Saturday, 3 June 2017

CARDINAL PELL ABUSE INVESTIGATION

Image result for cardinal pell
CATHOLIC CHURCH THIRD IN COMMAND - GEORGE PELL
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George Pell: If police charge the Catholic Archbishop, we're in uncharted territory
ANALYSIS
As Victoria Police deliberate whether or not to lay charges against Cardinal George Pell, they are also weighing up whether to prosecute a potential world leader. This bold notion is not purple media prose. It is simply stating the facts.
Cardinal Pell strenuously denies the allegations made against him.
The Ballarat-born 75-year-old is potentially the pope in waiting. All it takes is for Pope Francis to die suddenly, and one of the 120-odd Cardinals will be the next pope. It could be Cardinal Pell.
Cardinal Pell is the head of the Vatican secretariat for the economy. Effectively he is the third in charge of the 1.2 billion-member Catholic Church. The Cardinal has diplomatic immunity as a Vatican official, and Australia has no extradition treaty.
In the modern era, laying serious or criminal charges against a Cardinal-Archbishop has not been done in free and democratic nations where immunity could apply.
It has been done under communist regimes, but not the free world. There is also the matter of Archbishop Wilson of Adelaide who was charged under Section 316 of the NSW Crimes Act. But Archbishop Wilson is not a Cardinal.
There are two shocking prior cases involving Americans really worth recalling. They concern Cardinal Archbishop Bernard Law of Boston, and Vatican banker Archbishop Paul Marcinkus.
Cardinal Law was the Archbishop of Boston. Clergy sexual assault of children was rife in Boston under his watch. And so was the official cover-up.
If you've seen the movie Spotlight, you have some sense of the depraved situation, and the enormity of the damage done to children and families.
Vatican gave diplomatic immunity to Cardinal Law
Cardinal Law was named a defendant in a number of serious and public cases involving paedophile priests.

One of the worst cases included the notorious offender Fr John Geoghan, who had more than 130 victims.
The Boston Globe blew the whistle on extensive cover-ups in the archdiocese in 2002 and Cardinal Law resigned as Archbishop in December that year.
The Massachusetts state attorney-general launched an investigation into sex abuse and the Church.
When the report was published in 2003, it said that under Cardinal Law's watch, the archdiocese of Boston had "made choices that allowed the abuse to continue".
But it went on to say the cardinal had not broken any laws, since Massachusetts laws requiring priests to report abuse had not been introduced until 2002.
Law and jurisdictions are key in many of these matters. More about that later.
But after his resignation in disgrace, Cardinal Law went to the Vatican where he was given diplomatic immunity, a flat and a job by Pope John Paul II.
The pope then gave him the honoured position of Archpriest of St Mary Major's basilica, one of the seven great churches of Rome.
He has never been charged concerning the crimes committed by priests under his watch in Boston. He is now retired in the Vatican.
Subjected to moral disapproval, critical press but no charges
Archbishop Paul Marcinkus was the head of the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989. He presided over the Vatican Bank scandal, which involved, at various stages, suicide or murder and complex links to organised crime.
On 24 April, 1973, Marcinkus faced questioning at the Vatican by a US federal prosecutor. The head of the organised crime and racketeering section of the US department of justice also questioned the Archbishop.
It concerned his role in the delivery of US$14.5 million worth of counterfeit bonds to the Vatican in July 1971. There was much more money involved.
Archbishop Marcinkus was never charged. After all the financial scandal and crimes had been exposed, the Marcinkus case was deemed unable to be pursued under US law.
He eventually returned home to the US, where he died in 2006.
In the cases of Cardinal Law and Archbishop Marcinkus, no charges were laid. The cardinal and the archbishop were subject to moral disapproval and sharply critical press, but no charges under law.

Lack of sufficient evidence, or the absence of mandatory reporting laws, meant they were not legally accountable either under US federal law or Massachusetts state law. And here is where legal jurisdictions really matter.
If Pell is charged, we are in new territory
George Pell as a young man
Any possible charges being considered for Cardinal Pell would be under Victorian state law.
They would be subject to the rules of evidence, meaning Victoria Police must decide if any existing allegations or testimony would withstand cross-examination in a court of law. That is a high bar.
And Cardinal Pell lives in a different legal jurisdiction. So even if the cardinal was charged, he could choose to return to Australia, or he could choose to remain in the Vatican.
Both would be legally possible, unless Pope Francis ordered Cardinal Pell to return.
Under the Catholic Church's international code of canon law, the Pope is the "supreme legislator", and is in charge of the church legally and spiritually throughout the world.
But there is no modern precedent for a pope ordering a cardinal to return and answer to a foreign legal jurisdiction, given neither Cardinal Law nor Archbishop Paul Marcinkus were charged in the US.
The tiny Vatican State is independent of Italy. Its "code of penal procedure" governs its courts. Remember Pope Benedict's butler, who was charged under Vatican Law for stealing secrets?
The Lateran Treaty governs relations with Italy. Because Vatican law and Italian law are somewhat intertwined, but not the same, there may be legal avenues to explore there.
If Cardinal Pell is not charged, then the cases of Cardinal Law and Archbishop Marcinkus could be seen as parallel; much said in the press, much formal questioning, but no charges. But if he is charged, then we are in new territory.


PAT SAYS:

This George Pell case is very serious and is a big test case for Pope Francis.

If he is charged by the Australians Francis should ask him to return to Australia to face trial.

If he is charged and Francis hides him in the Vatican anything Francis says about child abuse will be hot air.

The film about the alleged Pell abuse is very disturbing.

It is very serious that the third in charge of the RC Church is in this position.


45 comments:

  1. So he's guilty until proved innocent then?

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    1. No.

      But if he is charged he should return to Australia to defend himself.

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    2. No likelihood of that. Citing ill health, Pell declined to return to Australia to give evidence to the royal commission in person last year despite photographs of him in the picture of health enjoying alfresco eating and drinking in Rome. Australian police now hint that they have enough evidence to charge Pell with acts of sexual abuse—yet they have failed to do so.

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    3. You will find that the Vatican is using all its contacts in and outside of Australia to put pressure on the Australian government not to charge Pell.

      The papal nuncio to Australia will be beavering away too.

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    4. Bishop P., what possibly effective pressure could that tuppenney state, the Vatican, exert on the Australian Government? I don't doubt that the Vatican, under its spick pope, will turn every trick to protect Pell; but, seriously, who listens to it now? It's a pariah state, mired in moral corruption and filth.

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    5. The Vatican, whatever you may think of it, still exerts major power and influence all over the world. I wouldn't be too quick to rubbish its power and control. Just look at the recent World leaders queuing up to get in recently.

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    6. 10:25, it's all smoke and mirrors where the Vatican is concerned: the illusion of international statecraft and influence.

      Do you seriously believe that someone like Donald Trump gives a hoot what the self-contradictory spick pope publicly says? He may appear to, but it is only appearance.

      The institutional Roman Catholic Church is haemorrhaging members at an alarming rate; western politicians know this and, so, aren't frightened of the political fallout if they find themselves at odds with the Vatican. There are too few Catholics around now to make the sane difference.

      The 'glory' days of international Roman tyranny are over.

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    7. You wish, Margie, you wish. Away back to your slot machines.

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    8. No need to wish for what's already true.😅

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    9. Your delusions are playing up again, Maggie, aren't they? Ask Big Lily for one of your pills.

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    10. As long as they're annoying you, I don't mind at all.😅😅😅😆

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    11. Magna is missing how diplomacy works - by deals and backhanders - and as a state in its own right the Vatican (not the RC church which is what he is talking about) still has considerable clout.
      I'm glad that he has finally admiited to enjoying annoying other people on here; I can only assume he's had a day where he hasn't found any cars to ticket. After a few days of happily imposing penalty fines, he has been forced to come back on here looking for someone to goad.

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    12. Is that your best retort?

      How Grade 9!😕

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    13. Not a retort at all. Read what I wrote:
      Magna is missing how diplomacy works - by deals and backhanders - and as a state in its own right the Vatican (not the RC church which is what he is talking about) still has considerable clout.
      I'm glad that he has finally admiited to enjoying annoying other people on here; I can only assume he's had a day where he hasn't found any cars to ticket. After a few days of happily imposing penalty fines, he has been forced to come back on here looking for someone to goad.

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  2. If Pell was an "ordinary priest" in Ireland, USA, UK, AUS or NZ, given the nature of what is alleged, he would be out of ministry and, in all likelihood, would never minister again - even if there were no criminal prosecution. There are priests accused of much mess graphic behaviour and they are among "the missing". This is shocking.

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  3. I remember in December 2006 on the train between Hanoi and Saigon meeting an Australian man who claimed to be a lover/fuckfriend of the bishop in Sydney. I wish I could recollect more of what he had told me but he seemed fairly genuine. He was in his forties or very early fifties. Perhaps he was just bullshitting.

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    Replies
    1. I suspect he was just bullshitting, he'd be quite at home on this blog then!

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    2. Well at least that man was a consenting adult.

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  4. A recent short Youtube video on the Cardinal.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlsE38LEpRk

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  5. Makes sense that alleged serious crime should be tried in the jurisdiction where it allegedly happened unless the state is crooked. This is not the case here. Popes etc back in church history were pretty off the wall in behavior. Nothing new in a modern big wig pushing the boundaries.

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    1. And you were never "pretty off the wall" I suppose Sean Page. Laughable and the hypocrisy is something else.

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    2. 10.30 Why do you judge me. My point was objective. We agreed not to have a go at persons on here. History is it's it's own author.

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  6. I know I'm deviating, but any more word out of Tuam about their Deacon or have things simmered down?

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    1. It seems the Garda are investigating.

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  7. I really can't say but that was 10 years ago and without any knowledge on my part of the archbishop's proclivities.When I was in Syria in the nineties, I visited the monastery of St George near the Krak des Chevaliers. There a Greek orthodox priest, while showing me the thousand year old wall paintings attempted to rub himself up against me so that I could feel his hardness against my stomach through his cassock. I have no illusions whatsoever about these men of God.

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    1. Were you impressed with his artifacts?

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  8. He was like Friar Tuck, all jolly, with a beard and a hard on. Luckily I didn't get a visual on the artefact in question but the memory of his monstrance pressing against my belly has been more difficult to erase.

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    1. At least his WMD is not in the hands of Assad :-)

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  9. Considering how the West's gallant allies, namely Al Qaida, treat Christians in that neighbourhood, his WMD is probably decorating a tree or a municipal fence.

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  10. Does anyone know what happened at WYD Sydney??

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  11. Who will eat all the ham sandwiches in Tuam today

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    1. It aint over until the fat lady sings. All those sandwiches.

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  12. Pat, what about the former Maynooth seminarian who was kicked out, allegedly, for sexually harassing another seminarian, and who was then ordained in a religious order and who now adopts a conservative Catholic stance, in public, at least?

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    1. I know of this case.

      Have you evidence about his being kicked out for sexual harassment?

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    2. That vaguely rings a bell - How long ago was all that?

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    3. During Dermot Farrell's time - Western diocese, Elphin or Achonry.

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  13. As to whether Pell will be charged will depend on the evidence and the likelihood of conviction. If he is charged Pell like any other Australian citizen deserves the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

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  14. I had thought, Pat, that posts like 10 .30 were to be banned.

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    1. Sean posted a false fact, "Popes etc back in church history were pretty off the wall in behavior. " he left out the word "some" but hey why let the truth get in the way of a good story. The post at 10:30 that you criticise and want banned, looks to me like someone asking a question. What is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander so 18:58 you can have it both ways, criticising 10:30 but having no problem with 08:55

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    2. Ooh claw's in girls

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    3. 19.44 I accept the use of the word some would be more exact and stand corrected. I wonder is the real issue at stake here more than grammatical.

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  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. The comedian Al Porter wrote in the Irish Times that the best thing about Sydney was the sex he had with a young priest!

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