Thursday, August 22, 2019

NOW EVEN MORE TROUBLED.


The  Victorian Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and sentence for Cardinal George Pell.

The decision raises additional doubts for some, me included.

I am not a Catholic and my disquiet has nothing to do with Catholicism. There are far too many elements of serious abuse from that hierarchal institution through the ages. Some continue to the present.

My reading of the published evidence sees the "beyond reasonable doubt" necessary for a conviction, sitting on a razor-thin balance.

The surviving complainant, who the chief Justice described as very believable, changed the alleged date of the assault by a year.

The Cardinal had a normal, predictable mode of action for the time frame needed to have provided the opportunity for his alleged offending that resulted in conviction. But that was after a second court appearance. A first trial resulted in a hung jury, where the first small doubts created.

The charges were that the assault occurred after Mass when Pell had a routine of greeting his flock on the Cathedral steps. But this practice had to have been varied for the Cardinal to have committed his assault in an open-to-many-area, where his cumbersome, multiple layers of ceremonial robes would had to have been removed. Doubt one.

His alleged victims had been drinking communal wine that they described as Red - when White wine was in use. Doubt two.

Although Pell endured criticism for his handling of other alleged offending by priests under his control, he himself was never accused of any sexual assault. Doubt three.

Only one of the two original complainants survived to trial as a witness, the other died of a drug misadventure after the initial complaints to Police. Small doubt there: a he said / he said with zero confirming or corroborative evidence.

One of the three Supreme Court judges - the one who dissented from the two-one decision to decline the appeal - was the only judge experienced in criminal law. The two voting to decline the appeal were not so experienced. Doubt there in bigger degree.

As stated I have no skin in the game, but NZ is wrestling with the Peter Ellis conviction - now viewed by an increasing number of doubters as being based on false accusations of the charge. The passage of time has diminished the hysteria that accompanied the original accusations, leaving more doubters as the facts are reviewed by a sceptical public - both those around at that time when such wild tales of dark occurrences seemed a fanciful mystery, and those who have come to review the story nearly two decades after the almost surreal ideas held sway.

Any conviction of an innocent is a tragedy and in the absence of Capital Sanction that does give a bit of room for error: bad decisions still happen. I fervently hope Pell's conviction does not fall into such territory.

That said, getting past the "beyond reasonable doubt" aspect leaves me troubled - and I'm pretty much up there in my condemnation of all perpetrators so inclined, no matter their station in life. Were there any hint of hanging, Pell would have centuries of many proven incidents perpetrated by the Clergy as a factor in his conviction.

I am hoping not.

6 comments:

Seabird said...

I read something yesterday which stated that Pell has been the only person who has called the Pope out on his stance on climate change, then this happens? wonder if there is something simmering below the surface?

Andrei said...

It was nothing but a show trial conducted in secret with th4e trappingd only of the British System of jurispuridence.

In fact there were two trials with first resulting in a hung jury, so they had another go!

The totality of the evidence against the man was one secret witness.

The witnesses for the defence, one of whom is his lte eighties were grilled for hours by the prosecution.

The details that hve made it into the public domain seem absurd to those of us faamiliar with Liturgical worship in the Christian Faith.

A fully vested Priest or Bishop cannot exactly "flop it out". Vestments consists of multiple layers of heavy clothing reaching to below the ankles,

And after a Mass the presiding clergy meet with the laity - there is little time for molesting chiorboys in the sacristy as is claimed

It is my firmly held belief that the Good Cardinal was a thorn in the side to the so called "progressives" who as we all know are Godless servants of Satan and as such masters of lies and deceit. And with their Masters help have taken the Cardinal down,

The Good Wife said...

Fuckinghell,andrei, even for you that is stretch.

Roj Blake said...

It was nothing but a show trial conducted in secret with th4e trappingd only of the British System of jurispuridence.


Judge? Jury? Defence team? Evidence? Discovery?

Yes, all the norms to prof=vide a fair trial were present.

In fact, there were two trials with first resulting in a hung jury, so they had another go!

No, it wasn't "another go", there was no double jeopardy, it was, in fact, the way "British System of jurispuridence" operates.

A fully vested Priest or Bishop cannot exactly "flop it out". Vestments consists of multiple layers of heavy clothing reaching to below the ankles,

And yet, and yet, Pedophile Pell's defence team did not produce the garments as evidence. Is that because he had his modified?

It is my firmly held belief ...

So what? Beliefs don't matter in courts of law. Just the facts, ma'am. Just the facts.

Believe what you want, but Pedophile Pell has had his day in Court, has had his appeal, and is still a rock spider.

the Good Cardinal was a thorn in the side to the so called "progressives"

That's the trouble with us progressives, isn't it? We put the safety and wellbeing of children ahead of the needs and urges of Predator Priests.


Andrei said...

You are so clueless Roj

Here are what a Latin priest wears to celebrate Mass - The Byzantine Vestments that I am familiar with are similar but a little more elaborate and this what Cardinal Pell was supposedly wearing during the alledged assaults,

This was apprantly detailed to the court, your assertions to the contrary, and the sacristan (an old man in his late eighties now) who helped him robe gave testimony that he was with him in the sacristy - this was alluded to in the summary when the appeal was dismissedd. The prosection during their cross examination of this man spent hours making him look senile

All of this was hidden from us because the trials were not allowed to be reported on and the media were compliant in wanting to see this man destroyed

This is all very reminiscent of the show trials of the Soviet Union in the thirties - anonymous denouncers, semi secret trialsand so forth.

"That's the trouble with us progressives, isn't it? We put the safety and wellbeing of children ahead of the needs and urges of Predator Priests."

I laughed so loudly on reading this I almost wet my pants

It is your lot who vociferously defend the mass slaughter of the innocents in the womb for a start.

And it is your lot that promote the normalization of sexual deviancy among impressionable young people in schools - my son was literally told in a formal classroom setting that beingpenetrated in the anus or penetrating another boys anus with his penis was OK provided a condom ws worn

The latest incarnation of "progressive" insanity is the claim that people with male bodies can actually be girls and vice versa with all the difficulties and contradictions that ensue when kids take up the offer to switch from their biological gender

Roj Blake said...

@Andrei, et al.

Pell's entry in Wikipedia

George Pell AC (born 8 June 1941) is an Australian cardinal of the Catholic Church and convicted child sex offender.

The Court of Appeal had reviewed many hours of video testimony and cross examination and visited the sacristy and the corridor where the offending took place. In particular, they closely examined vestments identical to the ones Pell was wearing on the date of the crimes. These items of clothing had also been available to the jury, and the defence had imbued them with almost otherworldly qualities, pretending they were impervious to shifting or parting by human hands once donned. Not surprisingly, both the jury and judges discovered that these garments were entirely ordinary, not de facto chastity belts.

The Saturday Paper, 24/08/19