Climate Skeptic Cardinal George Pell Cleared of All Charges, Abuse Conviction Overturned by the Australian High Court

Cardinal George Pell. By Gavin Scott at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, Link

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:

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.

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Jamie Moodie
April 6, 2020 10:16 pm

The filth that inhabit the mass hysteria, crowd and herd instinct propaganda dissemination should be placed in indefinite incarceration or worse. There is no greater ill than to deliberately do damage to another human who has done nothing to or against you.

Reply to  Jamie Moodie
April 7, 2020 12:58 am

Yup. Though shalt not bear false witness.

A most heinous of crimes in my view. Such has killed hundreds of millions over the centuries.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Anon
April 7, 2020 9:43 am

I make these slips all the time🤐

Reply to  Gary Pearse
April 7, 2020 11:25 am

Though was probably a speel-check correction.

April 6, 2020 10:18 pm

Cardinal Pell may be a climate skeptic, but that is no more relevant that him being five feet nine and slightly over-weight, and I’m disappointed that you mentioned it. I presume that you felt you had to have a “hook” to climate change to justify including the commentary on this site. Really sir – that’s not worthy of you or the site.

In terms of the verdict, I see it as a vindication of the judicial process and – more importantly – a message to the police and the public prosecutors that they should not blindly accept any and every accusation of sexual harassment / attack without question.
Maybe from this we will see some legislation that directs them to investigate the credibility of the accuser, especially when there is a long gap between the date of the “offence” and the date at of the accusation being made. Better still, legislation to criminalise the making of specious accusations .

Reply to  OldCynic
April 6, 2020 10:39 pm

It is relevant when his climate skepticism is one of the “uncharged crimes” for which he was prosecuted.

There was a meme in this country – true in many places for many years in the past – “Driving while Black.” The new formulation is “Living while conservative.” Never seen on any charge sheet, of course, but it is the real reason for many persecutions prosecutions.

Reply to  Writing Observer
April 6, 2020 10:51 pm

A reasonable conclusion is that the prosecution was a means to effect social justice that was mitigated through the service of justice.

Reply to  Writing Observer
April 7, 2020 5:31 pm

George Pell was attacked by our public broadcaster ABC which sends the taxpayers of Oz a $1.3 billion invoice very year. As recently as last week they were still attempting to influence our High Court by running reruns of anti-Pell stories much more closely aligned to propaganda.

Climate change was only one of his sins according to our ABC. The one that really got him off side with our incompetent and intolerant media was when he refused to give communion to gay activists wearing rainbow sashes. From that point on there were numerous attempts to destroy him however they could. Pell stood up for the teaching of the church at the time. Whether you agree with that position or not is irrelevant.

This verdict by our High Court was a 7- nil thrashing to the Victorian Court of Appeal. But Justice Weinberg is the real hero as he wrote a scathing dissenting judgment in that court of appeal which Pell lost 2-1. He was also the only judge on the appeal court with criminal legal experience. He actually knew what he was doing. The chief justice of the Victorian Supreme Court is a female. As a woman myself, she is an incompetent embarrassment to all women.

The Victorian Police actually advertised for complainants. But they cannot investigate criminal gangs of ethnic origin that have terrorised parts odf Melbourne for years.

One of the previous attempts by two men who claimed he abused them as children did not get to court when the police finally checked a rather important fact. Pell was out of the country at the time and had been for several years as could be proved by his passport. Luckily he had kept it. He was at the Vatican at the time for a period of several years in the middle part of his career. .

Finally George Pell aside, if this verdict had stood, it was the end of justice in Australia and the beginning of soviet style show trials where evidence is unnecessary and its just the vibe. Pell had been traduced by our media , our politicians and many of our commentators because he was a conservative.

Reply to  Quilter52
April 8, 2020 3:09 pm

Good summary Quilter52. The High Court in Canberra is Australia’s highest court. The lower Victorian Court of Appeal in the state of Victoria over the years has been stacked with left wing types who in this case were, sad to say, easily influenced by public opinion and the left wing media who targeted Pell because he was conservative, a climate skeptic and a religious big fish.
Hopefully, the legal system in the state of Victoria, embarrassed by the 7 to 0 High Court judgment against them, will eventually be run by fair people not easily influenced. And most importantly, we can concentrate on convicting the real child molesting scum.

Reply to  Quilter52
April 8, 2020 11:04 pm

How could anybody could read Justice Wienberg’s surgical dissection of the case and not realise that there has been a massive miscarriage of justice? The other judges should have resigned in embarrassment and self-disgust immediately.
But the trouble with judges is that they are all ex-lawyers – and most have the morals to match.

Reply to  OldCynic
April 6, 2020 10:44 pm

I see no mention of Cardinal Pell’s height or weight in the article

Reply to  xyzzy11
April 7, 2020 4:12 am

It was graphically depicted for anyone experienced with honest examination through parallax vision.

Reply to  OldCynic
April 6, 2020 11:23 pm

But what if part of the accusation was actually because he was a climate skeptic and was falsely accused of pedophilia for being a climate sceptic? How would you or anyone feel about being accused, let alone convicted, of a terrible crime that the Court now has quashed and vacated with an acquittal because you believed that science should be final arbitrator of this subject. This must mean that there was some ulterior motive for the accusation to begin with.

Seeing as the high court has completely reversed this conviction, there was no crime committed. I had thought he must be guilty too, but after seeing some of the #metoo accusations, it is hard to now believe some of these stories, especially for things that supposedly happened many years ago. There is also a thing called selective memory where people may even actually believe something happened, but that thought was instilled in their mind by some other force. There are plenty of examples of false accusation, and I would assume that it could be quite high especially for older accusations. Especially when’ victims’ receive some sort of cash compensation, and then we see nearly everyone was abused and sexually exploited.

John McCabe
Reply to  Earthling2
April 7, 2020 12:31 am

“Seeing as the high court has completely reversed this conviction, there was no crime committed.”

That’s not quite what the article above says. It says:

“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”

To me, that says that the rational assessment of the evidence is that what was presented was not good enough to prove guilt. In such a case, irrespective of whether the crime was committed by the accused, the result must be an acquittal.

This is both a good and bad thing in law; presumption of innocence and, thus, the requirement for guilt to be proven beyond reasonable doubt, does protect the innocent, but there are always cases where guilty people get acquitted because the prosecution fails to do their job properly.

I’m not suggesting this is the case here, just pointing out some technicalities.

Reply to  John McCabe
April 7, 2020 5:02 am

. . . but there are always cases where guilty people get acquitted because the prosecution fails to do their job properly.

I’m not suggesting this is the case here, just pointing out some technicalities.

Good that you’re not suggesting that what happened in this case was the prosecution failed at its job, since that’s not what happened. The State was successful in its prosecution, but in this case illegitimately according to the high court.

Tom Foley
Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 6:14 am

The High Court determination does not exonerate Pell. The prosecution was not illegal. The jury verdict was overturned on the grounds that there was ‘reasonable doubt’ on the basis of the evidence presented. The unanimous jury clearly thought there was no doubt, on appeal the Victorian Supreme Court agreed, but the Australian High Court thought there were grounds for doubt and their decision prevails. This doesn’t mean Pell is innocent – just that on the evidence available, he should be given the benefit of the doubt. (This is common situation in cases of domestic abuse, adult sexual abuse and rape, where it’s one person’s word against another, and no witnesses).

Opinion on this matter has nothing to do with climate change, but with the revelations of decades of covered up child abuse in the Catholic Church. Australians are far more appalled by child abuse than climate change (I had no idea what Pell’s views were until I read this post).

See the ABC’s investigative report on child abuse in the Catholic Church in Australia, ‘Revelation’; It reports many more accusations against Pell, some of which are likely to go to court.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 6:35 am

This doesn’t mean Pell is innocent – just that on the evidence available, he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

And thus neither are you innocent, Tom, you idolatrous molestor! Nay, rather, it’s “just that on the evidence available,” you should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Well I don’t give you that benefit. Now prove you didn’t do it, or you did.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 9:56 am

Bullocks. The assumption of innocence means just that: You are innocent until proven guilty. Pell was not proven guilty, therefor he is innocent. This is the standard because it is often not possible to prove innocence. There is no difference between “not guilty” and “presumed innocent”. None. And trying to spin it as if there was, is just wrong.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 4:54 pm

Tom Foley, If you knew anything about Australia you would know not to rely on the ABC on this subject. It has lead the witch hunt against Pell. The so-called new allegations against him are old and were not proceeded with for lack of evidence. The ABC knew this ages ago but falsely and maliciously tried to fool viewers that there were some new offences. They brought forward the showing of the last evidence once the date of the High Court’s decision was known so they could air their filth first then removed the video on-line once the Court’s decision was known. The ABC is beyond redemption.

Tom Foley
Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 8:00 pm

Let’s wait and see until the redacted sections of the Royal Commission into institutional child abuse are made public. They were redacted because of the Pell’s court case, presumably (?) because it was considered they might influence the case.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  sycomputing
April 8, 2020 1:53 am

Paul Penrose said:
Bullocks. The assumption of innocence means just that: You are innocent until proven guilty. Pell was not proven guilty, therefor he is innocent. This is the standard because it is often not possible to prove innocence. There is no difference between “not guilty” and “presumed innocent”. None. And trying to spin it as if there was, is just wrong.”

Presumption of innocence is a legal concept.

If I steal something, and I know it did it, but the court doesn’t find me guilty, I still know that I’m guilty of stealing. I did the thing I was accused of.

Findings of guilt of innocence under the law are a different thing to actual literal guilt and innocence.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 8, 2020 8:32 am

Let’s wait and see . . .

But don’t you contradict yourself, Tom? It doesn’t seem like you’re waiting. Rather, it appears from your arguments you’ve already made an assumption of guilt.

Reply to  John McCabe
April 7, 2020 6:32 am

It also isn’t over for Cardinal Pell the victims have stated they will now start civil action where the only requirement is on the balance of probability. This is a situation very similar to OJ Simpson in US system.

Reply to  LdB
April 7, 2020 8:00 am

It also isn’t over for Cardinal Pell the victims have stated they will now start civil action where the only requirement is on the balance of probability.

Well thank you! It’s about time that dirty Cardinal got his due from those “victims” that didn’t have enough evidence to convict him in a court of law the first time!

I’m at a loss to understand what’s wrong with the High Court – why can’t they just leave evidence-free convictions alone?!?

Tim Neilson
Reply to  LdB
April 7, 2020 6:32 pm

True, the “victims” [ps why do you assume that there are “victims”?] will only need to prove their case on the balance of probabilities.
But civil cases generally don’t go before a jury. They’ll be tried by a judge.
After Chief of Police “Fatty” Ashton had advertised saying “we want to get Pell but we’ve got no complaints and no evidence – if you want to complain against Pell please come forward”, he presumably regarded the complaint that the High Court has just rejected as his best bet.
The High Court has just given Ferguson CJ and Maxwell CJA a resounding bottom spanking in respect of the complaint at issue in this case, admittedly on the criminal standard of proof, but if you read the judgement it’s pretty clear what they thought.
I’d think that the chances of even this complainant winning a civil case against Pell are small, and it’s unlikely that “Fatty” Ashton’s troupe of complainants contains anyone with better prospects.

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  LdB
April 8, 2020 11:49 am

Maybe I am naive, but couldn’t the reverse also happen in civil court – a suite for wrongful accusation, damage to reputation and damages from wrongful imprisonment.

Reply to  LdB
April 8, 2020 1:26 pm

Maybe I am naive . . .

You aren’t naive at all. In fact, it would appear your premise is going to be validated by the “victims” in this case.

A civil court in the US would take into account the results of a similar ruling from SCOTUS as has happened in Australia with the Pell case. That wouldn’t mean, however, that the US civil court is required to rule accordingly (think O.J. Simpson). But were I a judge in such a case I certainly would keep the SCOTUS ruling in mind.

Let’s hope the same happens with Pell.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Earthling2
April 7, 2020 9:50 pm

“But what if part of the accusation was actually because he was a climate skeptic and was falsely accused of pedophilia for being a climate sceptic?”

Classic strawman argument, unless you have some evidence to back it up.

Reply to  OldCynic
April 7, 2020 2:54 am

“… a message to the police and the public prosecutors…”
Interestingly, the DPP twice refused to prosecute the case, so Victorian police did it themselves.
Also interestingly, VicPol *advertised* for “victims” to come forward before they even had a case.
This case was never going to “stick” – only evidence against Pell was the testimony of the complainant, and there were several “witnesses of opportunity” that testified the defendant could not have physically been present where the offense took place, as they had seen him elsewhere at the same time.
It is amazing this even went trial in the first place, more amazing that he was convicted, and even more amazing the Victorian Supreme Court denied an appeal ( 2-1 ).

Reply to  Kneel
April 7, 2020 6:17 am

Many Catholics felt the same. The “practicalities” of the offence were so beyond credibility that the original verdict came as a surprise. Pell was correct in saying that any such offence would have been in practical terms a “physical impossibility”.

But I’m afraid ‘Vatican man speak with forked tongue’. Francis was quite happy to get shot of Pell — a) he is a conservative; b) he is a climate sceptic; c) he was in danger of opening another can of worms in the Vatican. Under this Pope any one of those is enough to blackball you!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Kneel
April 7, 2020 6:30 am

“so Victorian police did it themselves.
Also interestingly, VicPol *advertised* for “victims” to come forward before they even had a case.”

So what was the motivation for the police to go out of their way to get his man? I admit I am completely unfamiliar with this case.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 7, 2020 8:52 am

It could be to increase their percentage.

J Savage
Reply to  Kneel
April 7, 2020 6:36 am

As a lawyer, I absolutely despair – but am not surprised – at the depth of corruption in the system. At least the top court had the courage to correct it, this time. In Canada it is doubtful they would have done so.

J Savage
Reply to  J Savage
April 7, 2020 6:39 am

I should add that those who are expressing doubt at his innocence have clearly not examined the evidence and testimony. The man is innocent.

Peter K
Reply to  J Savage
April 7, 2020 10:33 pm

It does show how poor Pell’s defence team was right from the start.

Reply to  Kneel
April 7, 2020 6:36 pm

The Victorian Legal system is a disgrace
How do you convict anyone on the uncorroborated evidence of an accuser
If that was a precedent it would lead to massive miscarriage of justice
O dear it just did
This could be anyone
Just imagine if all the Pell haters were accused of a crime they didn’t commit
They would be screaming from the roof tops

Reply to  OldCynic
April 7, 2020 5:32 am

In addition, the term “exonerated” does not appear to be accurate.

More correctly the successful appeal rested on reasonable doubt. Whether the assaults occurred or not has not been proven.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  OldCynic
April 7, 2020 5:45 am

This will not be a message of any kind to the police and prosecutors. Not until there are adverse personal consequences for the perpetrators of this kind of injustice will any message be heard.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
April 7, 2020 7:46 am

Much in the same way that academics and government “experts” can be wrong and wrong over again with no real repercussions. That’s why we see “experts” shutting the entire world’s economy down for the “just in case” fallacy and when the cure does more harm than the disease they will say it’s because their slapdash reactions worked.

Shawn Marshall
Reply to  OldCynic
April 7, 2020 10:47 am

Cardinal Pell was set up by the Mafia in Victoria because he was rooting out corruption in the Vatican Bank. The police in Victoria advertised for complaints against Pell when there were none. The outrageous and impossible contention of the accuser was refuted by 20 people who said it was not possible. Charges should have never been brought – it was a malicious and malignant prosecution. That the Australian Supreme Court finally overruled this travesty 7-0 is little consolation for the rot and corruption in the Aussie press and legal system. The Vatican was probably complicit in the plot against Cardinal Pell since the silence of the Holy See Nothing has been deafening to those of us sitting in the pews. Now we now why they are called pews – cuz something stinks Bergie.

patrick healy
Reply to  OldCynic
April 7, 2020 12:31 pm

Utter tosh.
Cardinal Pell was persecuted by the Marxists for four main reasons.
He was a Catholic being vilified by the Victoria and Melbourne Masonic Lodges aka Police and Legal system
He was about to expose financial irregularities in Rome.
He gave an address to the Global Warming Forum in London in his role as a qualified scientist in opposition to the Global Warming Fraudsters.
He was being mentioned to succeed Pope Benedict prior to our present disastrous Marxist Pope Francis.

Is that enough?
Therefore Mr Watts has every right to highlight any and all of us who are global warming realists.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  OldCynic
April 7, 2020 1:05 pm

Pell was acquitted because the Hight Court found that the evidence presented suggesting lack of opportunity to carry out the matters he was accused of had not been given proper weight by the jury. That evidence was not about the particular day in question but went to Pell’s general practice after mass as I understand it.

Pointedly, no-one has come out to say the victim’s evidence was untruthful or unreliable and the victim was worked over initially by the public prosecutors to see if he would be up for what was coming in court. They found he was up for it. He was then cross examined by probably the best defence barrister in the country and came through with his credibility intact. But… there was just this other evidence…. Frankly I think the so called evidence of opportunity is just a legal red herring. Pell floated it when first questioned by police.

One might go about ones daily business in the usual way, day in, day out but on one day do something different. Could someone who was generally familiar with your habits really say, 20 or so years down the track from a specific event, that you could not have had time to or did not do some unusual act on one day? What utter crap. That is not reasonable doubt, that is just the fanciful and easily confected possibility of doubt. Moreover it is about the only bit of evidentiary furniture Pell would have had to pull down to frustrate the prosecution. For mine this decision ranks with that of Scott Dred vs Sanford in the US SC in 1857, i.e. a SFB one.

Pell is an arrogant pig in my opinion having watched him in the media for years now. This matter is not the only such public accusation against him regarding similar criminal behaviours against young, vulnerable boys. And then there his limp wristed oversight of or even participation in the cover ups of the activities of paedophile priests, particularly in the Ballarat diosese going back decades. i.e. shifting these scum sideways to other parishes rather then handing them over to the police.

Jumping to his defence apparently because he is a climate skeptic is hardly a demonstration of objective logic. There are somehere who need to take a good hard look at themselves in my opinion. Maybe there is a cadre of climate skeptics who as nutter like as climate alarmists.

I await replies with some curiosity.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
April 7, 2020 5:26 pm

Moving paedophile priests to other jurisdictions far away was common in all countries that have catholic churches. That is why the church itself is guilty. It was policy. Never trust an organization to police itself. Always to go the authorities and put it on the record as close to the time the crime occurs as you can.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  TRM
April 7, 2020 11:19 pm

I agree regarding the RC church policy and that they implemented same world wide. That said, they have separate entities in each country and in federations like Oz in different states which is how they protect their asset base from civil actions. People like Pell therefore are on the front line of frustrating, fobbing off and defending the church against any and all claims ( be that the parish the diocese or larger entity). SCrew him. I would give the SOB 10 years just for his acts in seeing that these cases, where the crimes were committed against children in the church’s care no less, are strangled in a legal sense.

I also am just dumbstruck that the issue of whether he is a climate skeptic or not is remotely relevent in some commenters minds. The events occurred before climate alarm skepticism was even a mainstream issue. There is of course the possibility that some climate skeptics are as nutzo as some climate alarmists just in bas relief so to speak. There are woke imbeciles out therre and right wing, racist, gun lurvin’, dribbledick loons too.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
April 8, 2020 9:26 am

“Pointedly, no-one has come out to say the victim’s evidence was untruthful or unreliable”

That’s because the accuser hides behind anonymity unlike Pell who has to face the glare of the public and media spotlight. It’s every citizen’s fundamental right to face their accuser in the same way and given the whole case rested on the pointed finger of one adult only then all their background and any problems and psychiatric counselling/coaching he’d had needed to be public too. What part of recall therapy and false memory don’t you get that can be an obvious explanation for this accuser believing in a complete falsehood?

Only came out of the woodwork having told not a soul about it for 20 years when Victoria Police advertised specifically for anyone with any complaints of abuse against Pell to come forward would you believe? How would you feel if that were you? If you really want to boil it down at it’s simplest it was 2 against one said it never happened so where is the State’s secret accuser coming from here? Are you a believer in democracy deciding or not on that score alone irrespective of the most unbelievable circumstances that a newly ordained Archbishop in his first Mass had just gone stark raving mad.

Peddos simply don’t do that but groom their victims behind closed doors quietly and with cunning which is why they get away with it for so long like the Risdales. Whatever you think of Pell his politics or religion nobody ever accused him of completely losing his marbles which is what you have to believe for a quick blow job in a hive of activity. You beauty here’s my chance. I know who’s lost their marbles alright and it wasn’t a fair proportion of the first jury one Appeal judge and 7 High Court judges.

Peter Kenny
Reply to  OldCynic
April 8, 2020 12:27 pm

I agree: I always believed in Cardinal Pell’s innocence, but the mild skepticism he expressed on climate change hysteria is completely irrelevant.

Bill Powers
Reply to  OldCynic
April 9, 2020 9:06 am

OldCyni, You need to tell that last bit to the Democratic Party in the States along with their publicity agent the NYTimes and the Propaganda Ministry ABNBCBS MS/CNN.

Judge Kavanaugh is appreciative of you support. Now if we could just get Nancy Pelosi, Adam Shiff(less) and the Democrats to go to work on that legislation to criminalize specious accusations [pardon me while I pick myself up from rolling on the floor laughing out loud].

charles nelson
April 6, 2020 10:25 pm

I am frankly amazed to see justice finally being done.
Pell was an absolute hate figure for the liberal media establishment and the
though the ‘case’ against him was not strong it was conducted against background
torrent of slander.
On another topic…I wonder how he got on with that investigation into the
Vatican’ s Financial situation?

April 6, 2020 10:27 pm

Inconsistent, but plausible.

April 6, 2020 10:49 pm
a happy little debunker
April 6, 2020 10:51 pm

“Australians normally have a lot of faith in their court system”

Not since a ‘dingo ate her baby’.
Fuelled by the media and framed by prosecutors (to exclude reasonable doubt) Lindy Chamberlain never had her case dismissed by her High Court appeal.

To this day many Australians still believe she did it

And on this day many, many Australian still believe that Pell did it.

Today – supposedly respected media commentators have declared that Pell has not been found innocent and that you can infer guilt regardless of reasonable doubt and irrespective of the related presumption of innocence.

Reply to  a happy little debunker
April 7, 2020 12:18 am

From what I gather, Pell was not proven to be guilty of the charges, nor was he proven to be innocent of the charges. The burden of proof, however, rests with the prosecution, so the conviction was overturned.

Reply to  Snape
April 7, 2020 12:34 am

Some of the commenters here seem to be confused by this, thinking, “the conviction was overturned – that proves he is an innocent man.”

That’s not how it works. He was not required to prove his innocence.

Reply to  Snape
April 7, 2020 3:09 am


If we hold to the presumption of innocence, then the overturning of this initial verdict does indeed mean that under the Law, Pell is innocent.

Note also that if the witnesses for the defence had been given equal consideration WRT their credibility, then Pell was indeed “proven” innocent. However the Court is required to presume innocence, so proof of innocence is not that the court addresses.

Reply to  Snape
April 7, 2020 5:58 am

That’s not how it works. He was not required to prove his innocence.

Neither are you required to prove your innocence. Thus if I understand your implication regarding Pell, let’s apply that same logic to you, in which case you too are a molester because you haven’t been required to prove otherwise.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 8:16 am

“Thus if I understand your implication regarding Pell….”

You clearly do not.

“in which case you too are a molester because you haven’t been required to prove otherwise.”

That’s backwards. I am to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Here is an analogy. If a man has been lost in the woods for just an hour, he is likely presumed to still be alive. This is true even though there is not yet proof.

If the man is later found, alive and well, you would no longer say he is “presumed” to be alive…….it is now a proven fact.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 8:32 am

That’s backwards. I am to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Well we’re agreed then. Pell is innocent.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 11:17 am

“Well we’re agreed then. Pell is innocent.”

Because this opinion is not based on proof, it is by definition a presumption.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 12:06 pm

. . . it is by definition a presumption.

And surely you’ll agree that since you just said you were also presumed innocent without proof, that therefore both you and Pell have the same ethical standing via presumption, i.e., innocence.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 1:20 pm

By law, both Pell and myself are innocent men, and should be treated as such.

That said, neither of us have been PROVEN to be innocent. This is why it is called a presumption of innocence.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 2:09 pm

By law, both Pell and myself are innocent men, and should be treated as such.

I see, so we ARE agreed after all. I thought I just said that a couple comments ago.

Reply to  sycomputing
April 7, 2020 7:03 pm

“I see, so we ARE agreed after all. I thought I just said that a couple comments ago.”

Yes, sorry about that.

Reply to  Snape
April 7, 2020 5:53 am

From what I gather, Pell was not proven to be guilty of the charges . . .

What do you suppose a successful conviction by the prosecution in a court of law means? That the individual was not guilty of the charges brought against him?

Lawrence Ayres
April 6, 2020 10:53 pm

Cardinal Pell was a fearsome Australian Rules Football player and more than 5 feet 9. He was the victim of the vicious left which included the Victorian Police and the “non-political” ABC plus the usual anti Catholic bunch who consider themselves the arbiter of all things progressive and therefore good. The eighth commandment says not to bear false witness yet that seems to be the key ingredient in this case apart from the left’s usual habit of ignoring the implausibility of some actions and a total disregard of exculpatory evidence. Ring any bells?

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Lawrence Ayres
April 8, 2020 8:30 pm

Sorry? What ‘false evidence’? The complainant has not had his credibility as a witness challenged at all, was cross examined in detail by Richter, one of the leading criminal defence counsels in the country, and not even impugned by Pell who says he bears him no ill will. All that has happened is that ‘friends of the church’ or actual church members have given evidence as to his general practice and whether he had time to actually carry out the alleged acts. The jury accepted the complainent’s evidence and passed on that of the defence witnesses. All 12 of them were there in the court, listening to the evidence under the tests of examination and cross examination. I’ll go with the jury thanks.

As it happens I actually know one member of the high court and can attest they have a mind like the proverbial ‘steel trap’ but can also attest that they are a lawyer’s lawyer with a background in criminal defence. I respect their call regarding the technical mechanics of the law as we all should but don’t insult me with this crap that George Pell must actually be innocent. Pell has just been able to maintain that as a legal presumption. How many mafiosi were able to do the same over the decades?

His role in the RC church cover ups in this country has been ongoing and utterly disgusting. He has no credibility in the minds of many, many Australians for that reason. His reputation outside the church is of arrogance, bullying and of assisting the coverups of the vile crimes of some of his colleagues.

And being a climate skeptic has sweet FA to do with any of the above. Gee, what a red herring. What a magicians distraction trick.

April 6, 2020 10:54 pm

Cardinal George Pell was widely hated by the Media and part of the public because he was a Catholic and part of the Catholic Church associated with child abuse. He was also hated because he believed that ‘Global Warming/Climate Change’ was specious nonsense. He was also hated by some because he was a Christian advocate. Cardinal George Pell was a victim of a resurgence of some very deep-seated anti-Irish anti-Catholic prejudice which was very common in Australia around the first part of the 2oth. Century. The verdict is a vindication of the High Court’s judicial process. The decision reminds the public that the credibility of accusations from a very long time ago must be carefully questioned. At Pell’s trial, the accusers were virtually free to make any sort of wild accusation and find themselves immediately believed by the Media and most of the public. It is to be hoped that Pell is now re-instated in the Vatican to continue his investigations of the Vatican’ s Financial situation.

April 6, 2020 11:10 pm

I would hate to think that I could be accused today and prosecuted of copping a feel with some 17 year old chick at a pub back in the ’70s.

Even worse – I would hate to think that I would forget copping a feel with some 17 year old chick at a pub back in the ’70s.

April 6, 2020 11:22 pm

Good man? I suppose history will be the judge of that. IMHO George Pell did a lot of damage to a lot of people by always putting his church before the people. But I never thought that he was guilty of the last crime he was accused of – and yes I did say so (quite often!) both before and after his conviction. So, IMHO, he is correctly acquitted now but that does not necessarily mean that he is a good man.

Kelvin Duncan
April 6, 2020 11:24 pm

There should now be an investigation as to how he was convicted in the first place in Victoria.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Kelvin Duncan
April 7, 2020 2:33 am

Should be. Won’t be.

Reply to  Kelvin Duncan
April 7, 2020 7:20 am

He was convicted by a jury based on a trial, what do you need investigated?

Police prepared a case, it was considered strong enough to go to trial and it got a guilty verdict. It was eventually overturned via the High Court. Everything worked exactly as it should.

Now if it had not gone been prosecuted then there really would have been a problem.

Reply to  LdB
April 7, 2020 11:58 am

Now if it had not gone been prosecuted then there really would have been a problem.

No doubt about that LdB, I mean, how would we have known that the evidence (and therefore, the criminal case) against Pell was bogus if it hadn’t been prosecuted in the first place!

I can’t think of anyone in this thread that’s more of a bloody fracking legal and moral genius than you!

Reply to  LdB
April 7, 2020 5:43 pm

Our public prosecutor would not touch it and the case was funded by the police. it took two juries , the first one being discharged without recording a verdict. Pell was the first churchman of any religion to take action against child abuse in Australia. He did so when he became Archbishop of Melbourne taking over from the incompetent Francis Carroll who refused to believe any of the allegations.

Reply to  Quilter52
April 8, 2020 1:47 am

“Pell was the first churchman of any religion to take action against child abuse in Australia.”

Quilter52, you won’t hear that repeated much in the media, if at all.

Reply to  LdB
April 9, 2020 7:02 am

Everything worked exactly as it should ? Not in Victoria unless one is resigned to corruption and tendentious abuse of process . George Pell was convicted by a second jury [ probably influenced unduly by malicious Victoria Police leaks, hostile ABC reporting and Milligan’s hatchet job book ] in a second trial after he was found not guilty in the first. There is some evidence the accuser may have been coached and possibly borrowed aspects of his evolving testimony from the Billy Doe case in Philadelphia ..Why did you omit those details LdB ?.. ” Police prepared a case” ? A case that used discredited trawling methods modeled on the old maxim of Stalins secret police boss Beria – ” Show me the man and I’ll find the crime ” If the Pell case was considered “strong enough to go to trial” why did the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions initially return a non committal verdict yet the Victoria Police proceeded on regardless ?..Now contrast that treatment of Pell with Labor leader Bill Shorten who was NOT prosecuted by the pro Labor Victoria Police after a woman accused him of rape ..A sole complainant in both cases ..Two different outcomes …Hows that again LdB ” Now if it had not ..been prosecuted then there really would have been a problem “? The implausibilities and inconsistencies in the case were such it should never have gone to court

April 6, 2020 11:24 pm

There is an epidemic in the UK and Australia: an epidemic of false allegations. The judicial system relies partly on the honesty of witnesses, partly on the integrity of the prosecutors, partly on the motives of legislators and partly on the rationality of the jurors. If any of these fails the system can give rise to isolated outbreaks of miscarriages of justice. If they all fail there can be be an epidemic. This arises from self-reinforcing, inter-related complex information feedback processes.

Witnesses can be compromised if they are rewarded by financial incentives or fall victim to irrationality such as false memory or dramatic personality disorders.

Prosecutors can be compromised if they are rewarded, financially or emotionally, with incentives for numbers of convictions achieved rather than the accuracy of those convictions.

Legislators can be compromised if they are rewarded by votes more than by the quality of the legislation that they pass or outcomes that they encourage or tolerate.

The rationality of jurors can be compromised if they are rewarded by feelings of approval from the rest of the community rather than by logical arguments about evidence and plausibility.

What is the role of the media in all this? Scandal and sex sells newspapers; dropped or quashed prosecutions rarely do unless they lead to reciprocal convictions for perjury by the false accusers. Currently we in the UK and Australia live in a climate of hysteria, in which we are all bombarded with a constant stream of alarming, or alarmingly-spun, news about historical sex abuse, apocalyptic weather incidents, or the latest epidemic.
It is a brave witness who retracts testimony before or during a trial, a brave prosecutor who declares a sexual misconduct case to be flawed, a brave politician to speak against ridiculously expensive legislation or executive action about “tackling” some perceived epidemic of child abuse or environmental crisis and a brave juror who dissents from the herd.

I remain optimistic that we can move to a more rational and less hysterical environment, but this is going to be a long process. In my opinion the starting point needs to be the schools and the encouragement of critical and skeptical thinking by children, rather than being encouraged to mindlessly participate in whatever particular crowd madness is current at the time.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  suffolkboy
April 7, 2020 10:06 am

Your comment was a refreshing breath of fresh air to this reader. Thank you for your clear thinking and candor.

April 6, 2020 11:24 pm

If you read the details of the prosecutions case there are holes everywhere. Not the least being that the other alleged victim and witness said nothing happened, and it only went to court because he died. Legally I don’t know how the fact that a witness dies changes what he said after he dies.

Reply to  Thingadonta
April 7, 2020 3:59 am

It makes what he said much less useful in a court of law, or even prevent it being used at all, because he can’t be cross-examined on it. [I think]

Joel O'Bryan
April 6, 2020 11:33 pm

One side weaponizing the state’s criminal justice system against political opponents is as old as Greece and Roman Empire. Probably as old as civilization and tribal justice systems.

It was no doubt the reason the Jews of Moses’ time codified Commandment #9 at least 3,000 year ago: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

April 6, 2020 11:39 pm

Just to clarify “liberal”. A Liberal voter in Australia is Center-right to Right-Conservative and mostly form the Federal Government. “Liberal” in USA is likely more to be Left of Centre to Socialist – Communist. Those in the media who have persecuted Pell are mainly from the Left and, almost to a man/woman, been lead by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (a supposedly independent but wholly funded federal government left-leaning institution). Most Liberals in Oz would like the ABC to be de-funded and made to earn their keep, and their persecution of Pell hopefully will expedite that process.

Reply to  Stanley
April 7, 2020 4:00 am

“..been lead by the Australian …” should be “led” – “lead” is only pronounced ‘led’ when it refers to the metal.

April 6, 2020 11:45 pm

The main difference between our socialists and the Nazi socialists, is that our socialists hate Christians. That’s why they hate the Nazis and call everyone they don’t like a Nazi, they called Ronnie a Nazi for Christ’s sake, it takes a special kind of weirdo to hate Reagan in this bitter and twisted way…and yet support the Chinese, the Chinese also hate the Christians and so have a lot in common with our vile sociopathic swill.
Chloroquine is looking good guys, fingers crossed…now if the bloody bureaucrats will please just get out of the way, we’ve seen what you’ve got and it leaves much to be desired. Can you believe no country except maybe Russia had a plan should there be a pandemic???

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Bill
April 7, 2020 1:49 am

Clearly South Korea and Taiwan were prepared.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
April 7, 2020 7:05 am

The U.S. was not prepared, but we are getting prepared very quickly. We’re almost there, where we have enough infrastructure and supplies to handle the problem.

The U.S. and the world will be more than prepared for the next pandemic. The lessons we learn, and the technologies we develop, in controlling this pandemic, will apply to future pandemics.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bill
April 7, 2020 6:58 am

“Chloroquine is looking good guys,”

It will look even better if it can be shown to prevent people from getting the Wuhan virus in the first place. There is some indication that it does prevent people from getting the virus.

Currently, there is a big effort going on to get data on all the lupus patients and other patients who regularly use this drug to see if those who are getting it have been infected with the Wuhan virus.

If the drug could serve as a preventative, then the world can go back to work as soon as the supply catches up with the demand.

One of the most experienced doctors in the U.S. with using chloroquinel to treat lupus (about 40 years of practice) says he is shocked at all the stories about the dangers of chloroquine which he says are completely off base. He says in his 40 years of treating patients with the drug, he has never had to admit a patient to the hospital for side effects. He says they don’t even do electro-cardiagrams on patients because it was unnecessary, and the only problem that cropped up occasionally was problems with the eyes in some patients who had taken the drug continually for over 10 years, and the eye problems would resolve themselves in most cases. He says using chloroquine is completely safe in his experience, and he includes the antibiotic that is currently being used along with chloroquine as also being safe.

There are several clinical trials going on right now to try to establish whether chloroquine can prevent one from being infected by the Wuhan virus. We ought to know something pretty soon.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 1:51 am

I don’t think that the antibiotics are really needed, but hey, who cares in this case. I can’t believe how even today, antibiotics are prescribed to children for having the flu. I do not accept by default the principle of prophylaxis

April 7, 2020 12:20 am

And when all is said and done …. the mud still sticks!! What a shame.

Richard Sherratt
April 7, 2020 12:28 am

I used to live in Victoria and I was not surprised that he was convicted and that the Victorian Appeal Court rejected his appeal. There was a massive press campaign to get him convicted of something. I think that the police wanted to get him because Pell founded the anti child-abuse task force and showed them up to be quite ineffective. It’s my opinion that socialist Labor governments over many years have stacked the court with judges selected more for their political views than their understanding of the law. “Never mind about the facts. It’s about the vibe.”

Richard Sherratt
April 7, 2020 12:55 am

It was an interesting case to follow. Many accusations of assaulting children. I remember one where it was shown that he was somewhere else and couldn’t have done it. The response from the accuser being “Yeah. Yeah. He might have been in Rome, but he still did it.” A lot of compensation money was being offered.
I’m not a Roman Catholic. If anything, I’m an inactive Church of England type person. There are a lot of things about the Catholic Church that I feel uncomfortable about. But I detest miscarriages of justice, particularly where the perpetrators know that they are persecuting an innocent person to advance their careers, advance their political view, or for some other vile reason. That’s what socialists do.

April 7, 2020 1:08 am

Well now that the learned High Court Judges have given their detailed reasons and ruling we can comprehend George Pell’s reaction at the time the accusation was first put to him-

No typical paedophilic grooming on the quiet behind closed doors and yet Pell is accused of taking total leave of his senses with some opportunistic sexual gratification where anyone of dozens could walk in at any moment. That by a lone accuser who suddenly comes forth on decades old recall/revelation who can’t be identified publicly nor his background and circumstances cross examined. Yet the only other purported witness to back the accuser when asked by his own mother if it happened denied it when as a drug addict he had every financial incentive not to given the Catholic Church’s reparations that were flowing at the time.

Welcome to Victoristan and their political police, prosecutors and kangaroo courts where you’re guilty until proven innocent by the State’s secret accuser. Thankfully we have a High Court to adjudicate on the absolute disgrace that was once named after Queen Victoria and not Charles I during his reign although the latter would be more fitting today. Charliestan.

Andrew Lale
April 7, 2020 1:14 am

Stupid people very often detect the possibility of gaining victimhood status and money from accusations of sexual abuse, and almost no possibility of the accusations being refuted by evidence. Hence, there are large numbers of accusations of sexual abuse. The Woke sect which now dominates most of our institutions recognise that these false accusations are a wonderful short-cut to getting rid of the last vestiges of opposition to their rule, and use them all the time. That is the real backdrop to this story.

April 7, 2020 1:15 am

As one that has spent a lifetime dealing directly with law and justice and a non Catholic, the whole media hysteria that was whipped up was deeply disturbing, all manner of anecdotal incidents were dredged up from the past, the majority easily put aside as wrongly attributed, some outright false and as a tall poppy in an imperfect Church that avoided controversy and outright allegations and movement of pedophile clerics to other areas while concealing the dark truth by plastering over the issue with secret payments and non disclosure clauses. Pell was the first to recognise the inevitable and put in place procedures to stop the internal protection of the church above the agony of the victims. But as the tall poppy, he became the target to be cut down hung and flayed for the sins of his beloved church. I have seem hysteria like this, but never believed it could be used as such a weapon and in such a way. It was get Pell, cut him down and sections of the media worked the hysteria and the various inquiries found that the “Church” had known and protected those priests above their victims and anger and hysteria meant that a stream of “victims” and “witnesses” came forward many with imperfect or sadly invented and embellished memories that were easily found to be incorrect when investigated and corroboration sought. When all the “evidence” is examined as it should be in such cases I was surprised that he wasn’t acquitted except the relentless media and the hysterical support groups around the victims I think worked against Pell, he had to “prove his innocence” and perhaps made an error in not entering the witness box to deny under cross examination the allegations levelled against him. I felt the hysteria was too much for the Jury, but then the first Court of Appeal was a two to one judgment with the most experienced judge dissenting. The baying media mob was happy with that, at least he was jailed and the juries verdict held up which was unusual to those with knowledge of legal proofs and procedures in such cases. I along with others took the time to re-examine the evidence, the timings, the proofs and the level of proof that I would expect to be applied, I had no doubt that Justice to that point had not been done, that mob rule had prevailed and protections in the law put aside and that was not justice. I must admit with the antics of the ABC and the media reports that were clearly made to try and replicate the hysteria pressure the High Court unanimously decided that the conviction was unsafe and should be put aside, something that should have been done by the first appeal judges. Restores my faith in the Australian Justice System. If that man could be convicted on that evidence – then any other ordinary man woman or child could be subject to a misdirected media controlled Justice system. Emotion and tall poppy syndrome for once missed their target, it wont stop of course as we have seen with mob mentality.

April 7, 2020 1:18 am

Andrew Bolt did not lose faith & he’s also right about Greta Thunberg.

April 7, 2020 1:34 am

Let’s not forget the excellent work of Robert Richter QC (Queen’s Counsel).
Richter resigned from Pell’s case after becoming upset at Pell’s conviction.
He’s usually a man of steel (he continued to advise defense to the best of my knowledge).
Richter represented our business in the 80s.
We won thanks to his skill exposing police/politically motivated Labor (left) inspired witch-hunt.
It was a slam-dunk dismissal.

April 7, 2020 2:16 am

If a woman makes a rape accusation, and it goes to court, she is likely to have a miserable time and the chance of justice is small. Activists say that is why many rape cases go unreported. In order to fix the problem, there is the “I believe her” movement. In their eyes, the mere accusation should be sufficient proof. Irish example

In Pell’s case, the high court did not find the accusers to be unbelievable, it just said the events couldn’t have happened.

The unchallenged evidence of the opportunity witnesses was inconsistent with the complainant’s account, and described: (i) the applicant’s practice of greeting congregants on or near the Cathedral steps after Sunday solemn Mass; (ii) the established and historical Catholic church practice that required that the applicant, as an archbishop, always be accompanied when robed in the Cathedral; and (iii) the continuous traffic in and out of the priests’ sacristy for ten to 15 minutes after the conclusion of the procession that ended Sunday solemn Mass.

The Court held that, on the assumption that the jury had assessed the complainant’s evidence as thoroughly credible and reliable, the evidence of the opportunity witnesses nonetheless required the jury, acting rationally, to have entertained a reasonable doubt as to the applicant’s guilt in relation to the offences involved in both alleged incidents. link

The events could not have happened. It’s a travesty that Pell was convicted in the first place.

Rich Davis
April 7, 2020 2:47 am

I recall that I spoke up in defense of both Pruitt and Pell and got pushback from some who are very silent today. Probably they are just formulating their mea culpas.

Congratulations to the cardinal and to Oz, maybe there’s still hope for you.

April 7, 2020 3:25 am

George was persocuted mostly because of his campaign against homosexuals in the priesthood and rejection of homosexuals activists who insisted on being given communion.

April 7, 2020 3:35 am

I see nothing in the accusations about being a climate change sceptic. The court case brought nothing about climate change to the jury.

So why does the headline start with this “Climate Sceptic”. What possible relevance to this story is this term?

Reply to  ghalfrunt
April 7, 2020 5:25 am

What possible relevance to this story is this term?

Thank you!

The owner/moderators of this website should NEVER in the personality profile of an individual who is the subject of an article here offer anything except that which ghalfrunt approves as relevant!

I just don’t understand why people refuse to submit, do you?

Rich Davis
Reply to  ghalfrunt
April 7, 2020 11:38 am

Oh gee half runt

It would be obvious to any fair observer that Cdl Pell was on the “wrong” side of every issue you and your ilk hold dear. He is a Catholic. Bad enough, but he is a traditional conservative Catholic *gasp*! He believes stuff like there’s only two genders and active homosexuals can’t receive communion. Hate crimes!! He’s not a friend of the green socialist pope. And he doesn’t believe in the State religion of Climate Change (heresy!)

Malicious false accusations had to be drummed up because his actual crimes won’t be actual crimes under the law until your Revolution is completed. And if you had an ounce of honesty, you’d admit it.

Carol Gebert
April 7, 2020 3:39 am

In the USA, a man like this would never be exonerated. The Australian high court evaluated the weight of evidence. The USA courts do no such thing. They just check that the judge did nothing wrong. If not, the conviction stands, regardless of overwhelming evidence of innocence.

Reply to  Carol Gebert
April 7, 2020 4:16 am

In the US this man would likely have never been brought to trial. We have educated individuals who avoid doing moronic things like painting a horse with stripes then killing it because horses don’t have stripes.

We’re not as zealous as the Japanese system where the guilty verdict is assured by collusion of a corrupt court system at the time of arrest, but there you have it.

The US requires PHYSICAL EVIDENCE and not just the boredom and bigotry of a jury in order to result in a conviction for felonies.

Reply to  Carol Gebert
April 7, 2020 6:14 am

The Australian high court evaluated the weight of evidence. The USA courts do no such thing. They just check that the judge did nothing wrong.

In the SCOTUS case referenced below, what did the judge do wrong?

Janice Moore
Reply to  Carol Gebert
April 7, 2020 5:34 pm

Dear Ms. Gebert,

Please cite the Federal Rule(s) of Criminal Procedure and also some interpreting case law which support your amazing assertion about appellate review in the United States of America.

Using my little “smart phone,” I have been unable to find an advance sheet or an unpublished (officially) decision or a session law or, well, anything about this enormous departure from well-established appellate review of a jury verdict.

Thank you for your help.


April 7, 2020 3:48 am

Pell had other controversial thoughts which you did not headline – why not???
Pell on immigrants
“while Australia has the right to regulate the number of refugees it accepts, as a rich and prosperous country, it can “afford to be generous” and must treat humanely those refugees who reach Australia”

Pell on Muslims
“Pell has written of a need to “deepen friendship and understanding” with Muslims in the post–September 11 environment”

Pell on homosexuality
“while he recognised that homosexuality existed, such activity was nevertheless wrong and “for the good of society it should not be encouraged.”

Reply to  ghalfrunt
April 7, 2020 4:43 am

In Australia, we do treat those refugees who come in LEGALLY very generously.

There are a lot of Muslims in Australia, I have many friends who are Muslims.
Its the radical totalitarian fundementalists that are the problem, just like climate alarmists.

His comments on homosexuality, are also sensible comments.

Noting controversial in any of them, why mention them.?

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  fred250
April 7, 2020 6:45 am

Your and Cardinal Pell’s comments with regard to homosexuality are bigoted nonsense.

John Dilks
Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
April 7, 2020 10:26 am

Andrew Wilkins,
That is your opinion, not a statement of fact. Your opinion adds nothing to this conversation. Also, name calling is a lame tactic.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  John Dilks
April 9, 2020 5:01 am

Whether you like it or not, homophobia is bigotry, akin to racism.
As rational sceptics, we should not be hitching our wagon to someone who holds such an irrational dislike of homosexuals.

John Endicott
Reply to  ghalfrunt
April 7, 2020 4:57 am

A Catholic Cardinal holding to the Catholic churches teachings on a subject being controversial? Bwahahahahahaha. What would have been controversial would be if he *didn’t* hold to the churches teachings.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
April 7, 2020 6:30 am

On our side of the fence you can like someone and support them . . .

Yep. Key distinction: “our side of the fence”

Michael in Dublin
April 7, 2020 3:53 am

This sorry episode illustrates a serious unresolved issue: being able to level accusations against people long after something was supposed to have happened when it is difficult to prove guilt and even more difficult for the innocent to escape unscathed. This gives enormous power to whoever brings false accusations and to the media. Three millennia ago a wise man observed: A good name is more desirable than great riches. The law should not allow false public accusations that destroy people. We need real justice. If a false accuser were to be punished – the way he hopes the accused will – there will be far fewer accusers and less media speculation. If we believe in a final judgement should we not expect ultimate justice?

A non Catholic and boarder at a Roman Catholic school long ago.

Geoff Sherrington
April 7, 2020 4:21 am

Australians can act in strange ways. I am one and I do. Therefore, I rather like this e3ssay from the Journal “Quadrant” just published. A read of the article by Christopher Akehurst will give you a good look inside more contemporary Australian bastardry, the left way. Geoff S

April 7, 2020 4:27 am

You flap like a flag in the wind dont you! Just because there is now ‘reasonable doubt’ (based apparently on his (in)ability to get his tackle out after mass, because of the amount of robe he wears, and anyway, rape is defined as any sexual act, fondling for example, doesnt have to be penetrative) the Church has been a refuge for gays and paedos for centuries.

Two people have come forward, that I know of, and accused him of raping them when they were in his choir. I would be very wary of calling him innocent.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Matt_S
April 7, 2020 6:52 am

“the Church has been a refuge for gays and paedos for centuries”
Linking homosexuality to paedophilia is disgusting and holy unwarranted.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
April 9, 2020 5:02 am

Mis-spelling it as “holy” is quite amusing in this case.

Reply to  Matt_S
April 7, 2020 7:13 am

He still yet may be charged for those 2 cases and the existing complaint is very likely going to go to civil proceedings. So it is far from over for the Cardinal.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Matt_S
April 7, 2020 10:22 am

How very fascist of you. In free countries he is assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

High Treason
April 7, 2020 5:06 am

As an Australian, I followed the George Pell case. He was railroaded. Just the timeline of when the claimed assault could have happened was blatantly suspect. There just was no opportunity for the assault to occur.
The jury simply did not give the benefit of beyond reasonable doubt because the media and the system had deemed him guilty and he had to prove himself innocent.

Magna Carta is the very foundation stone of our society. George Pell was denied this very basic right of being innocent until proven guilty. If you think about it, it is difficult to prove innocence if you have been assumed to be guilty merely by accusation. Bit like AGW where humans have been deemed guilty but not even allowed to defend themselves because we have been assumed to be guilty. Even harder to refute claims that have no basis whatsoever when the science is bogus science (or bogus evidence that has been assumed to be true.)

George Pell , to his great credit is a rational climate skeptic. I read an article from him years ago. I was very impressed that such a man of the cloth, cloistered as they are, could give such a worldly argument. He was absolutely on the money when he exposed the climate religion. In reality, the climate religion is paganism. All religious leaders should have that hard look in the mirror. Who controls the universe and in particular, the climate/ temperature on planet earth? Is it the spiritual entity (I am agnostic ) they represent, or is it man via the 3% of CO2 increase that can be attributed to human activity? This is a question that must be asked of religious leaders that plug the cAGW / “climate change” line. Perhaps put them on the spot- who has the Hand on the thermostat. God or Man? If it is man, they are guilty of heresy and they have no right to be representing God.

On another note, George Pell was investigating some of the dodgy aspects of Vatican finance. Could it be the mafia elements that have infiltrated the Vatican that railroaded George Pell ?
I do note that the acid-tongued leftist media are still claiming and insinuating he is guilty, in spite of the unanimous High Court decision. Just heard on the radio that former PM Julia Gillard( There will be no carbon tax under a Government I lead) insinuating George Pell was guilty . This is blatant slander. Realistically, he should be suing these propagandists. If the boot were on the other foot, the noise from the left would be deafening.

There are some level-headed religious groups that are well aware of the climate religion. In particular, Reverend Fred Nile (who I know well) is a very level-headed skeptic.

Mad Mac
April 7, 2020 6:29 am

This reminds me of a case in Manhattan Beach years ago. A couple ran a day care center. Accusations of child abuse arose and the were prosecuted and persecuted by the court and the press. Turns out the children were “coached” in their answers by not so well meaning psychologists. Things were overturned but not before lives were ruined.

Andrew Wilkins
April 7, 2020 7:03 am

Cardinal Pell maybe innocent of those charges, but that doesn’t make him any less of a nasty little homophobe. With regards to homosexuality, here are two quotes made by Pell:
“Homosexual activity is a much greater health hazard than smoking”
““Homosexuality—we’re aware that it does exist. We believe such activity is wrong and we believe for the good of society it should not be encouraged”

I would have no time for such a bigot.

Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
April 7, 2020 12:46 pm

So what. They are his opinions and he is entitled to them as you are to yours. Your opinions are an anathema to me so that makes you a nasty bigot too. Something you accuse Cardinal Pell of.

April 7, 2020 7:07 am

Let me say in defense of the accuser that anyone is capable of what’s known as False Memory Syndrome and they’re utterly convinced they’re telling the truth. That makes them extremely convincing particularly when the falsehood is so horrific the listener cannot begin to fathom how anybody could possibly concoct such a falsehood, with such devastating consequences for the accused, unless clear malice was involved. That’s the point with FMS that there is no malice involved but for whatever reason they’ve come to firmly believe in something that isn’t true.

How can that be you may well ask? Well it first reared its head with a shameful period of quack therapy whereby largely women in stressful situations or life crises faced suggestive therapy that their problems were all related to repressed memory and abuse as a child and in that situation the power of suggestion was lethal. Accusations of child sexual abuse were visited on many unsuspecting fathers and just like the Pell case with the rise of the women’s movement and shelters from abusive relationships they were all to be believed. That was until one particular innocent father stood up to the falsehood to discover many like him and their daughters had all been through what can only be described as quack therapy and the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was born- along with research into the phenomenon.

You can immediately see the political problem with that and how it can divide along lines like climate change has and the political maelstrom Pell found himself in. How do we choose between true child sexual abuse and the quackery of repressed memory and how real id false memory dredged up like that? You’d need the wisdom of your maker but I do know a woman retractor that for 14 years held to the belief that her father had abused her as an infant after such repressed memory therapy. Tertiary educated and with a failing marriage to a husband who was developing paranoid tendencies she fled to a women’s shelter with 2 young boys. It was there and subsequent with repressed memory therapy she came to believe in a total fantasy she would retract in writing to her extended family some 14 years later.

I recall hearing just such a woman come forth with the selection of a US Supreme Court Judge and make an accusation and I’m hearing it now with Joe Biden too so I will maintain healthy skepticism with a Metoo movement that wants every accuser to be taken at their word because I know differently. That’s the disgrace of the witch hunt against George Pell that the adult accuser could hide behind State anonymity and his background and any therapy he had dissected and questioned as it should be just like the accused was sliced and diced publicly.

I don’t want to see paedophiles go free but I don’t want innocent men having to prove their innocence against very convincing accusers in secret without knowing where they’re coming from and when and how did they come to believe in their story. Thankfully the 7 Justices of the High Court recognised the uncorroborated (the other boy actually denied it to his mother) plus fanciful nay impossible circumstances of the events all with no background questioning of the accuser allowed was a travesty of justice. Any of us innocent of such a finger being pointed would respond initially exactly as Pell did when first confronted by it-
He wasn’t lying George he just believed in a complete falsehood and I reckon I know how he came by it.

Gerald Machnee
April 7, 2020 8:59 am

Some wonder why climate was mentioned with respect to Pell.
Well when you read what the fear mongers are suggesting, that is how a trial of a climate skeptic would proceed – little evidence but many false charges.
So skeptics should be ready. Check how many have suggested jailing skeptics.

April 7, 2020 9:10 am

Many have suffered abuse for not agreeing with climate change by loss of grant, position and reputation. And other causes and agendas.

The evidence was not there to convict yet it seems he was convicted from the street always a good place for a lynching.

Jamie Moodie in comments put it very well: There is no greater ill than to deliberately do damage to another human who has done nothing to or against you.

April 7, 2020 10:33 am

The left wing Australians are particularly nasty and have converted that beautiful country to a nanny Police state I hope they get over it left that country years ago for BEAUTIFUL South America. lol

April 7, 2020 10:35 am

The left wing Australians are particularly nasty espeially going after this person and have converted that beautiful country to a nanny Police state I hope they get over it left that country years ago for BEAUTIFUL South America. lol BTW SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA is one the most vociferous anti AGW stations in the world so there not that bad cheers!

Climate Heretic
April 7, 2020 10:42 am

George Pell on Joannenova’s site.

Miranda Devine, Conservative Australian columnist, said:

“His false conviction raises urgent questions about the jury system, for so long the bedrock of our criminal justice. But that system was perverted by politicians pursuing ideological outcomes, who created legislation in Victoria that altered the balance of justice, so that defendants in sex trials now have to prove their innocence, turning the onus of proof on its head.”

That I never new,. Hence further evidence of totalitarian, government being pushed on us”.

Climate Heretic

Reply to  Climate Heretic
April 8, 2020 4:40 am

“His false conviction raises urgent questions about the jury system, for so long the bedrock of our criminal justice.”

I wouldn’t condemn the jury system outright in this case thinking back on it. As I pointed out those who are troubled can be the victims of quack recall therapy and coaching about repressed memory. For some time the good society has been paranoid about paedophilia so that’s certainly impacted the thinking of the shrink industrial complex. No longer were you locked in the broom cupboard but you must have been fiddled with as a child if you’ve got psych problems and there’s no doubt all pervasive leftist ideology seeks answers in their dichotomous victim/oppressor view of the world. Having problems? You poor thing you must be a victim so let’s see if we can ferret out the oppressor for you here. (you can see hockey sticks and culprits in tree rings if you look hard enough too)

So as I explained and have experienced a case of False Memory Syndrome the believer in a complete fantasy can sound very convincing and there’s nothing like the Big Lie to be believed. Yet the first jury listening to both sides couldn’t decide until a second one was led by the Judge around the impossibility of Pell being where the accuser said it happened and there was a guilty verdict. Pell’s senior Counsel Richter even admitted he stuffed up and ultimately the jury believed in the sincerity of the unquestioned and untouchable accuser given the political climate at the time and a redacted Royal Commission report into the Church dealings so as not to impact the jury unfairly. Yeah sure thing.

So off to the Supreme Court for an appeal and it goes 2 to 1 against Pell and the 2 rely on how convincing the accuser is and that’s that. Only when 7 of the top Jurists in the land look over it all do they unanimously determine the second jury erred and so did 2 Supreme Court judges at the very centre of the political storm and for those of you who don’t know Victoria makes California look like a bunch of conservatives.

All in all 1 undecided jury and one guilty with a Vic Judge leading proceedings and then 2 against 1 with appeal in Vic but they’re overruled by 7 High Court judges away from the political maelstrom looking over it all. I wouldn’t dismiss the jury system lightly yet as a lot can depend on the presiding judge steering proceedings but consider yourselves suitably admonished those who got it wrong and why you did. The first jury is excused naturally.

April 7, 2020 1:31 pm

really? you are touting a pedophile as a champion of climate denial?

wow. I’m speechless.

Reply to  chris
April 7, 2020 3:30 pm

chris, you win the liberal bingo.

Reply to  chris
April 7, 2020 5:40 pm

Which pedophile was that ?
Prepared to name him or her ?

Reply to  chris
April 8, 2020 7:35 am

Here let me help you get your speech back with some sentencing facts once the second jury had found Pell guilty-,-as-issued-by-peter-kidd/10897650

Now note what the Judge has to say about the defendant and secret accuser-

“Victim Impact Statement of J
In relation to the victim J, these crimes have had a significant and long-lasting impact on J’s emotional wellbeing, which has, in turn, affected many aspects of his life.
J has experienced a range of negative emotions which he has struggled to deal with for many years since this offending occurred. Sometimes those feelings have been overwhelming.
In particular, the offending has had a significant impact on J’s relationships. He has found it difficult because of issues of trust and anxiety.
I take into account the profound impact that your offending has had on J’s life.”

So he’s had problems most of his life and what sort psychiatric help and counselling has he had over 20 odd years while he never told a soul about what he and his mate were terrified about frightened and crying to be let go in the sacristy that for once wasn’t a hive of activity? You can read all about that from the judge but his mate R who when his mother first heard about it all and asked him to corroborate the story told her it never happened. Why would he lie to his own mother about that when backing his mate J could have seen him rolling in heroin money via the Catholic Church? Doesn’t make sense except we know J had lots of psychological problems he was only too happy to let the judge know about.

As for R’s dad and mum too even though their son denied it ever happened they don’t want to believe R because not believing him gives them something to hang onto as a reason for him hitting the heroin and overdosing. That’s because we know for many parents facing such tragedy with their offspring they’ll inevitably ask themselves where did we go wrong when there isn’t any rhyme or reason to it. Still even the judge goes there after dismissing R’s father’s impact with his comment-

“Absence of Victim Impact Statement of R
I do not have the benefit of a Victim Impact Statement from R, who is deceased.
However, on the basis of J’s account at trial, I am able to say that your offending must have had an immediate and significant impact on R.
The defence submit that I should not speculate as to the long-lasting impact upon R. Whilst it is not possible for me to quantify the harm caused, or articulate precisely how it impacted upon R in the long run, I have no doubt that it did in some way.
I am mindful of the authorities which recognise that sexual activity with children is presumed to cause long-term and serious harm, both physical and psychological to the child.”

Well obviously R was lying to his own mother and we’re not to believe R or Pell who we know from the Judge-

“First, there is no medical or psychological evidence before me of any kind, which supports any inference that your mental functioning was impaired or diminished in any way at the time of either episode. I note your counsel did not seek to engage the principles of mental impairment under the case of Verdins.
Second, there is no evidence before me from any witness at the trial that you were other than a fully functioning, competent, lucid and intelligent man, during the relevant period of time.
To the contrary, there is evidence that on the day of the first episode, you had successfully delivered Sunday Solemn Mass, as Archbishop, this being a public role requiring discipline and focus.
Third, in relation to the first episode, you offended over a period of minutes, where there was ample opportunity for you to both reflect, and to stop.”

Yes folks Pell has just been made Archbishop with all his marbles and wits about him and contrary to Portelli, et al describing the impossibility of him whizzing off from the meet and greet out on the steps he has whizzed off to the hive of activity at the sacristy and you beauty here’s my chance to get my dick sucked for a minute or two and nobody will be any the wiser. 7 High Court jurists listening to it all weren’t so easily convinced by the mob baying for blood.

Colin MacDonald
April 7, 2020 1:34 pm

The Guardian gave more coverage to Pell than it did to the Rotherham scandal where 1400 girls fell prey to Islamic child “grooming” gangs. While Pell was charged with assaulting two boys. And the Guardian is based in London, which is hardly adjacent to Australia whearas Rotherham is 3 hours away by train. Of course the Graun is shot through with bloviating crap about AGW or as they insist on calling it “global heating”. Not kidding, it’s in the paper’s style manual along with “climate crisis”.
Anyway, it’s instructive of the bias in the leftist media and shows how you can’t trust them to report the straight dope.

Reply to  Colin MacDonald
April 7, 2020 2:43 pm

Global heating?
Why not “central heating”?

Colin MacDonald
Reply to  niceguy
April 8, 2020 1:15 am

Central heating is very bad as it usually is a potent source of greenhouse gases, unless it’s powered by a rooftop solar array (Al Gore) , the plebs must make do with animal dung fires in their woad huts.

Robert B
April 7, 2020 2:59 pm

The Conversation (ironically named because it is just brow beating and propaganda) wrote the leftwing line that he got off on a mere technicality.
“The High Court found the interests of the administration of justice required their involvement. This does not itself indicate any view about Pell’s guilt.”
They wrote
“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 ‘technicality’ is that witnesses testifying how improbable it was were ignored. Still, the leftwing media play along with the lie.

April 7, 2020 5:35 pm

While I don’t like Bishop Pell ..similar to his near namesake Dr Fell..

I don’t like thee, Dr Fell
The reason why I cannot tell
But I don’t like thee, Dr Fell

…the guilty verdict was not a verdict against Pell himself but against the Catholic Church’s handling of child abuse cases. Any objective review of the evidence agains Pell must have concluded that the case was unsound.
The jury system should be supported but it can get things wrong particularly in periods of “heightened awareness”[aka lynch mob mentality].

Now wait for the ABC and fellow travellers to dredge up whatever they can from Pell’s past to try and implicate him in additional child abuse cases.

Chris Hoff
April 7, 2020 8:39 pm

I saw a statistic that there were something like 600 Catholic Priests accused of abusing children in a single year in the U.S. In the same year something like 20,000 public school teachers, overwhelmingly women, were accused of the same crime.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Chris Hoff
April 8, 2020 1:52 am

“Chris Hoff April 7, 2020 at 8:39 pm”

There is a similar statistic that shows men commit abuse of children where women dwarf those figures. Who’s right?

Chris Hoff
Reply to  Patrick MJD
April 8, 2020 9:30 am

Yes, there’s a whole trend of unattached female teachers pushing mid thirties getting impregnated by adolescent boys. Sometimes the boys parents even facilitate the abuse, people think he got lucky. Then the boy gets hit with 18 years court ordered child support, either he pays his rapist or goes to jail as a dead beat dad for it.

Chris Hoff
Reply to  Patrick MJD
April 8, 2020 8:10 pm

According to one study, when asking boys if they have been sexually assaulted by adult women, only one quarter of them will answer yes in proportion to a group of girls the same sample size. However, if you then go on to ask the boys if a woman has touched specific parts of their bodies in a sexual manner consistent with sexual assault/molestation, four times as many will say yes. The problem, is that we live in a society that has conditioned males that they are the predators and women the victims. The reality is that women abuse underage boys at the exact same rate that men abuse underage girls.

Philip Schaeffer
April 8, 2020 1:59 am

Eric Worrall said:

“I’m now sorry for doubting the innocence of a good man who was wrongly convicted.”

A good man?

Pell said that if someone confessed to him that they committed child sexual abuse, that he wouldn’t tell the police.

“If that is done outside the confessional (it can be reported to the police) … (But) the Seal of Confession is inviolable.”


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