Guest essay by Eric Worrall
High profile climate skeptic Cardinal Pell, who was convicted of child abuse in 2018, has been completely exonerated and cleared of all charges following a successful appeal to the high court.
Cardinal George Pell’s abuse convictions overturned by Australia’s High Court
By Ed Condon and JD Flynn
Washington D.C., Apr 6, 2020 / 06:25 pm (CNA).- After an ordeal that began nearly four years ago, and more than 13 months of imprisonment, Cardinal George Pell is expected to be released from prison imminently, after his conviction for five alleged counts of sexual abuse was overturned Tuesday by Australia’s High Court.
Pell is expected to be released from prison within two hours.
The court ordered that “the appellant’s convictions be quashed and judgments of acquittal be entered in their place,” in its April 7 decision.
“The High Court found that the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant’s guilt with respect to each of the offences for which he was convicted, and ordered that the convictions be quashed and that verdicts of acquittal be entered in their place,” the court said in a judgment summary April 7.
After a March hearing at the High Court in Canberra, which Pell was not permitted to attend, the cardinal will soon be released from HM Prison Barwon, a maximum-security facility southwest of Melbourne. Pell is expected to celebrate with a private Mass of thanksgiving, the first he will celebrate since his incarceration in February 2019.
…Read more: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-george-pells-abuse-convictions-overturned-by-australias-high-court-66750
In 2018 the Pell conviction sent shockwaves around the world. Liberals were quick to launch a witch hunt, attacking anyone associated with Pell. As WUWT reported in 2018, a meeting between Cardinal Pell and then EPA director Scott Pruitt a few weeks before Pell was charged led to calls for Pruitt’s resignation.
Former Aussie PM Tony Abbott, who lost his seat in 2019, openly stood by his friend Cardinal Pell even after his conviction. Abbott’s loyalty to his friend likely contributed to his political defeat.
Although I was shocked, I personally accepted the decision of the court when Pell was convicted, and rejected the arguments of people who claimed the conviction was unsafe. Australians normally have a lot of faith in their court system. I’m now sorry for doubting the innocence of a good man who was wrongly convicted.