Cardinal Pell's Conviction Announced; Verdict on Appeal

Of Australia, found guilty on child sex abuse charges.

Lord, Save your church, and your people

I am beyond words.
Lord hear our prayer.

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This is not exactly new news. We had a thread covering the first trial (where he was convicted, though probably shouldn’t have been, as the previous thread discusses) a few months ago but it wasn’t allowed to be reported on in Australia. Now that the second trial (a different charge) has been withdrawn, the first trial can be reported on in Australia, telling us what we already knew

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I heard that his lawyer will be appealing.
It was unanimous veredict.
What I did not understand due to the accent was if the two victims were witnesses to each other. Is that why you say shouldn t have been convicted or did I misunderstand the reporters about the two witnesses?
If you don’t mind clarifying, Flopfoot.

With this news, I think I’d better stick to hanging out in the “Liturgy and Sacraments” section… I’m not having too many warm and fuzzy feelings about the Vatican hierarchy at the moment.

Now we’ll see how how the Vatican reacts in light of the conference this week, whether it was all words, or whether it transforms into concrete action.

One of the victims is dead, so if he was supposed to be a witness for the other he couldn’t give evidence. The alleged incident happened in the 1990s and the evidence showed that the cardinal couldn’t have been alone with the victims for a minute. The first time this case was tried it was a hung jury in which 10 of the 12 jurors thought he was not guilty

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Uh…I see.
Thanks a lot for the explanation!

In Australia, is it possible for the accused to get a trial by judge instead of a trial by jury?

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According to our news today in Australia. Cardinal Pell has been found guilty of sexual abuse of two boys in the 1990’s. The news today stated that the judge has indicated it will be a custodial sentence i.e. jail time. It remains to be seen if that will be jail per se or home detention. I think we should know more tomorrow, Wednesday 27.2.19.

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Insofar as I know, it is possible in Australia for a trial by judge, except in Victoria - and where Cardinal Pell has been convicted by jury.

It seems to be more fair to have a choice of either trial by jury or trial by judge.
Without knowing all the facts and circumstances of this case, it is difficult for an outsider to say anything for or against the verdict of guilty. However, the Australian Royal Commission, claims that thousands of Catholic children were abused by clergy. What disturbs some people is that Cardinal Pell did not testify, but his accuser did.

Hi AlNg - I think it would be more fair too if one had a choice - but apparently not in Victoria where Cardinal Pell was tried. With other states of Australia, again apparently, one can choose.
Cardinal Pell would not have testified by his own choice I would think. He certainly proclaimed his innocence very loudly in the media before his trial. He still proclaims he is innocent and I know he would be well aware of moral consequences if guilty.
There will be an appeal.
There were two choir boys who were stated as victims. According to evidence they witnessed each other’s abuse again insofar as I am aware. One of them is now deceased.

I cannot judge, I know very little about courts and related matters and trial by jury or judge is never infallible. I do not trust the media either…and that is sad.
The media here in Australia is making a big issue of the fact that people are very unhappy about the conference with Pope Francis and Bishops re the abuse crisis. They are stating that it is all words and nothing truly concrete effected. The issue also includes that the conference concluded just prior to the Cardinal’s conviction being made public and that this was a deliberate step by the Vatican.

I can pray for the abused children and all affected by it. And I can pray for Cardinal Pell. I can pray for the Universal Church at this time.

Sexual urge is one of the most strong,if not the strongest ,feeling God gave to humans-for obvious reasons as it is the core of the existence of mankind on earth.To become a priest one has to suppress it,not an easy job and many fall.Earlier the victims who are mainly boys (naturally) hesitated to report but now things changed in this information explosion age.It is time the church revisit the celibacy of priests and clergy. Otherwise more such horrible things can follow.Young people will be confused be whatever the firefighting exercises taken.

Balanced article from a dependable source in the main. Thank you, Irishmom2.

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And the one who is deceased said that he was not abused.
As fed up as I am with the abuse and cover ups, I think there are serious questions about this particular case.

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I certainly think that The Church must get to the reason these endemic type crimes have occured. I find it almost impossible to get my head around the why’s of it all when priests are trained in moral theology in the seminary and they know the terrible moral consequences of mortal sin - particularly crimes against children.
We have to remember it is not a problem in our Catholic Church alone, it was a social problem at a particular time…and I am praying it is not still a social problem.

Whether celibacy is the primary cause is still being debated. Personally, I think it might be a cause but perhaps not the only cause. After all, we have far more celibate priests who are good and faithful priests who are celibate. I think it is up to these to have powerful input as to the difficulty of celibacy, or the lack of difficulty. I have been celibate for near on 40 years after 15 years of marriage. It was a struggle at first, but not after a few years…but then I am a woman not a man.
Temptation is intrinsic to human life. We can be sure Grace is with us sufficient to overcome temptation. Nowadays too there are many means of seeking advice and support if temptation gets or threatens to become too much.
Young men are in the seminary and celibate for quite a few years before they are ordained. They must surely be aware during their seminary years of any problems with the celibate state. If problems onset after ordination, again there has to be a reason.
I do know from conversations with priests that loneliness can be a problem especially today with our shortage of priests, but surely not sufficiently a problem to abuse children. No way. It is a problem however that many priests I think might suffer making their priestly life difficult.

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I agree that serious questions have to be raised about the conviction of Cardinal Pell. I hope and pray that serious questions will be raised and adequately answered.
We can pray.
@Irishmom2 has posted a very balanced article from National Catholic Register here: Cardinal Pell's Conviction Announced; Verdict on Appeal

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Should we be so particular and firm about celibacy of priests?Peter was married!

Celibacy is a discipline of The Church for the priesthood and last I heard the Vatican stated that that would never change though neither doctrine, dogma nor scriptural. Also, we are not a democracy we are a monarchy.
Personally, I would like to see a married priesthood as well as a celibate priesthood. It does offer a man a binding choice prior to ordination, which would be supported by the Grace of Holy Orders. But then we are a monarchy and I am called by God to obedience, but I am permitted to have personal opinions and concepts.
Our Catholic Church Anglicare Ordinariate has married priests and having attended Mass celebrated by priests of the Ordinariate, I have been very impressed by their celebration of Holy Mass. It has been a moving experience of devotion. Our parish priest was relieved a couple of times by an Ordinariate priest. Father’s homilies were excellent too, sound doctrine and in touch with modern life and life in the laity too.

I have wondered if the Anglican Ordinariate and married priests has been a way for the Vatican to ‘test the waters’. I can hope and pray.

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