Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Melbourne court to decide if cardinal stands trial on abuse allegations

Mar 5, 2018

by Catholic News Service



MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — A Melbourne court began a month-long hearing to see if a top Vatican official would stand trial on decades-old charges of sexual abuse, which he consistently denied.

Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court March 5 for a committal hearing scheduled to conclude by March 30. The cardinal has taken a leave of absence from his position to face the charges in Melbourne, where he served as archbishop from 1996 to 2001.

No charges have been announced against the cardinal, but his lawyer told the court he believed Victoria police investigated the abuse claims presuming he was guilty, instead of presuming he was innocent. The lawyer said some witnesses' written testimony could help clear the cardinal of some of the charges.

Up to 50 witnesses could be called during the committal hearing; much of the hearing will be conducted in private.

More than two years ago, Pell called for an independent inquiry into the leaking of accusations that he was under police investigation for the alleged abuse of minors. He said media leaks by someone within the Victoria police undermined the work of the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, a government inquiry into church, state and other institutions' response to the sexual abuse of children.

In February 2016, Victoria's The Herald Sun reported that "legal sources" told reporters more than a dozen special task force detectives had been investigating past claims that the cardinal abused between five and 10 boys when he was a priest in Ballarat and archbishop of Melbourne. Earlier, a court had cleared the cardinal of one of those charges.

PAT SAYS:

Proceedings have begun against George Pell.

The court will first decide if he has a case to answer.

One of his alleged victims died recently and those charges will probably be dropped.

But there are other alleged victims.

The court will ultimately decide his guilt or innocence.

However, when I watched all his alleged  vctims speak on Australian TV I was inclined to believe them.

I hope that no one, anywhere, will try and interfere with case. The Vatican has powerful allies in all establishments.

I just hope the truth, whatever it is will come out and justice will be done.

90 comments:

  1. Pat,
    If you know anything about Australia you should know that it has always been virulently anti-Catholic. Cardinal Pell has no hope of favourable influence on his behalf; in fact if I were in his shoes I would be extremely fearful of prejudice against him.

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    1. Oh, I see! Is that the spin for a potential guilty verdict.

      If the man is found guilty, it will be based on evidence beyond reasonable doubt, not on religious prejudice.

      Take your sectarian card and... Well, you know what to do with it.😆

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    2. I am sorry to say that I agree with the poster who spoke of feeling that there was an anti - Catholic bias in Australia. We were settling in fine and enjoying being welcomed into a new community. Then our neighbours on either side discovered that we were Catholics who actually attended our church After that we noticed that we were coldly sidelined. We were very surprised. I think they had assumed that as we were Northern Ireland people, we were not Catholics. Eventually we decided to return to Ireland and we have never regretted our move home. There is more to life than weather...

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    3. 00:53 is right about anti-Catholic prejudice, especially in Sydney, where the Anglican diocese is particularly virulent.

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    4. and likewise if it is found he has no case to answer!

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    5. Sydney archdiocese? They make snake belly low church people look high church. Poor things are so boring, IMHO.

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    6. You're making a lot of assumptions there, 13:12. Assumption isn't necessarily factual.

      Might it not be the case that you allowed your natural-born, Northern Ireland prejudice against Protestants to colour your perception of those circumstances?

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    7. The Anglican diocese of Sydney would make the late Ian Paisley look like a card carrying member of the Latin Mass Society.

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    8. 17:41, evidence and source?

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    9. Magna Carta! You come on here and have the cheek to lecture that poster about an "assumption"?!! What about the completely outrageous assumption that you make against that family yourself ! No wonder people say you are ridiculous and a buffoon....

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    10. Who does that silly ass think he is - - judge and jury?

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    11. So, 22:17 and 22:48, both of you filled with nothing more than cant and bluster (a polite way of saying 'verbal flatulence).😆

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  2. Ladies and gentlemen (and, as they say in France, priests). Today's blog subject is over and I present a performance by Thinking Catholicism's very own pantomime dame, Magna Carta...!

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    1. Er, I'm waiting for the punchline. There is a punchline, isn't there?

      Y'see, that's the rub about humour: in order to qualify as such, it just has to be funny. Too high a bar, I know, for someone of your modest comedic talent.😆

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    2. He doesn't need a punchline when he has Punch about to stagger into the ring...!

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    3. Did you hear the one about the pretend/blue Magna Carta? He goes round saying humour isn't funny till someone tells him a joke. He then laughs three times at it!

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    4. Er, Sherlock at 13:14, 'He' is a she. Or so he/she says.😆

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    5. Magna Blue isn_t the only one who doesn't listen lol

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  3. Presuming he was guilty instead of innocent. As long as the investigation was carried out in a professional and objective manner it is what it is. As you say Pat let justice be done and let us graciously accept the outcome.

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    1. Pell's lawyers have accused Victoria Police of failing to follow procedure.

      If your case isn't too strong, then attack the process . . .

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    2. Police have to follow process or otherwise it's a police state.

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    3. Every one is entitled to due process. What’s your difficulty with the premise?

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    4. Victoria's Director of Public Prosecutions reviewed Victoria Police's case on several occasions, and each time advised against prosecution. Eventually, Victoria Police pressed charges anyway, which the police are free to do, but which is highly unusual. The police officers I speak to at a grassroots level say it's all political.

      There's a long history, in Victoria Police, of a polar conflict between Masons in the force, and Catholics in the force. The Catholics lost a lot of influence — quite rightly — because they enabled the Catholic Church's cover up of predator priests. But there's a consensus that the "other side" has now over reached, in their ill-advised pursuit of Cardinal Pell.

      Sometimes a lawyer will attack process because the process was bad. From what I know, the defence's case is strong too, but that comes next. One thing at a time.

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  4. Whatever the outcome, I read last year, the Vatican will not allow him to return to Rome. The soiled-senior-citizen is tainted.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4651014/George-Pell-Insider-says-won-t-return-Vatican-sex-charges.html

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    1. Francis is going to replace him with Bishop Barros.

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    2. Who believes a word of the Daily Mail?

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    3. And who believes a word of Vatican radio and that papal rag, L'Osservatore Romano. Do you, 19:54, given what is known about the Vatican?

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    4. I could believe this. The Vatican's financial reformers have been systematically rooted out, one at a time. Pell was never welcome in the first place. I asked a priest friend in Rome what has to be done to clean up Vatican corruption. "Remove Italians from the Curia," came the reply. The culture is too strong; too embedded.

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  5. "The court will ultimately decide his guilt or innocence."

    At this stage, newspapers say, it’s a hearing that will determine whether he will face a full trial by jury. No details of the complainants, or his alleged crimes have yet been released to the public.

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  6. Pat, you will be bitterly disappointed if he’s found to be innocent.

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    1. He may enter the rogues' gallery and a penitentiary in due course.

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    2. And some might say that Pell would be extremely surprised.😆

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    3. 1051: No, I will not be bitterly disappointed.

      I will wonder if true justice was done.

      That's all.

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    4. So, if he’s found innocent, you’re saying you have no confidence in the Australian criminal justice system??

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    5. Pat at 16.31: So, if Pell is found innocent of all crimes you will wonder if true justice was done! How morally self righteous! We accepth the law of the land and its court/justice system. Pat, you're happiest when people are flattened. You don't give a damn about TRUTH OR JUSTICE OR FAIRNESS. Try with a legal mind (which you don't possess) to outline rationally why you would wonder if true justice was done if Pell is found innocent. Tell us the reasons. We are dealing with an Australian court system that is thorough, tough, fair and balanced. We don't need your skewed view of justice.

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    6. Miscarriage of justice works both ways: the innocent can be convicted and the guilty set free.

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    7. Magna is right, it works both ways. It is like Maynooth, ordain the unsuitable and kick out those with actual vocations.

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  7. I am aware this is a bit of a different subject.

    This Thursday is International Women's Day. I hope there will be something about it covered on your blog.
    I am aware that you recently hosted a woman priest in your oratory Pat.
    As a women I feel we all need to raise the profile of the role of women in the church and in society.
    For far too long we have been asked to be silent.

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    1. I expect +Pat will oblige, unless, of course, there is some strange goings-on at Gaynooth that must be brought to readers attention. The trainees have also been very quiet of late!?

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    2. And yet you never have been, have you? Silent?

      Now had you complained 'never listened to', then that would have been an altogether different matter.

      (Background shouting) What's that, dear? Shut what? Oh, 'up!'.

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    3. It's still lively in the German department in Maynooth, 13:04.

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    4. The trainees are quiet because there are less than 20 left in there now.

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    5. @ 7.03

      "..fewer than twenty..."

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  8. Do you know what I would appreciate.
    If a few or even one good holy priest would come out and resign his post in support of all those young men who were abused by Finnegan.
    How can they stay and keep their heads stuck in the sand

    Also has one teacher from those days had the courage to say what they know.
    Also Mc Areavy’s nephew did himself no favours by supporting his uncle.

    Also Tom Kelly should have stayed stumph...silly man.
    Why do educated men let themselves down ??

    !!!!!!!!

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    1. Why don't you resign your post, if you have one?

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    2. I’m a retired professional, Magna, I’ve no post to resign from.Lots of ordinary Jo’s post here and I’m one of them.

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  9. The Rc church as it is now is not worth protesting about.
    Don’t think anyone asked us to be silent.
    Watching over the years the goings on, I wouldn’t waste my energy.

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    1. oh dear anonymous many many people put a great deal of energy into attacking and attempting to destroy the Church - but Christ has promised that the gates of hell shall never prevail against us!
      This whole blog is the work of Satanic forces but it will all end in tears for the bogus bishop.

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    2. I think this comment is the thing on this blog I have laughed at most.
      'Bogus' bishop! I'm crying tears of laughter. It's like when supposed Catholics make out Sean Page isn't a priest because he's an Anglican.
      Please, please, Jude @ 21:58, please tell me you're a firm believer in Fatima and Medjugorje, and make a long and tiring day perfect...

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    3. To Jude at 21.58, this blog is often filled with the Holy Spirit who will purify all. Be careful of the satanic forces in your own life and that it doesn't end up in tears for you. The supernatural dimension of the church will always survive, but the current brand of catholic church in many places may not. Is Jude your anonymous name? At least Pat has the courage to put his name here and do what he sees as best. Personally, I think he might review some of his responses in his past life and that the hurt and betrayal he received is colouring somewhat how he responds today. But, Pat is in the heart of the true church. No doubt, God will reward him for his efforts. The bogus bishop could easily be the one who is not doing his job and is saying mass in your local cathedral. Let's be careful - but for the grace of God.

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    4. Hey Jude, don't make it bad
      Take a sad song (your whining apocalyptic post) and make it better
      Remember to let her (Truth) into your heart
      Then you can start to make it (circumstance) better, better, better, b-e-t-t-e-r

      Jude, you born-again idiot! Haven't you remembered Jesus' words to his critics, after they accused him of casting out demons by the power of demons? He said a kingdom divided against itself could not stand: that demons do not cast out other demons.

      If this blog is, truly, 'the work of Satanic (sic) forces', then Satan is working against himself, because this blog shines a very powerful light into some very dark (satanic) corners in the Roman Catholic Church.

      Come home, Jude, to yourself.😆

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  10. It's quite right that women are silent; the Bible commands it. 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.biblegateway.com/passage/%3Fsearch=1+Corinthians+14:34-35&version=KJV&interface=amp

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    1. As a Catholic who studied through grammar school, no teacher ever mentioned the bible.and I did come first in a re exam at senior level.

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    2. Are you being facetious?

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    3. "Senior level" equals at least 50 years ago.

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  11. 00.53 There has always been good and bad in the church. Appalling cruelty and great kindness. If all you got as a child was life in a Christian brothers orphanage, you will be anti the Catholic institution...and quite rightly so.

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    1. There have indeed.

      But has the "systemic" badness ever been as bad???

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    2. It's the darnels and the wheat, the tares in the vineyard. Part of the problem is that most Catholics are universalists ie that all will be saved and go to Heaven, with only the likes of Hitler going to Hell. That alters human behaviour and we've all been to Requiem Masses where the white-clad priest canonises the deceased.

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    3. There has been a catastrophic loss of the sense of sin in the post-Vatican II church. 99% of Irish Massgoers receive Holy Communion yet only about 1% go to confession. I go to Poland often and notice that a good proportion of the congregation does not receive. Though congregations in Poland are notably younger than those in Ireland.

      And before anyone retorts "Catholic guilt" I'd say that Michael Finnegan, Brendan Smyth and Jack McCabe could have done with a good dose of Catholic guilt.

      This "Catholic guilt" thing only appeared as a concept relatively recently. When I was growing up in NI Catholics were depicted as drinkers, gamblers, dirty and fond of sex (large families).

      Whenever someone says Catholic guilt I always ask where do you think you'll have more craic: Rio or Aberdeen, Rome or Geneva, Ballymena or Dublin?

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    4. 14:51 Are you speaking from experience? If not, it would be better to not reveal your prejudice.

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    5. 18.00 How dare you try to sum up us Irish..you have no idea what you talking about.
      I’m 80 and I never ever heard of such thinking, Catholic guilt is a word that some English use about us Catholics.
      We are not drinkers, when I was growing up most were pioneers, my dad had a drink once a month at market day.
      Fond of sex did not equal more children. It was lack of contraceptives and the churches teachings against their use.
      I’ve no idea where you grew up, but we were not afraid to wash.just because many had no bathrooms did not stop the free use of soap and water.
      Many people in Ballymena have the best of craic, I grew up near there.
      Now shut up and stop mocking your heritage, stay in Poland next time you go there.

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    6. 23:02 Sorry, I should have expressed myself more clearly and emphasised that Catholics were depicted that way, not that they were like that in reality. I heard Ian Paisley say all those things in the one and only time I heard him preach in his Martyrs Memorial church in Belfast. Members of the congregation shouted out "amen".

      As with you, my parents drank rarely. My mother had one drink at Christmas and my father just had one at weddings and wakes. Both my parents worked long hours in the shop they owned. And our house and the nine children were kept very clean.

      It's just that, having grown up in a large Catholic family with lots of laughter I have strong feelings about this "Catholic guilt" lie.

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  12. Who is paying Pell's legal fees?

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    1. Ta.

      My understanding that a bank account for donations from Pell's supporters has been set up, too. Since last year. Is this account still open?

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    2. Australian Q.C.6 March 2018 at 20:02

      All persons appearing before an Australian court on a charge that could lead to imprisonment if convicted are eligible for legal aid, irrespective of means.

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    3. I understand that it is the same in the UK if there is a criminal trial where a potential outcome is imprisonment.

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    4. Why, then (if legal aid is provided in the possible event of imprisonment), has a bank account been opened to provide Pell with cash he doesnt need?

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  13. By a rich irony, the Victoria Police Academy occupies the former Melbourne senior seminary, Corpus Christi. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Police_Academy

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  14. The Victoria seminary hasn't had the ignominious end of St Patrick's College, Manly, Sydney, the national seminary of Australia, which is now a catering college.

    Remind me, was Vatican II all about renewal?

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  15. Can someone tell me why Eamon Martin comes on the Rte news tonight to say we must protect the unborn, including where rape occurred.
    Was he asleep last week when Spotlight and Stephen told us about the non protection of male 11 year olds.
    U couldn’t make it up.

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    1. Eamon Martin has a duty to say this even if there were a thousand programs on clerical abuse. And we should be saying it too. Lets not promote the killing of the unborn for the sake of some clerical behaviour or absence of. Remember the gifted soul who said in recent years that the biggest paedophile rings in Ireland will be in the future. The current Limerick case is only a semblance of what they are talking about. Once you take away the reason for protecting life at any stage you undo the legal protection of any life at all stages.

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    2. Protect children in the womb.

      Let priests abuse them at 11.

      Let bishops cover up.

      All a TOTAL contradiction!!!

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    3. Yes, Pat, it is a contradiction and a terrible one. So, lets thank Eamon for protecting the unborn and ask him to extend that courageous response to young children and to exposing abuse rather than protecting image.

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    4. There's no connection between Finnegan and slicing up and hoovering babies out of wombs.

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  16. 22:31, so because of what Finnegan did, we punish unborn children by killing them? Ripping them asunder in the womb is ok because of the crimes of Finnegan and co? We react to child abuse by slaughtering unborn children? Sick and twisted logic.

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    1. NO! It is not 'ok'. It is a TERRIBLE evil, which allows greater, and more destructive, satanic influence.

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    2. 22:31 isn't necessarily pro-abortion, but was making a point about the hypocrisy of Roman Catholic priests in general. These men present themselves as defenders of human life in the womb, but then think nothing of raping and abusing that life outside the womb. And, of course, of covering up for their ontologically superior colleagues.

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  17. Pat at 23.51: A typical, cynical, utterly absurd comment. You, Pat, are the total contradiction. You don't know what you believe. You blow with the wind. Whatever suits your agenda. Abortion is the deliberate killing of the unborn child. Go educate yourself morally and spiritually.

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  18. Pell was in charge of cleaning up the financial corruption in the Vatican. Shortly after he was sent home to face ALLEGATIONS that are recent but relate to events claimed to have occurred nearly half a century ago, the head of the Vatican audit committee resigned and so did some of his subordinates because they were being impeded from carrying out their role (i.e. providing information that would have lead to the imprisonment of some of the 'Princes of the Church' and bishops for theft, which would never do). Pell's absence is extremely convenient to some of the Vatican 'old guard' and his opposition to Francis' neo-theology would have provided the ecclesiastical money launderers and thieves with fuel for the fire in getting 'the boss' to 'give him leave to go home'. As usual things are not what they appear. He should have stayed at home in the first place and no allegations would have been made.
    I am sure that Francis was sincere in appointing him but then realised that he either threw him under the bus or be 'invited' to retire by those who arranged Benedict's fate.

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    1. Spot on. Organised criminal networks have international reach. Many of Pell's accusers are career criminals who have made these disclosures only in the last few years. It does raise questions that Australia's most visible and controversial Catholic, who has been in the centre of the Church's sexual abuse scandal for 20 years, only attracted complaints of abuse *after* he tackled powerful criminal forces in the Vatican. In the words of one of Melbourne's most visible victim/survivor campaigners, "Pell's a bastard, but I doubt he's a rock spider."

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  19. You all missed my point.
    What I wanted to know was, why the leader of the catholic faith in Ireland was hid under his bed last week whilst the biggest scandal in recent years was being played out on our screens. Now can you answer the question instead of going on a rant about babies torn in the womb...which is a total aberration of the facts.

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    1. Armagh has a primacy of honour because of a certain Patrick who is thought to have been its first bishop. The title "Leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland" is a media fiction. When things go wrong it gets very quickly remembered that every bishop is the top man in his own diocese.

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  20. 23 .50 23.56....
    So the ladies and gents who harangue women who seek advice at clinics are let loose on here again.
    Being self righteous is such a lovely feeling for some.
    Certain to fly through heavens door.

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    1. Some of those 'ladies and gents' carry photos of the little innocent babies and their mothers they have saved, which is probably more than you or I have.

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    2. Please show us the video of anyone being harangued. When I stood outside a 'clinic' it was on days when the advice (i.e. 'give us your money') had already been provided and ladies were being admitted for the 'operation'. Have you any evidence that anyone ever receives the advice to continue with their pregnancy! We are talking about commercial operations some of whom are proven to sell part of the babies they destroy.

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  21. 23.48 so Eamon has a duty to say what he said tonite.
    Did he not have a duty last week to come out and talk with those who were suffering after they discovered their families and neighbours were abused as little 11 year olds. ??????? Answers on a postcard please.

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    1. Yes, absolutely, and he didn't have the courage to do it. But lets commend him where he did have the courage and help him in the right direction.

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  22. A chairde
    I am a divorced male late 40's & now gay.I am interested in any info you guys may help me with as a late developer in my faith & a new direction & a new path that i may follow.Is their restrictions on being gay etc excuse my ignorance as no offence meant in any way.I look forward to your inputs.

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  23. "Now gay"...?? I thought we were led to believe that people were either born gay or not.

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