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Australian court dismisses Cardinal Pell's sex abuse convictions

23 Comments
By ROD McGUIRK

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23 Comments
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The balance of likes and dislikes on this comment thread suggests that JT readers interested in research, objectivity and true justice are in the minority. I had hoped for better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Looking at this case strictly from a legal point, the evidence was very weak it was based on two people words, while improbabilities were shown numerous times.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It appears that many people posting here are unaware of the details of the case. There was a serious miscarriage of justice committed and it has finally been corrected thanks to seven wise and objective judges of the Australian High Court.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The trial of George Pell is not only a trial of an individual. Even though Pell is a free man today – due to the lack of concrete evidence and the way the jury approached to the case, as stated by the High Court – the moral trial is still going on against the way the Catholic church has protected its sinful members and the way its clergies are obliged by the church to protect the seal of confession.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You would think that grabbing someone's crotch would be seen by others. In any case, if he did cover up for molesting priests then he is guilty of obstructing justice.

True, and if Pell had been charged with obstructing justice then I would have said a guilty verdict was correct, because the record on that is clear - he moved paedophile priests under his jurisdiction to another parish, rather than alerting the police. He claims he didn't know, but that's hard to believe. Too many Catholic bishops and archbishops in Australia have claimed they knew nothing about what was happening under their noses.

Pell is not a sympathetic guy, but that's not a crime. In my opinion, the crimes he has committed are not the ones he was charged with. Even an unsympathetic geezer like Pell deserves a fair trial, without the intrusion of a popular opinion that's crying out for someone, anyone, to pay for the crimes that have taken place within Pell's church, and that's what Pell didn't get - until today.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Lindy Chamberlain was innocent, so Pell must be as well?

I read Big Yen's post, and it appears you missed the point. He wasn't claiming innocence of Pell due to Chamberlain being ill as you have stated above, he was pointing out the same thing I said in an earlier post, that trying to pin guilt on someone based on how they act is illogical, and can lead to innocent people being imprisoned. That doesn't mean Pell is or isn't guilty, it means that your thoughts on whether his actions make him appear guilty are not only irrelevant, they may be dangerous.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You would think that grabbing someone's crotch would be seen by others. In any case, if he did cover up for molesting priests then he is guilty of obstructing justice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lindy Chamberlain was innocent, so Pell must be as well? Drastically different cases, and the only similarity being the law's disinclination to believe anyone who isn't Establishment.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The Catholic church once again getting away with murder for its continuing sexual abuse scandal.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Maria:

You obviously haven't been following this case. I have. Pell was running and hiding for years.

I most certainly have been following the case. Where was Pell running to? Rome? Where was he hiding? In plain sight?

Earlier, you posted:

For an innocent man, Pell has been acting guilty for years over this case.

I'm assuming you're Australian, so you'd be aware of the case of Lindy Chamberlain. A woman accused of murdering her own child, who was found guilty in the court of public opinion, was vilified in the media, found guilty in the courts, kangaroo and otherwise, became the butt of jokes and pub talk, all of which assumed she was guilty as hell of murdering her daughter Azaria and was trying to cover it up by claiming that the dingo did it. A lot of the buzz around Lindy Chamberlain's guilt involved her allegedly acting guilty. Not being like a mother should be. Seemingly uninvolved, not emotional enough, didn't cry on cue. Belonged to a strange religion. Rumours of child sacrifice, the whole lynch mob BS.

Yet Lindy Chamberlain was innocent. Pity it took three years for her to get out.

I thought Australia would've learned from the Lindy Chamberlain case that high emotions over a hot-button topic and an unsympathetic accused not showing emotion in the way we think they ought to didn't necessarily make for guilt. If you really think that "acting guilty" (which would be interpreted differently depending on who you asked for a definition of it) actually means that someone is guilty, then you're on the side of the kangaroo courts and the lynch mobs rather than real justice.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What an awful case, I have not followed this at all, all I can say is I hope the court gets it ""right""

This individual case aside for a second, clearly the catholic church needs to be thoroughly GUTTED as it has aided & abetted & essentially condoned sexual abuse for GOD knows how long, utterly disgusting!!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Disgusting when you think of it understanding the back ground, the character and the catholic church and then factor in the things that were going on behind the scenes to have this guy released.

May he squirm in hell.

The catholic church is not a nice organization, none of these religious outfits are.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Pell has been acting guilty for years over this case.

The problem is that the way one acts when being accused of something often looks the same as what people think looking guilty looks like. The average person doesn't have any experience whatsoever in knowing what someone looks like when they are guilty of a major crime.

I have no idea of this guy's innocence or guilt, but 'looking guilty' not only doesn't equate to being guilty, it's actually damaging to suggest it does, as it can paint a guilty image on an innocent person.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@bigyen:

You obviously haven't been following this case. I have. Pell was running and hiding for years.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Difficult to comment on whether justice has been served, but once again we are reminded that any society's powerful always look after their own. Pell most certainly covered up for sex abusing priests and that alone should have warranted dismissal and a lengthy custodial sentence.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is a stunning development.

For a Supreme Court to overturn a verdict in a criminal case by lower courts is very unusual. 

The evidence of sexual abuse presented in the lower court trial was not flimsy, supported by victims. 

This decision reeks of very high influence!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

For an innocent man, Pell has been acting guilty for years over this case.

What does that even mean?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

For an innocent man, Pell has been acting guilty for years over this case.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Pell isn't a sympathetic character, but this is justice being served.

I've always thought Pell was convicted more for what he didn't do, i.e. choosing to protect his fellow-priests rather than protecting their victims, and not for anything he allegedly did do. The evidence made no sense, and Pell was judged on the basis of emotion and sentiment rather than on the supposed evidence. Particularly disturbing, for two supposedly objective courts of law, was the fact that the evidence of one witness was taken as being of greater weight than the conflicting evidence of many others, including, in the past, the alleged fellow-sufferer of the witness, who consistently maintained before his death that nothing had ever happened with Pell.

We all know that the Catholic Church and its functionaries such as Pell have a shameful history of covering up abuse. Charge and judge them on the basis of those crimes, rather than by making one man a scapegoat by lynching him for something he didn't do.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Church aside here, from the article, it seems to me he was falsely convicted. 5 or 6 minutes to molest two boys, following a service, while dressed in his robes? Then go out an talk with parishioners?

It is true the story may not have all the details. However, assault doesn't have a time limit. You can walk down the street and pat someone on their bum as you pass by. That takes less than a minute.

That would be assault. It would considered worse if the person is underage.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

A guilty convicted criminal slips from the grasp of justice. A great shame on the courts and another tragedy for the victims to deal with.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Church aside here, from the article, it seems to me he was falsely convicted. 5 or 6 minutes to molest two boys, following a service, while dressed in his robes? Then go out an talk with parishioners?

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

For decades, if not centuries, the Catholic Church has supported, protected, and lied for the rapists it claims to be spokesmen of god. It has abandoned and forced additional suffering upon hundreds of its victims.

The whole thing should be shut down, for shame.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

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