I continued my prayers and fasting today for the outcome of Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction of five assault charges against two choirboys.
The prosecution had its day in court today. The Daily Telegraph reports:
[Prosecution lawyer] Mr Boyce started with little fanfare, but immediately jumped to defend the integrity of the complainant who has come under attack from Pell’s legal team.
He said the man was a compelling witness, who was truthful and factual.
Court of Appeal president Justice Chris Maxwell said the court would have to consider submissions that the man was a liar and a fantasist.
The entirety of the man’s evidence, which was given in private, was given in a closed court and has never been made public.
Mr Boyce described the testimony as moving.
Earlier today the Catholic priest was driven in a van into the grounds of the Supreme Court to continue his bid for freedom.
The Court of Appeal heard from Pell’s defence team yesterday which is trying to get the 77-year-old acquitted of five charges.
He’s serving a minimum three years and eight months behind bars after being sentenced to up to six years in prison in March.
Barrister Bret Walker SC told the court in the first day of the appeal application and hearing that it was “impossible” for Pell to have abused the boys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996, and have molested one of them again in early 1997.
The jury’s verdicts were “unsafe and unsatisfactory” on the basis of evidence from one surviving complainant in the face of exculpatory evidence from 20 others called by prosecutors, he said.
Among the evidence was an alibi in Pell’s practice of greeting parishioners outside the cathedral after mass.
Now that both sides have presented their evidence to the Supreme Court justices, my understanding is that they will now deliberate before reaching a decision.
I hope and pray it’s the right one.
5 thoughts on “The Cardinal Pell Appeal: Part 2”
This is an absolute witch hunt and I fully believe in Cardinal Pell’s innocence and in his great integrity. I am not a christian at all and fully atheist. There is a great leftist tide in Western countries which wants to bring down the Catholic Church at almost any cost. It is not unlike the Spanish Inquisition, but which was perpetrated by catholics against non-believers. This time it is the other way round but just as vicious. We tend to try to believe that humanity has evolved into a higher being from that in the middle ages. Alas, I think the development has been more like a degeneration in may ways.
I abhor pedophilia and sexual abuse but I don’t believe victims are helped by magnifying the abuse against them or by paying them financial compensation.
It is hard to imagine how horribly these victims have been treated. I got a taste of the ugly side of the Church when I helped to organize parishioners against the closing of our church. During that ordeal I called up two male victims, both of whom were from my own diocese. One of them made a point to tell me that nobody from the Church ever had apologized to him. He said that his parents had donated a lot of time and money to their parish. I told him that I was sorry for what had happened to him. The other guy had suffered abuse that could be described as almost satanic. These guys have been through hell. That’s why the statute of limitations needs to change. The Church will respond only when it’s backed against the wall. And I say that as a weekly churchgoer.
I think that the loss of respect for Christianity in general is the most lamentable consequence of these scandals. Because of the failures of the Church, abortion is now good; sexual license is good, etc. Very sad.
I just watched ABC News (Australia) on the Cardinal Pell conviction. They were making the argument that in the wake of this scandal, the only thing that can save the Catholic Church now is the ordination of female priests.
(Meanwhile the Anglican and Episcopal churches are bleeding members following their decision to become more liberal and allow ordination of women and gays).
Something definitely smells fishy about the whole thing.
The Anglican Church and the Uniting Church certainly hold the keys to retaining members….
Last year I went to the Christmas Eve service at the local Episcopal church. There were about 25 in attendance. The Episcopal Church is pretty much dead. I imagine that the Anglican Church in Australia is on its last legs, too. The United Church of Christ, which is the US-equivalent (or near-equivalent) of the Uniting Church, is disappearing fast as well.