HIgh court overturns Pell's conviction

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algebe's picture
HIgh court overturns Pell's conviction

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Mikhael's picture
......are you fuCKING-

......are you fuCKING-

boomer47's picture


@cents IE My opinion, not an argument.

I have no issue with the conviction being quashed. I do not make the mistake of conflating any court decision as having anything to do with justice on any given day . Sometimes , justice is done. Such cases are the result of happy accident rather than intent imo. As far as I can tell, no country has a justice system. If we are lucky, we live in a country with rule of law, such as Australia. That system also has a functioning legal system which operates within legal principles.***

I have no idea if Pell is or is not guilty. That's because (1) I am not a lawyer and (2 )a most important. I only have access to such evidence as is made public, just like everyone else on this forum, as far as I know.

I dislike the man's persona intensely. .I think he's arrogant and unempathetic . I met many clergy like him during the 20 years I was a practising Catholic. That makes him possibly an unpleasant human being. It does not necessarily mean he is a sex criminal.

Perfectly willing to agree to differ in this matter.

***As flawed as it may be, it is far better than some of the alternatives.

xenoview's picture
Wonder how much money the

Wonder how much money the pope paid to get him off the hook?

Tin-Man's picture
@Xeno Re: "Wonder how much

@Xeno Re: "Wonder how much money the pope paid to get him off the hook?"

Dammit, Xeno, you beat me to it.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Yep, and, unlike many of his

Yep, and, unlike many of his vocal supporters and religious toadies I will accept the decision by the High Court of Australia without a quibble.

Note: that in the judgment reasons Pell is not "vindicated" not "innocent" but the evidence as presented was found wanting in order to convict beyond reasonable doubt.

That Pell is an arrogant, selfish ambitious creature consumed by his own self importance is not on trial...otherwise the decision would surely be in the affirmative.

boomer47's picture
@Old man

@Old man

"Yep, and, unlike many of his vocal supporters and religious toadies I will accept the decision by the High Court of Australia without a quibble."

A truly enlightened, perceptive and rational opinion. Translation; I concur .

algebe's picture
Scottish law used to have

Scottish law used to have three verdicts: guilty, not guilty, and not proven. Pell falls into the last category.

Pell says a "serious injustice" has been remedied. And about a million injustices remain unremedied. But it's all about Pell, right?

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Algebe

@ Algebe

Scottish Law still has those three verdicts. Despite centuries of pressure from the english....whose law has always favored the men of property....

And correct. Pell should have been "Not proven" which would open the floodgates for the other two hundred or so accusations that have been levelled at the upstanding Cardinal.

boomer47's picture


"Pell should have been "Not proven" which would open the floodgates for the other two hundred or so accusations that have been levelled at the upstanding Cardinal"

My understanding of double jeopardy is that Pell cannot be tried for that one offence. But that he maybe tried for any other accusations. I guess that's the rub.Even though Australia has no statute of limitations for such crimes, we are looking at a remove of 30 or more years I think .

Far too often such accusations come down to "He said, she/he said." There may be dozens of accusations, making guilt very likely, yet accusations ain't proof---that's why a monster like Bill Cosby can be convicted of only ONE of many alleged offences. Same goes for Harvey What's his name . At least it looks as if Harvey will die in prison. Cosby too, although it's possible he'll be realised on compassionate grounds if he becomes seriously ill or demented. His sentence is from 3.5 years TO 10 years.

Both felons fall into the category of cases one wishes a victim had managed to neuter the offender and get away with it.

OT : There's a disturbing film about that called 'Hard Candy"



"Bill Cosby has been sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago, becoming the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be jailed for his crimes."



Grinseed's picture
From the summary from the

From the summary from the High Court of Australia.

"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."

Can't say I am at all surprised at the outcome. Given his profile and the public revulsion of the crimes charged against him, his legal team must have been very confident that he was never likely to ever get anything like a "fair trial". After the braying public's demand for justice had been satisified with a few months prison time, they only had to wait until the media circus was distracted by bush fires and pandemics and quietly submit an appeal. They succeeded and exalted Justice is proven to be blind, deaf and insensible.

Pell will forever remain guilty in the public mind for his cover up of the crimes of his inhumane fellow priests and the callous treatment of their victims.

I suppose he will return to Italy, to the Vatican to seek asylum. Sure hope he doesn't get infected with Covid 19...cough.

algebe's picture
The utter irony is that Pell

The utter irony is that Pell represents a cult that was supposedly founded on the teachings of a man who willingly suffered the ultimate penalty as an innocent scapegoat for the sins of others. If the Cardinal truly believes in the vile concept of vicarious redemption, he should have taken the rap like Jesus to atone for all the child rapists who were allowed to sin with impunity on his watch.

Sheldon's picture
Just a few of points, sorry

Just a few of points, sorry if they've been covered already but I'm back in work and time is at a premium.

1. This acquittal is not a statement of innocence, that state is a primary assumption anyway, it is a legal statement that the original conviction was unsafe.
2. There are other civil charges for Pell to face, both relating to these alleged offences, and other historical sex abuse claims.
3. Pell may yet face other criminal charges for helping accused paedophiles escape justice and continue raping children in their care. A charge of perverting the course of justice, or as an accessory after the fact are probably two possibilities.

At all times we must bear in mind how difficult it is to properly gather reasonable evidence of wrongdoing in historical abuse cases, sadly the majority of the crimes will go unpunished. However, this should strengthen our resolve as societies to take every possible precaution to protect children from sexual predators, and to make sure those who pose a risk are never in a position to harm another child. This of course also highlights abuses of power within organisations like the RCC whose primary concern for centuries has clearly been the image of the church, and not as it should have been, the welfare of the vulnerable children in their care. For that the church should hang its head in shame...as should anyone who ever harms a child...

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Apparently Bendigo has more

Apparently Bendigo has more than 100 CIVIL court cases waiting to go against Pell, probably explains why he is desperately trying to get out of the country before notice can be served. Perhaps Covid 19 may well serve as a judgement call.....he cannot get to Italy or the US!

Let us remember the bar for judgement in a civil case is the "Probability", not "beyond reasonable doubt" as in a criminal court. Of course he is running for sanctuary overseas.

dogalmighty's picture
Obviously the australian


Obviously the australian legal system as failed its mandate to uphold justice. Maybe its time to look at that system. When multiple separate matching accounts of the same rape of children, breaches rational convention, the system has failed. How shameful, lets see how austrailians respond. Until then, lets hope austrailians don't continue to vilify the victims.

"Recovery from sexual abuse in childhood can be complex and can take time. For many people, particularly those who have experienced trauma, today’s news may bring a range of emotions. It’s important to know that support is available."

Obviously support is needed...now more so that Pell has sidestepped justice.

boomer47's picture


"Obviously the Australian legal system as failed its mandate to uphold justice. "

The Australian legal system has no such mandate. The reason for its existence is to maintain the rule of law. (and implicitly, the status quo) It I has little to do with justice except by occasional accident .

In over turning Pell's conviction our legal system worked exactly as it is meant to work. Pell's guilt was not proved .That mean the rule of law was not upheld and the conviction HAD to be quashed, The Australian courts have indeed lived up to their mandate.

Sheldon's picture


The Cardinal has clearly been properly coached not to be drawn into answering any questions.

David Killens's picture
Although I was insanely angry

Although I was insanely angry at the decision, I do understand the reasons for the decision. And after reading Old Man's balanced post, I must agree. We must respect the legal process.

But the SOB did spend over a year in jail, and the entire tale has sent a powerful message to all in power in the Vatican, that they are no longer above the law.

Justice thwarted? Yes for the victim. But for the roman catholic church, it is a nasty black eye and something that will make them think twice. For Pell, his life of influence and basking in the adulation of others is over. If he can get out of Australia in time, he will spend the rest of his life in a small room in the Vatican.

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