Tasmanian Times


News Corp columnists declare Cardinal Pell innocent and ‘a scapegoat’

Photograph: Andrew Jarvie

Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine say Cardinal George Pell’s conviction was wrongful and ‘accusations are implausible’ …


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  1. Keith Antonysen

    March 5, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Last night Q&A covered Pell’s trial very well, points from the program:

    Before a trial takes place , evidence is considered by Police Prosecuters.
    The Justice Department then sifts through the evidence, before electing to prosecute.
    Then a pre-trial hearing takes place.
    Those commenting on a mistrial are very insulting to the victims of crime, and the trial process itself.

    That does not mean that mistakes don’t ever get through at times; but, at least a filtering process is employed.
    Pell will appeal and it is after the appeal that we will gain a better view on the situation.

  2. Brian Ray

    March 5, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Andrew Bolt,Miranda Devine,and all those who question George Pell’s guilt,cannot explain,and so choose not to mention,how an intelligent and articulate man,refused to defend himself at his trial-not one word.Anyone who was not guilty would surely be shouting it from the rafters! Pell could not bring himself to lie under oath.

    • Richard Kopf

      March 6, 2019 at 4:55 pm

      Good point. Lying under oath would be a Cardinal Sin. In his eyes a sin far more serious than what he was charged with.

  3. PLB

    March 2, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt ?

    “Pell was also convicted in relation to the second boy, although that alleged victim had previously denied ever being molested, did not make a complaint and was not interviewed by police or examined in court (he died in 2014).

    Which means Pell was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt on the uncorroborated evidence of one witness, without forensic evidence, a pattern of behaviour or a confession.”


    • Pete Godfrey

      March 2, 2019 at 7:07 am

      It is odd that he was not charged or tried on the charges of perverting the course of justice. He and his mates did plenty of that by covering up the crimes of paedophile priests.
      By moving them to other areas rather than telling them to hand themselves into the police.
      Although at one time the police were also being complicit in their activities by hiding the church leaders activities and not charging them either.
      Someone at the top of the clergy has to take the rap.

  4. Pete Godfrey

    March 1, 2019 at 6:56 am

    Why bother having a court system?

    Trial by fruitcakes appears to work for Murdoch.

  5. Claire Gilmour

    February 28, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    Liberal media hacks trying to make child abuse by the catholic church a non issue … there is something morally wrong with you Devine and Bolt !

  6. Richard Kopf

    February 28, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Well, what do the privileged have to do to be judged guilty? Trial by jury? Nope. Multiple accusations and witness testimony? Nope.

    Ask Sue Neil-Fraser’s supporters.

    He/she couldn’t have done it, no matter what the evidence.

  7. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    February 28, 2019 at 11:02 am

    No surprises here, but I have heard from various legal sources that I know that the jury’s decision came as something of ‘a surprise’ in the legal industry.

    I make no judgement about that other than to say that in the view of those sources, overturning the jury verdict a very tough ask, because courts do not like doing it. The verdict will very likely be allowed to stand.

    The problem here for any jury dealing with a guy like Pell is that he is so polarizing as a character that in a trial where it hangs on ‘they said/he said sets of contentions that depend on whose word one chooses to believe, there are just bound to be very subjective judgements about that. That is why the first trial ended in a hung jury. It is one of those sort of trials where it could go either way depending on as much as anything else, the kind of people who happen to be on the jury, its particular social dynamics, and their pre-existing ideological views and prejudices about the man.

    If I were a juryman on his case, I would have a view that the man has form. He has been accused of child molestation before. I would also view the monumentally glacial approach to dealing with child abuse and tolerance of repeat offending in the church as primarily coming back to him and that it was a fair assumption that that was to protect himself as much as the Church. But the fact is that a jury should not know anything about an accused so that they can assess what they see and hear in the courtroom solely on the basis of the evidence led in the court. But clearly, in the case of public character as prominent and controversial as Pell, that is impossible

    And the other worry is that his accusers stood to gain compensation and a guilty verdict would very likely much improve the standing of their claims. I am not suggesting for a moment that they do not deserve compensation, but a witness that stands to gain something from their evidence should never get the same standing/credibility as ones that do not, just as a matter of principle.

    Personally, I don’t think it could have happened to a nicer guy. But I think anyone who doesn’t have some doubts about this legal outcome just does not understand the limitations of our justice system, or the extent of the dilemmas of any jury in a case of this nature.

    As a juryman, I would have been totally torn between wanting to believe the victims (of which there have been so many), having to take on board the doubts that were led by the defence and wrestling with my belief (prejudice) that the accused (and the pedophiles that he protected) should not get away with it, yet again.

    How justice and what justice comes out of our justice system can be opaque, despite our best efforts. Pell should have been imprisoned for never reporting pedophiles until he was forced to. He connived at egregious crimes by numerously repeating offenders against children for decades. He should be in jail for the rest of his life, whether he sexually assaulted those boys or didn’t. Good riddance to him.

    But whether he actually did what he was accused of … I hate to say it … I hate to lend credence to his defenders in the Murdoch press … I am not 100% sure.

    • Jack

      February 28, 2019 at 9:23 pm

      Christopher, rarely will absolute certainty be established in historic cases like this. But remember, Pell used the very same historical and evidentiary equivocality to his institution’s advantage many times in the past when it came to victims of sexual abuse. It may be that he has been caught in the same murky legal quicksand. Who can know? Would this be ‘justice’ should he not be guilty? No, not to a humanist and secularists.

      However, what on earth happened to god’s will all of a sudden?

      If some (perhaps many) do their time unjustly via this system, where is the outrage and media water carriers to take up their cause? They are invisible and have no superstar lawyer to represent them either. A jury decision is usually final and equated with guilt itself – and off they go to speak with god. And that’s fair 99% of the time as far as anyone cares. Does the charity and equanimity of the Catholic Church extend to taking up their cause – no. They offer prayer and faith in god, so why not the same medicine for George?

      Pell was much better represented than most and had far more coin to spend. Let’s be balanced. His earthly legal team was the tops.

      Pell was the church’s hard man too, who believed in authoritarian power, institutions, codes and all manner of ecclesiastical privilege laid on with a trowel. Clearly he saw this as the will of god when that suited, so why isn’t this court judgement also god’s will? He works in mysterious ways…so I’m told.

      And if so, how can you have it one way with god and not the other?

      Moreover, what of the teachings of Christ we hear so much about? You may recall the tale; falsely convicted, crucified to die for the sins of humanity, thus removing our sin like Sard’s Wonder Soap.

      So I wonder, would it occur to George Pell, after presiding over suffering and barbarity inflicted by his merry band of paedophile priests, that he’s in a remarkably similar position to Jesus of N? In actuality, a privileged position for one keen on sacrifice, penance and symbolism. I can only imagine what opportunities await for a martyr like St George who could indeed carry the church’s sin with him to yet another large bluestone institution.

      And why wouldn’t Cardinal George find this an attractive deal?

      Unless that is, that George Pell hasn’t the slightest practical Christian conviction in his body, and never did. Unless he used the church just like any other psychopath gains power in a large institution – to advance himself ruthlessly. For how hollow to claim to know the will of god when he’s picking up the tab, only to play the secular game of legal appeal and expensive QCs when the chips are down.

      Prayer is all he needs and isn’t George of the Prison Jungle the slightest bit interested in what the good lord has in stall for him next?

      Perhaps my point is this: If you have claimed to be the agent of God and been happy enough to know his mind and take the Papal perquisite, why has the deal changed now? Clearly, god has something in mind for George – and who knows what miracles might happen in the shower block with a large bar of soap in the hands of a Philistine? And my bet is that the prison system is up to pussy’s bow with people who were abused young, and often. Perhaps god would like George to meet some of them?

      So, Andrew Bolt and Miranda Devine are standing in god’s way and preventing George Pell from attaining his destiny. How on earth can a religious person see it any other way?

      • Simon Warriner

        February 28, 2019 at 10:20 pm

        Nicely put Jack

  8. Chris

    February 28, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Which of these are in contempt of court?
    Let’s ask Rupert the hacker!

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