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What do you guys know about the case of Cardinal Pell? What do you think about it? From news.com.au:



Andrew Bolt says Cardinal George Pell was falsely convicted of sexually abusing two boys


Divisive columnist Andrew Bolt has come out in defence of disgraced Cardinal George Pell, saying he is the victim of a witch hunt.


Ben Graham


Andrew Bolt believes Cardinal George Pell is an innocent man who has been wrongly convicted.

Speaking on his Sky News show last night, the News Corp columnist said he had “serious misgivings” about Pell’s guilty verdict.

“I just can’t accept it, based on what I consider is the overwhelming evidence of this trial,” he said. “And I base that opinion also on how many times Pell has been accused of crimes and sins he clearly did not do.

“Pell could well be an innocent man who is being made to pay for the sins of his church and made to pay after an astonishing campaign of media vilification.”

Bolt, who says has met Pell about five times, but is not a Catholic or Christian, raised “10 problems” with the evidence that saw a jury unanimously find Pell guilty.

One of these was the fact Pell’s second abuse victim, now dead after a heroin overdose, denied being abused by a priest when asked by his mother.

Bolt also said the other victim who gave evidence in court did not speak about the incident for many years.

He said he also doubted the attack could have taken place after Mass, when Pell is known to have traditionally spoken to worshippers leaving the ceremony.

“This attack allegedly happened in the cathedral sacristy, which is normally a very busy room, where Pell would have known people were almost certain to walk in,” he said.

He added Pell had no history of proven child abuse like other church paedophiles usually have.

Bolt has been widely criticised for his comments with some saying he was being disrespectful to the victims.

Pell, 77, was found guilty on December 11 in Melbourne’s county court, a decision which was revealed yesterday because of a lengthy suppression order.

He faces a maximum 50 year prison sentence for his sex abuse crimes against two young boys 22 years ago.

He will return to court today, with his lawyers making a final bid for his freedom. His lawyers are pushing for a retrial — or for the cardinal’s child sex convictions to be set aside.

Bolt wrote in his Herald Sun column that Pell has been accused of crimes and sins he “clearly did not do” and eventually “some of the truckload of mud thrown at him has stuck”.

“Pell has survived so many fake allegations. Now he has fallen for one of the most unlikely of all,” he wrote.

“In my opinion, this is our own OJ Simpson case, but in reverse. A man was found guilty not on the facts but on prejudice.”

Others hit out at Bolt saying the legal process and decision of jurors should be respected.

Father Frank Brennan, a Jesuit priest who attended some of the Pell proceedings, wrote for The Australian newspaper about how the public, who could not hear all the evidence from the first four-week trial, did not have a “complete picture”.

“The complainant, who cannot be identified, did not give evidence at the retrial,” he wrote. “The recording from the first trial was admitted as the complainant’s evidence. The recording was available to the public only insofar as it was quoted by the barristers in their examination of other witnesses or in their final ­addresses to the jury and by the judge in his charge to the jury. So, no member of the public has a complete picture of the evidence and no member of the public is able to make an assessment of the complainant’s demeanour.”

He said he was “very surprised” and “devastated” by the verdict and concluded that the jury must have thought “children who are sexually violated do not always remember ­details of time, place, dress and posture”.

“Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him,” he wrote.

Pell’s guilty verdict was greeted with disbelief by shocked Catholics around the world.

Ed Pentin, the Rome correspondent for the oldest national Catholic newspaper in the United States, the National Catholic Register, pointed to conspiracy theories circulating in the Vatican that Pell was set up.

“Most people here don’t believe the verdict,” Pentin told Nine newspapers. “Most here believe Pell is innocent, certainly those who worked with him.”

Pentin said there was scepticism about the guilty verdict because Pell was investigating Vatican corruption and there was suspicion about the timing of the charges.

In an article for the Register, Pentin notes that after news broke in December about the verdict, a source told him, “People in court saw how flimsy the evidence was.

“This is an act of outrageous malice by a prejudiced jury. The media convicted him long ago in the court of public opinion and he did not receive a fair trial.”

— with Charis Chang
The title thread is enough for me, if anyone be it religious or secular is falsely accused of anything that has serious implications and can ruin ones life, that person then has to fight back at all costs to prove his or her innocence and can't back down for a moment. Sadly for the Church, even though the concept of justice here in America is innocent until proven guilty, the media has changed it to, guilty upon accusation and one must prove their innocence if they don't want to end up in jail or prison or lose their career. Even sadder is that for religious at this point in time the only option that accused religious and clergy have in the church once accused is to step down from their role in the Church until they can prove that they are innocent and maybe at the same time if they are innocent they should put up a counter suit for defamation. An also I think the Church should sharpen the sword of justice to a double edged one, an anyone trying to destroy a cleric or religious life by intentionally lying in court or to the Church and bringing up false charges and it is proven that the person lied, faces excommunication unless they apologize , go to confession and perform some kind of penance other than a simple prayer. That punishment though would require some serious back bone which the Church just does not have.
I think he's being punished with false charges, in a country which seems to have a great animus towards the Faith.
The jeering and yelling at Cardinal Pell shown in the video reminds me of how Jesus was jeered at on the way to Calvary. I believe that Cardinal Pell is innocent.
I hope this is true (!) and if so, that he's fully exonerated. Wouldn't that be a welcome relief?  What I don't understand is how they can prove--or disprove--any of the allegations, as they've happened so long ago? That's what I truly don't understand.
(02-28-2019, 08:39 PM)JacafamalaRedux Wrote: [ -> ]I hope this is true (!) and if so, that he's fully exonerated. Wouldn't that be a welcome relief?  What I don't understand is how they can prove--or disprove--any of the allegations, as they've happened so long ago? That's what I truly don't understand.

Apparently, some of the claims are physically impossible, and the one accuser (now dead) retracted. There seems to be no real case against him.
The problem is his lawyers are horrible. They just argued at his sentencing that he just had minor sexual altercations with the witness and should be punished to harshly. Although they are also appealing the verdict and claim he is innocent. They are arguing he didn’t do it for the appeal but he did do it but it was minor at the sentencing. I don’t know what they are thinking for his defense. He’s going to be found guilty no necessarily because he is really guilty but because his lawyers aren’t competent. Sad.
After Mass?
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My experience is that after Mass is when everyone is trying to talk with the priest.  Parents are picking up their altar-server children, little old ladies are around cleaning up...…
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For me, it is neither here nor there that the one fellow denied abuse when talking with his mother, that is an emotionally charged relationship - don't want to admit I was abused, don't want to admit that my Mom didn't protect me from the abuser, etc.
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I don't know whether he is guilty or not.  But from the little reading I have done, it does seem that the Australian government is out to get the Catholic Church, one way or another.
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But abusers don't just "pop up" one day.
(02-28-2019, 09:11 PM)havok579257 Wrote: [ -> ]The problem is his lawyers are horrible.  They just argued at his sentencing that he just had minor sexual altercations with the witness and should be punished to harshly.  Although they are also appealing the verdict and claim he is innocent.  They are arguing he didn’t do it for the appeal but he did do it but it was minor at the sentencing.  I don’t know what they are thinking for his defense.  He’s going to be found guilty no necessarily because he is really guilty but because his lawyers aren’t competent.  Sad.

Apparently they weren't allowed to argue he was innocent, since he'd already been found guilty.