Shame! Cardinal Pell Charged With Trumped Up “Sexual Offences”

Shame! Cardinal Pell Charged With Trumped Up “Sexual Offences”

[Pope grants him leave of absence]

Cardinal George Pell, the Prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, has been charged with trumped up “sexual offences” on Thursday in Melbourne, the capital of the Australian state Victoria. Pell announced he would “return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name”. For years, Pell has been exposed to bogus accusations. He is hated by the commercial media for his strong Catholic leadership.

The Australian columnist Angela Shanahan wrote in early June that because of the media witch-hunt, Cardinal Pell “can never get a fair trial”. One of the leading Pell-haters is Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton.

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9 comments on “Shame! Cardinal Pell Charged With Trumped Up “Sexual Offences”

  1. [Not the first time that His Eminence has been charged and stepped aside from his duties]

    Pell previously faced an allegation of historic sexual abuse in 2002, shortly following his appointment as archbishop of Sydney. Charges were not brought by police over the allegation, but a retired civil judge was appointed by the Australian church to investigate the matter according to the church’s internal processes. Citing a lack of corroborative evidence for the allegation and Pell’s sworn denial, the judge found that he was “not satisfied that the complaint has been established.”

  2. [The liberal Catholic long knives come out]

    Suspended Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle agreed with Pope Francis’ decision to suspend Pell while the police pursue the charges against him. Doyle also said that the willingness of the Victoria police to pursue charges against the cardinal shows that law enforcement officials around the world are no longer giving deference to the church when it comes to abuse allegations. “A lot of the deference and the protection that the Holy See has counted on and taken for granted for so long is seriously eroding,” said the priest. “The defenses of that the Holy See could count on are now in a precarious position.” Doyle said he also thought the pope should “start seriously thinking” about submitting Pell to a canonical investigation regarding the allegations.

    “It seemed very much like a goodbye,” said Robert Mickens, a longtime Vatican observer and editor at La Croix International, a Catholic website. “I suspect this is the end of George Pell in the Vatican.”

  3. At last Cardinal Pell can—sort of—face his accusers

    By Phil Lawler | Jun 29, 2017

    If you’re surprised by the criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell, you haven’t been paying attention.

    For two years now the Australian cardinal has been the primary focus of an aggressive media campaign, with rumors about a police investigation constantly leaking into the press. Now at last the charges are out in the open—more or less. We know that prosecutors will bring formal charges against Cardinal Pell; we still don’t know exactly what those charges will be.

    The cardinal himself was obviously not surprised by the announcement. He had already made arrangements to take a leave of absence from his Vatican duties; he had consulted with doctors about his trip back to Australia to defend himself. (Notice, by the way, that if he chose to duck the prosecution, he could stay at the Vatican, since the Holy See does not have an extradition treaty with Australia.) He knew this was coming. Both his actions and his attitude are consistent with his public statement that he is happy for the opportunity finally to defend his reputation.

    Unfortunately the damage is done. If the charges are tossed out of court at the first opportunity, for lack of plausible evidence—as the cardinal’s staunch defenders believe they will be—critics will complain that the case was suppressed. Even if Cardinal Pell could prove with mathematical certainty that he is innocent, he will still be remembered as the cardinal who was accused of sexual abuse. The trial-by-media has already concluded. Public opinon, which does not concern itself with the niceties of the legal process, has already reached a verdict. The cardinal has been found guilty, before he even made his defense—indeed, before the actual charges were made public.

    To me it is noteworthy that Cardinal Pell now replaces Cardinal Bernard Law as the Catholic prelate most widely vilified in connection with the sex-abuse scandal. Both cardinals have admitted to mishandling complaints about abuse by other clerics. (In the case of Cardinal Pell, this is separate from the personal complaints against his own conduct, which he steadfastly denies.) But objectively speaking there is much more damning evidence of personal misconduct, and of gross mishandling of complaints, by other prominent prelates. (Archbishop Weakland and Cardinal Danneels come immediately to mind.) Is it a coincidence that liberal Catholic prelates have escaped the torrential media criticism that has engulfed the more conservative Cardinals Law and Pell?

    The very public trial of Cardinal Pell is a frightening spectacle, a reminder of how difficult it is to preserve the rights of someone who is accused of a heinous crime, and how easy it is for rumors to ruin a reputation. Let’s pray for a prompt, fair hearing and a clear, just result.

    • Phil,

      Get off the “poor Cardinal Law” horse. He was an arrogant bastard who deliberately shuffled fags. The way he treated parents who opposed his sex-ed was deplorable, too.

      He was a destroyer, Phil. Remember the Salvi affair? Law took the opportunity to kowtow to Gov Weld and promptly divide the pro-life community with his “order” to stay away from the mills. It had the desired effect of creating the “obedient” vs “disobedient” groups. It was devastating to pro-life direct action.

      While there are bishops with more egregious behavior, Law’s behavior was despicable, and you know it.

  4. [More details and context on the accusations and accusers et al.]


    Catholic League

    Catholic League president Bill Donohue speaks to the controversy over Cardinal George Pell:

    Cardinal Pell has been charged by Australian police on multiple counts of sexual abuse. He will appear before a Melbourne court on July 18. He says the charges are false and is “looking forward finally to having my day in court.”

    Actually, Cardinal Pell has been in court before, and the charges against him went nowhere. It is worth discussing them now, especially given the current media frenzy over the latest accusations.

    In 2002, allegations of sexual abuse against Cardinal Pell were thrown out of court by the Victorian Supreme Court. A Melbourne man said he was abused by Pell in 1962 at a camp when he was 12; Pell was studying for the priesthood. The judge ruled that there were “some valid criticism of the complainant’s credibility.” That was a gross understatement.

    The accuser was no stranger to the courts—he had appeared before a judge 20 times before. The result? He was convicted 39 times. As it turns out, the complainant was a violent drunken drug addict who served nearly four years in prison. He drove drunk, assaulted people, and took amphetamines.

    The case against Pell also took a hit when the accusations made against him could not be substantiated. Here is how the judge put it: “Of the numerous people who were at the camp either as adult helpers (including seminarians) or as altar servers, and who have made signed statements and/or who have given evidence, none was aware of any inappropriate behaviour by the respondent or any other adult.”

    None of this exculpatory evidence has had much effect on the Australian media. For example, in 2013, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald picked up a story by Barney Zwartz who said that Pell’s name has never been cleared. Yet in 2002, following the trial, Zwartz wrote that “an independent investigation by a retired non-Catholic judge cleared him.”

    Other media outlets cited Zwartz’s 2013 story, only to apologize to readers after the truth emerged. CathNews, a prominent Australian Catholic media source, admitted that it had made “unfair, false and seriously defamatory allegations against Cardinal Pell, who has worked hard to eradicate the evil of sexual abuse.”

    It is certainly true that Cardinal Pell has worked hard to rid the Church of sexual abuse. In 1996, just three months after he became the Archbishop of Melbourne, he launched an independent initiative offering compensation and counseling to the victims of sexual abuse. And at every step of the way, he has cooperated with the authorities in various probes.

    ~In May 2013, Pell offered testimony to the Victoria Parliamentary Inquiry into the ~Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Organizations.
    ~In August 2014, Pell spoke to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to ~Child Sexual Abuse.
    ~In February 2016, he spoke again to the Royal Commission.
    ~In March 2016, he testified once more to the Royal Commission.
    ~In October 2016, he spoke to the Victoria Police about allegations that he had inappropriately touched two boys while horsing around in a swimming pool in the 1970s.

    Regarding the swimming incident—this is one of the charges being made now against Cardinal Pell—it is striking these two men decided to keep their mouths shut for nearly 40 years before coming forward. Why would they do that?

    The accusers, Lyndon Monument and Damian Dignan, have had their share of problems. Indeed, they have a lot in common with the man who said he was abused by Pell in 1962 and had his case thrown out in 2002.

    Monument was a big drinker, but he didn’t stop with alcohol. He became a drug addict, dealing amphetamines, and wound up assaulting his girlfriend and a drug dealer; he spent 11 months in prison. Dignan also has a history of violence, and was arrested for drunk driving. Not surprisingly, both have made accusations against former teachers.

    As with the camp accuser, no one can corroborate the charges of the alleged pool victims. According to a news story by Australian journalist Louise Milligan, the pool manager’s wife concedes that Pell was “a constant figure at the pool every summer,” and “was very popular with the children that he played with.” The woman said that “neither she nor her husband ever saw anything untoward, and if they had, she said, George Pell would have been sent away and the police would have been called.”

    Milligan is not just another reporter—she has written a book about Cardinal Pell, one that puts a negative spin on him and the Church. She has been called a partisan out to get her subject, something she denies.

    “Let this be known,” she writes, “Cardinal Pell’s politics are of zero interest to me.” But then she says something that undercuts her statement: “He’s a man who for years was telling the rest of us how to live our lives—not least how to live our sex lives.” One wonders what world this woman lives in—she says she is non-partisan and then slams Pell for being a tyrant.

    The fact is that Milligan has never liked Cardinal Pell. The first article she ever wrote about him appeared in the April 16, 2001 edition of the Australian. It was about gay fascists who tried to storm St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. They were screaming, “George Pell, go to hell.” Like Milligan today, the gays objected to his defense of Catholic teachings on sexuality.

    The second piece written by Milligan on Pell (it was published June 25, 2001), said he was “rigid as an Easter Island statue,” one who ministers “hardline Catholicism to the faithful.” Imagine what she would say if she admitted to not liking him!

    Cardinal George Pell has long been targeted by homosexual activists, drug addicts, thugs, and ideologically driven reporters. He deserves better—he is entitled to the presumption of innocence. But given the animus against Catholicism these days, it won’t be easy for justice to prevail.

  5. Although he took a strong anti-SSPX position in the past, one may hope that the prayers of the SSPX’s (remaining) good souls will deliver him from this latest agit-prop garbage.

  6. PS: Blathering Bill ( and his $300K + income from neo-Cathlyck fans aside ) I’m glad he at least confronted the agit-prop of the Left -HQ, re. which is now in sunny Nuova Roma – at the Motel 6 – where never is heard a discouraging word ( to the joy of the jooos.)

  7. The Witch-Hunt of Cardinal George Pell
    By Nancy Flory, June 30, 2017

    “Pell can never receive a fair trial,” writes The Australian columnist Angela Shanahan. She is describing the “media witch-hunt” that has dogged Cardinal George Pell for two years. New and vague charges — of “historic sexual offenses” — were filed against Cardinal Pell yesterday morning. Cardinal Pell has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual abuse leveled against him. Still, the media in Australia have repeated claims about the Cardinal’s guilt. They’ve printed leaked information about the investigation against Pell, and claimed that charges were “imminent.” And hostile book on Cardinal Pell (Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell) came out in May.
    The ‘Witch Hunt’

    A few brave souls have challenged the Cardinal’s trial-by-media-innuendo. Amanda Vanstone, columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and “no fan of organized religion,” decries the media’s hysteria over Cardinal Pell. “What we are seeing is no better than a lynch mob from the dark ages … [it] is far worse than a simple assessment of guilt. The public arena is being used to trash a reputation and probably prevent a fair trial,” wrote Vanstone. “Isn’t it normal to try to ensure a person can get a fair trial,” she asks, “by keeping prejudicial, untested material out of the public arena?”

    Legal experts are worried. Andrew Halphen is the co-chairman of the criminal-law section of the Law Institute of Victoria. Halphen believes the leak exhibited a “lack of regard” for Cardinal Pell’s rights. He said it was a “startling affront” to Australia’s legal system. Halphen has serious doubts about whether Cardinal Pell can receive a fair trial.

    Robin Speed, Attorney and President of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia, warned prosecutors not to react to “the baying of a section of the mob.” He added that Cardinal Pell could be found innocent. If so, the bungled investigation could warrant a judicial inquiry.
    Retired High Court judge Ian Callinan QC worries about the publicity surrounding the cardinal. “Pre-trial by media is a serious problem.”
    Financial Reform

    Others wonder if the charges are related to Cardinal Pell’s work on Vatican financial reform. George Weigel is a long-time friend of Cardinal Pell’s and a writer at the National Review. “That reform has had its ups and downs,” wrote Weigel in yesterday’s column. “But Pell has had his share of successes,” despite corruption or other hurdles he’s faced.

    Weigel says that Cardinal Pell has enemies who for years wanted to do him harm. They vilified him for decades, “charging him with everything from vanity to bullying.” But recently the anti-Pell campaign has gone into “overdrive.”

    He added that perhaps Cardinal Pell’s reform threatened enemies with financial or legal problems. Those who wished him harm may have made up more false allegations in Australia.
    Cardinal Pell’s Statement

    Shortly after charges against him were announced, Cardinal Pell released a statement at the Vatican. For Cardinal Pell, the charges came on the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, which was like announcing charges against the President and Congress on July 4.

    Cardinal Pell’s claim of innocence was no surprise. He’s been denying any wrongdoing all along. He has stated in part:

    These matters have been under investigation now for two years. There have been leaks to the media, there’s been … a relentless character assassination — and for more than a month claims that a decision whether on laying charges is ‘imminent.’ I’m looking forward to finally having my day in court. I’m innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me. … All along I’ve been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations.

    Cardinal Pell added that the charges offer him an opportunity to clear his name.

    Weigel hopes that the “persecution fever gripping Australia breaks.” He wants Cardinal Pell to receive a fair trial. He hopes the jury will take the “rules of evidence … more seriously than those who have been baying for George Pell’s blood.”

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