for such opportunity when he reportedly told his mother he and the accuser used to play there (in the areas where the sacristies were). At its best, disregarding all else, it is weak flimsy corroborating evidence.
Was the majority fixed in their ideological positions?
One does not need to read very much about Justice Maxwell to see that he is entrenched in a leftist view of the world. In his early career he was a reader (tutored by) Kenneth Hayne QC, who sat for many years on the High Court. Hayne recently savaged those citicising the Uluru Statement from the Heart for their strident reactionary views. No doubt, he meant those raising the spectre of racial separatism. This is a typical leftist response to conservative criticism of leftist campaigns.
Maxwell later scored the position of Principal Private Secretary to Gareth Evans, Attorney-General in the Hawke Government. For six years he was a member of Liberty Victoria and president for two of them. Liberty Victoria is a typically liberal-left agitprop group seeking to rid Australian institutions of the impurity of conservative ideas – religious and political.
I’ll try not to laugh in revealing that Maxwell teamed up with Julian Burnside QC to go after John Howard, that devilish incarnation of conservatism, over the Tampa refugee case. It mattered not one jot that the majority of Australians supported the Howard Government, demonstrating their support by returning them to government. The Howard people – you can call them Menzies’ Forgotten People – are the very ones Hayne savaged over the Uluru statement and for whom Maxwell and Burnside would have utter contempt.
Do you think that Maxwell would have any sympathy for Cardinal Pell who in the terms of his entrenched ideological mentality must be just about the worst sort of Australian citizen he could conjure up? Of course, not. All my adult life I have contended with the left at university and at work. I have observed that once infected by the materialist ideas of the left whether of Mill or Marx, the person is launched on a lifelong campaign in public and private to mould the world to those ideas. Cardinal Pell had no hope with Maxwell.
He had hardly less hope with Anne Ferguson. She was educated by the Brigidine sisters who have been on the far left of the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council. For the Brigidine sisters, or what’s left of them, Cardinal Pell is their worst nightmare. Ferguson would have been subjected to a fiery feminist indoctrination.
Second, any woman who has reached the dizzying heights of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is a leading member of the sisterhood with heavy mentoring responsibilities. A heavier responsibility is making the way clear for the sisterhood to reach the top. Any leading member of the sisterhood who does not work remorselessly to dismantle the patriarchy is to be spurned and despised. Cardinal Pell, a rigid political and religious conservative, is a colossus in the maintenance of the patriarchy, especially in the Church in which Ferguson grew up. Any leniency in any situation towards to him would be the act of a traitor. Cardinal Pell had no hope with Anne Ferguson.
One may think this the glib rhetoric of the (white) patriarchy. I should offer concrete evidence of my claims if I want to be taken seriously. Fortunately for me, Janice Fiamengo, a retired professor at the University of Ottawa, has done that for me. Over more than five years, she has produced 117 videos that have laid bare feminists’ unrelenting hatred for men and their underhanded scheming to destroy those who deviate from the word. I have linked some of Fiamengo’s videos on my Edmund Burke Website, but relevant are these for their exhibition of deceit, nastiness and misandry: 1 2 3 4
Finally, we come to the question of spinelessness. Phil Lawler made this compelling comment in his article The Pell Case: Australia’s Dreyfus Affair? on Catholicculture.org:
In Australia today, the government—specifically the justice system—is now also heavily invested in the conviction of Cardinal Pell. To admit an error would be to admit an unreasonable verdict, brought about by an unreasonable prosecution, and now buttressed by an unreasonable appeals-court decision. To say that Cardinal Pell is not guilty is to imply that the judicial system is guilty in its treatment of his case. Will the country’s top court have the courage to reach that verdict?
It is a serious and appropriate question. We witness almost daily the cancelling or destruction of those who deviate from the sacred scripture of woke or leftist tenets. One would not dare to question the position on homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion, and the patriarchy if one wanted to maintain a respected position in the law, academia, the public service, and now even in sport. Champion footballer Israel Folau is example.
Ferguson and Maxwell would not have escaped the contempt of their class if they had implicitly supported the patriarchy by freeing Cardinal Pell.
No doubt the esteemed judges and their supporters would find such impugnment of their characters outrageous. But I have merely offered an explanation for their outrageous judgement.
It has just been announced that the High Court of Australia will give their ruling on Cardinal Pell’s appeal on 7 April in Brisbane. If they fail to accept the appeal and release the cardinal, they will come under the same scrutiny as above. They should keep in mind that the Pell Affair is now a part of Australian history, a major episode that shows what sort of Australia we live, and what sort of a class has gained the hegemony over the nation. Whatever their decision, the scrutiny will not stop. I, for one, will never let this issue go. This Pell Affair, a frightening miscarriage of justice, has been the most shocking episode in Australia in my lifetime.