The case of Cardinal George Pell

I certainly don’t. I believe in his innocence because after being a Sacristan I know what happens after a Mass with an Archbishop and it is even busier with a Cardinal I assure you. Secondly, a fully vested priest is not able to just pull aside a chasuble and a floor length alb. They have to be hoiked up/lifted/raised to expose that area. And most priests wear some type of street clothing be it a T-shirt and shorts etc - so these shorts would also have to be adjusted - all together it isn’t possible for all these garments to be “pulled aside”!

Add considering all the testimony of trustworthy people who were there e.g. the MC etc who did testify regarding placement of said people in procession, location of sacristy, busyness of the place, what occurred after Mass etc - yet all these were dismissed and instead the word of one individual was taken over all these others.

Reasonable doubt was demonstrated - I listened to both days online and also the judges handing down and read the paper work which I linked to above.


What would former PM Howard have known that would have had any relevance to the question of whether Cardinal Pell was guilty? It is common practice of criminals to hide their crimes, even from family. No one other than Cardinal Pell and his two accusers, one of whom is dead, was ever in a position to know the truth with whatever certainty memory can provide.

Letters of support.

and who told his mother before dying that he had never been abused!


Faith in your legal system? Pilate surly proved how great a legal system works for those who lie against an innocent man. Faith in a legal system?


The jury had vestments to inspect. They clearly thought, on inspection, that what was claimed was possible.

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Indeed. And this evidence failed to convince some of one jury, all of another, a judge, and two appeal court judges. Because of other evidence.

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Did they? Would you please direct me to that section where it is stated they did?
From memory listening to the testimony given to the three judges that it was demonstrated clearly that it was not possible.
Have you personally examined any chasubles and albs that priests wear to establish that they can be just “pulled to the side”, in particular the alb?

What other evidence would this deceased individual give apart from his mother testifying that he told her he’d never been abused?

Or are you referring to the testimony (contradictory in parts, changed in others) of one complainant?

I am gobsmacked that because it is a priest accused of sex abuse no other verdict apart from guilty is acceptable.

If the scenario was of a priest who assaulted an individual (change the ‘crime’ from one of sex abuse to assault), with all the same lack of evidence, apart from the testimony of one complainant - but with lots of supporting evidence of those who were present on said occasion for the defendant (as was given in this trial) - would the defendant be found guilty? I highly doubt it, because there isn’t evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

ETA am muting this now as nothing good can come of further speculation and those who bay for the Cardinal to be " hung and quartered" will settle for no less, regardless of any lack of evidence beyond reasonable doubt.


That’s not the point. The point is that there are prominent national figures, including leaders of state, who are raising concerns with how the trial went. Their words have some weight, I would imagine.

If that is the case, then how could Cardinal Pell have possibly been found guilty? If the allegations of an accuser are all that is needed to convict, why have a trial in the first place?

And details like this are the reason that people are questioning the verdict to begin with!


The word of a single accuser is often the basis of convictions of rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, robbery … It is obviously harder to obtain a conviction tat when, say, you have CCTV footage but it happens all the time. I suggest you read the decisions of the appeal court for extremely clear arguments on both sides of this issue. But even the dissenting judge made clear it was possible for convictions to be properly entered on the basis of such evidence. It’s just he did not think the evidence in this case reached the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ standard. But that is the answer to your question about how the Carinal could possibly have been found guilty: eyewitness evidence of a victim is evidence.

Well I could go trawling through all the reportage and transcripts which I have read but you can do that as well as I can. If it was demonstrated clearly that it was impossible then the two judges would not have upheld the decision of the lower court jury. And indeed the jury would not have convicted. ‘Demonstrating impossibility’ is very different from ‘claiming impossibility’. No I have no experience in the examination of vestments.

That would depend on the alb, don’t you think?

Some? Yes:

Not in my experience. I have encountered one similar in appearance, but the one I’m familiar with does not open all the way to the hem, it closed at the shoulder with a velcro tab and opened to the chest - certainly no lower than the waist (I recall the priest stepping into it and yes, before anyone else asks, Father had on a long sleeved shirt and trousers).

Whilst they look like folds, they were actually pleats.

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As to innocence or guilt, none of us was there and we’d best not risk calumny, detraction or gossip. Matthew 12:34-36.

As to the overall situation, I find it distinctly odd that homosexual activity is only immoral if a Catholic Priest engages in it.

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And if that’s so, doesn’t it raise a whole bunch of other questions? All of the priests, lectors, and altar servers who are always running around a sacristy before and after pontifical Masses stood by while boys were being raped?

I can’t speak to his innocence or guilt. But that’s the one part I never understood. What was the jury / appeal judges explanation for that? There’s no way they were alone. It doesn’t happen in a big cathedral in that context. Just doesn’t.

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Witnesses were called who said just that. Some did not do well under cross examination. The jury and judges (2 of 3) though it possible. We do not know what Cardinal Pell would have said under oath about whether he was ever alone because he chose not to give evidence.

The allegation here is not of ‘homosexual activity’. It is of forcible sexual assault on children. I don’t know anyone who thinks that is moral.

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I am of the belief that it is simply not possible, absent physical evidence, which will hardly ever exist, to convict Cardinal Pell, or anyone, after such a great length of time.

Cardinal Pell is not so much a scapegoat as he is a leader of the Church experiencing punishment for the collective sins of the Church. He is like collateral damage. It may not be justice, at least as I see it, but I do understand it from that point of view.

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