C.L. : No country for old Catholics

It was a combination of unwavering viciousness and happenstance that allowed evil to win in the Coen brothers’ celebrated neo-noir neo-Western. Hopes for a just denouement were dashed on the rocks of brutal reality – though it must be acknowledged, with due respect, that evil was playing a long game and conscientiously. The enemies of Cardinal George Pell had that sort of resolve and that sort of luck. A DPP who kept indulging preposterous briefs of “evidence,” a Pell-hating police force now regarded as the most corrupt in the country, a public broadcaster with a years-simmering hatred of the Cardinal, a second jury of dupable vigilantes eager to convict the self-same but, by then, notorious George Pell and an appeals court which this morning raised preposterous hearsay to the level of DNA and CCTV. For make no mistake: the liberty of any Victorian accused by a single person of an unverifiable crime (even one allegedly committed decades ago) is now in jeopardy. That is, until such time as similar accusations are made against a beloved leftist whereupon “growing calls” will be heard to reform the law. If ever there was a case in need of High Court correction, this is it. The future of the Commonwealth depends on it.

Whenever I’ve encountered scorners’ schadenfreude, I’ve always told them I’m a happy warrior. Scorn all you like; the fight continues. In that spirit, I wanted to review a little-noticed and bizarre feature story about George Pell’s supposed “fall” written by Louise Milligan in March. She has made herself the face of the anti-Pell movement, after all. It is instructive to parse the entire article to remind ourselves what a witch-hunt looks like. In brief: George Pell is in prison because conjoined twins – enfants terribles indeed – assassinated his character. There was absolutely no chance of him ever receiving a fair trial. No person with a triple digit IQ can deny that. The degree of joint enterprise by Victoria Police and the ABC is not known at this time. Suffice to say – and nothing more is here argued – that these two notoriously anti-Catholic, anti-Pell institutions were always sailing in the same direction. Perhaps the scandal is not that they colluded en route but that signal flags were never needed.

Choked Up In the Booth

Already love-bombed with accolades by euphoric Pell haters, earlier this year the ABC’s Louise Milligan published her version of the George Pell prosecution for the Women’s Weekly. Yes, really. In the April number she muscled into a contents page that included “Best ever hot-cross buns” and “Oprah’s secret to true happiness.” Without wanting to insult that revered magazine’s readership, it is nevertheless true to say it’s extremely unlikely many of them would be aware of the convoluted matrix of factoids, incredible accusations, deranged personalities, dirty tricks and vendettas that led to the conviction and imprisonment of the nation’s most senior Catholic. Not only is Milligan the national broadcaster’s Pell roundsman, she has also become a kind of Miss Marple of sacristy and surrounds – albeit one with a Cliff’s Notes grasp on Catholicism – whose ‘investigations’ have made her a one woman anti-Pell cottage industry. With customary airs, she recently announced the publication of a spoken word version of her book, Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell.

Many have asked, I’m pleased to announce: My #Pell book #Cardinal is now an @Audible_AU audiobook. Voiced by me. I’ll admit there were times, as I narrated this terrible history, I choked up in the booth. But it’s a history that must be told. Get it here.

Her description of the book as “terrible history” is uncharacteristically accurate.

Mother of Mercy

Milligan begins as all lapsed Catholic journalists do, especially if they want a long-term future at the ABC: by setting out to prove what a pious Catholic she used to be. This is now a tradition in the Western media, akin to an ambassador presenting credentials to an embassy. The ritual says, ‘I’m about to write about Catholics and I want Catholics especially to believe that I’m not doing a vinegary, prejudiced hit piece (which of course I am).’

I was raised a devoted Catholic. Mass every Sunday, confession, giving up sweets for Lent. At school we recited Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.

Golf clap.

The prayer is called the Hail Holy Queen (or the Salve Regina). Nobody – and I mean nobody – calls it the “Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.” Anyway, after the boilerplate bona fides, she gets down to business. Her business being guilt by association and the misrepresentation of Cardinal Pell’s words at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into child abuse. Before we get to that, it is necessary to concentrate on another witness who gave testimony to that same Inquiry because, like Carl Williams, his indiscretions provoked a gut-shot that, arguably, became motive for war.

“Blatant untruths”

The most noteworthy alleged whoppers in testimony at the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry in late 2012 were related – possibly inadvertently (we don’t know) –  by then Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton.

A VICTORIAN police deputy commissioner and the force have been accused of false and misleading evidence to the state’s child sex abuse inquiry in a withering takedown of their allegations.

An eminent lawyer has accused police and Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton of “blatant untruths”, a “travesty” of justice, “utterly false” claims and of “malicious nonsense” in evidence obtained by The Australian.

Peter O’Callaghan, QC, independent commissioner in charge of the Catholic Church’s Melbourne-based complaints system, has exposed weaknesses in the police submission and provided evidence that contradicts the most damaging claim by Mr Ashton and the force that the church failed to report a single case of abuse to police.

In other words, Ashton was humiliated by O’Callaghan. He also made claims regarded by the Church’s lawyers as even more egregiously incorrect (again, perhaps unknowingly):

Victoria Police has been exposed vastly overstating the number of suicides related to child-sex abuse by Catholic clergy …

The assertion that 43 suicide deaths were related to Catholic abuse was a central reason for the formation of the Victorian inquiry, which in turn was a key reason the national sex abuse royal commission was formed …

Mr Ashton told the Victorian inquiry in late 2012 that the force was examining for the coroner 43 suicide deaths allegedly related to church abuse… But at the same time a police Sexual Crimes Squad investigation was wound up, detailing how the original claims of up to 43 deaths could not be substantiated…

Operation Plangere could substantiate only one firm case…. Despite knowing for more than two years that the figure was grossly wrong, the force has never publicly corrected it, regardless of the enormous damage it caused the church.

The concocted deaths cited in Ashton’s testimony (for which he has never been reprimanded; he was, indeed, promoted) sound a lot like the inventions that brought into being Operation Midland, the Metropolitan Police inquiry into Carl “Nick” Beech’s counterfeit Westminster VIP paedophile ring allegations.

The Searson Set-up

Louise Milligan didn’t notice any of this. In her non-telling, VicPol’s shameless dishonesty before the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry never happened. Her alarm bell was set off by somebody else’s testimony. Guess whose:

Julie had all of that hope and innocence dashed when she was abused in the confessional by a thoroughly horrible human called Father Peter Searson, a Brylcreemed paedophile priest who carried a gun around the parish school at Doveton, in Melbourne’s south-east, where he terrorised the children.

Many years later, when he was giving evidence to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into child abuse, Cardinal George Pell denied knowing about sexual abuse at Doveton, saying only “there might be victims”. But as we discovered for our program, in 1998 Pell, then Archbishop of Melbourne, had sent Julie a letter apologising for the abuse and paying her a confidential settlement through his Melbourne Response scheme. It made me think two things: First, I should investigate this man more because I had serious questions about whether he was a truth-teller.

The full transcript of the exchange Milligan here conveniently reduces to a four word abridgment (and of the entire Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry) may be read here. I urge readers to find the questions asked and answered by Inquiry deputy chairman Frank Maguire and Cardinal Pell respectively. The Cardinal does not “deny knowing about sexual abuse at Doveton.” He points out that Searson was never charged or prosecuted for a sexual crime, despite two Victoria Police investigations and a third investigation conducted by Minter Ellison lawyers at the private behest of the Melbourne Catholic Education Office.

Ergo: despite Victoria Police taking no action against Searson, Julie received compensation and a letter of apology from the then Archbishop of Melbourne. This was no doubt based on Searson’s bad general reputation; Pell told the Victorian inquiry that Searson was “not a pleasant man” and that he was eventually convicted for an act of cruelty. It was Pell who sacked Searson and then manfully defied a ludicrous order from the Vatican that he be reinstated. The payment to Julie, then, brought great credit upon Cardinal Pell. By airbrushing away the annoying facts – assured that readers of the Women’s Weekly are no more likely to check them than they are to make those hot-cross buns – Milligan re-badges the episode as a black mark against the Cardinal’s name. What did Justice Peter Kidd have to say about such criminally negligent conduct? This:

… you [are not] being sentenced for any failure to prevent or report child sexual abuse by other clergy within the Catholic Church. You have not been charged with or convicted of any such failings.

This was just one of the slap-downs administered by Justice Kidd to the ABC (by logical implication if not by name). By the way (for non-Victorians), Frank Maguire was and is a Labor MP and a former ABC journalist. As with Operation Midland, the witch-hunting by police, Labor politicians and state journalists has been starkly symbiotic throughout the Pell saga.

The Men She Began To Meet

And so Milligan proceeds to the allegations that led, albeit haltingly, to an infamous prosecution. Needless to say, she leaves out the corrupt “trawling” operation conducted by a vengeful Victoria Police to find somebody – anybody – who wanted to make accusations against one George Pell. Again, this mirrored what British police did at the behest of Carl Beech, the paedophile recently convicted of 12 counts of perverting the course of justice (inter alia).

I by no means thought Pell himself was an abuser until early 2016. From February that year, I began to meet men who made extremely concerning allegations about the Cardinal, going back decades.

She “began to meet men” who made accusations about the Cardinal? How? Where? Who facilitated this exordium of her enlightenment? If a third party made the introductions, what interest might they have had in cultivating an ABC journalist? She won’t say.

And again:

There was nothing in the men whom I began to meet (and whose stories I told in my book, Cardinal, The Rise and Fall of George Pell) that made me think that any of them were not telling the truth.

Let’s emphasise her key assertion: that every single one of them was telling the truth.

In fact, the claims of two of the men Milligan began to meet were blocked by Justice Peter Kidd and abandoned by the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions. For the latter, Fran Dalziel SC had sought to have three swimming-related accusations heard together in order to use “pattern” trickery to push-poll a jury. Justice Kidd ruled this package deal of wild, no-witness charges could never be safely tried. In other words, it was cowboy posturing and legal trash.

Additionally, we know that the two principal swimmer “victims” had serious criminal records, one being a former drug-peddler jailed for assaulting his girlfriend. Also, he had a lengthy history of psychiatric illness. The two mates (for mates they were) also made accusations of far worse abuse against other people – teachers – which Taskforce SANO, mysteriously, didn’t bother to either publicise or prosecute. Why? Because they concluded the allegations were utter nonsense, that’s why.

Milligan leaves out these latter details because they are damning. Instead she asserts that nothing about these men she began to meet made her think they were anything other than admirable truth-tellers. She even worried about the “strain” it was causing them. (Not as big a strain as being bashed by a drug dealer). Prosecutors had already given up on other fanciful charges before the committal. Magistrate Belinda Wallington herself threw out others as warped, fantastical claptrap. In truth, only a solitary accuser (the former choirboy) survived the cull and his claims were not accepted by a majority of jurors in Cardinal Pell’s first, abandoned trial. They were accepted by a second jury for whom George Pell, by then, was obviously synonymous with child molestation – not least because of the dedicated propaganda of Milligan’s employer, the ABC, which devoted an entire episode of the7.30 Report to the now deep-sixed accusations of the aforementioned “swimmers.”

So much for the men she began to meet.

Florid Mental Illness

Having demonstrated her ineptitide at gauging the legal credibility of chancers, oddballs and ex-cons, Milligan then touts her skills as a psychiatrist while dismissing suggestions Pell’s accusers are fabulists or storytellers. For the record, Louise Milligan is not a psychiatrist.

I think you would have to have a florid mental illness to endure that if it hadn’t happened. And while these men have suffered from post-traumatic stress, they do not have florid mental illnesses.

Clinically, the word “florid” is used almost exclusively in relation to schizophrenic psychosis. Saying Pell’s accusers must be believed because they are not psychotics is a weirdly low bar for establishing their soundness. There are countless examples of outwardly steady people who are known to have made false accusations and maintained the charade up to and beyond verdict day. Carl Beech is their newest exemplar. Left-wing journalists (that’s most of them) were so giddy on Trump hatred that they believed every claim uttered by US Supreme Court then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers. All of whom, it turns out, were certifiable. Just last month, actor John Jarrett was acquitted of raping a woman 40 years ago. The jury deliberated for 15 minutes – which was just enough time for “yeah-nah” to be said twelve times. His accuser found her way to a police station after local #MeToo wrangler Tracey Spicer asked the public to email her any claims against big names in the entertainment industry. This was very similar to VicPol’s “Operation Tethering” – used to round up some Pell “victims” when miffed detectives realised there were no accusations against the Cardinal. Other Spicer-promoted trials are now unlikely to go forward. This will be a huge relief to Big Ted and Mr Squiggle.

An Imaginary Vatican Doctor

To illustrate how somebody who isn’t suffering from a “florid mental illness” might nevertheless paint the lily, malice aforethought, we need only read Milligan’s next casual slur.

Like everyone else in Australia, I did wonder about Pell’s decision not to fly to Australia in late 2015 because of a heart condition. One of the fascinating things I discovered when researching my book was that Pell’s sick note had been written by a Vatican doctor who is responsible for declaring medical miracles, which mean that a person gets the tick of approval for being a saint. I thought that was a telling choice of person to make the decision that Pell was too ill to fly.

Like everyone else? Note this infantile tendency to exaggerate. We’ll return to it shortly. Milligan’s claim, of course, is risible balderdash. There is not – nor has there ever been – “a Vatican doctor” who declares medical miracles. Rather

To even be considered, a potentially miraculous cure must be instantaneous or sudden, complete and permanent, and without apparent scientific explanation. When reviewing such cures, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Vatican office that oversees sainthood applications, first turns potential miracles over to the Consulta Medica. This board, established by the Vatican in the mid-1900s, is made up of about 100 renowned Italian (and Catholic) physicians. Traditionally, a panel of five Consulta Medica doctors will review the putative miracle, examining any available CT scans, X-rays, and medical reports. At least three of the five must agree that the hand of God has prevailed where science faltered.

Her mockery of some of the finest medical minds in the world tells you what a sour lightweight Milligan is. Raised a “devoted Catholic” remember, she is saying that any doctor involved in investigating miracles must, ipso facto, be a dishonest quack. She finds that easier to believe than that a conveniently anonymous “victim” who claims to have been raped by George Pell – in an open room amidst dozens of passers-by (not one of whom noticed) – might be less than credible. There is no evidence whatsoever that Cardinal Pell ever considered hiding out in the Vatican. Implying otherwise is brazenly dishonest. Besides all that, as even nominal and lapsed Catholics know, only the Supreme Pontiff may “declare” something to be a miracle. A Petrine judgement closer to home was delivered by Justice Kidd (yet again): “You [George Pell] have a significant history of cardiac problems and currently suffer from hypertension and congestive heart failure. You have a dual chamber pacemaker.”

Milligan was wrong again and for the same reason: summit fever on Mount Get Pell.

99.9 Percent

We have already seen how Milligan tends to angrily exaggerate as a lazy way of mimicking rebuttal. There is also her triumphant love of mobs. Everyone in Australia wondered about Cardinal Pell delaying a return to Australia on medical grounds, for example, when a more accurate claim would be that some commentators (who hate George Pell) wondered about it. This they did in columns (or, in one case, song) to viciously calumniate the man in the public’s eyes. Her majoritarian hubris continues …

… the response has been 99.9 per cent positive. I have had dozens and dozens of messages from people around the country and internationally, many of them ordinary lay Catholics or religious like nuns and priests, who are pleased that a light has been shone on this very dark place.

Dozens and dozens is not a lot of emails. And only “many” of those were from admiring lay Catholics and “religious like nuns and priests.” I guess all the others were from David Marr. I strongly doubt that many “nuns” emailed Milligan about her book. The chances of nuns having a copy, reading it and then emailing her about it are close to zero. Elderly women religious from moribund congregations – in between workshops on puppetry in the liturgy – maybe. And most priests are secular, not religious. I doubt many priests religious contacted her either. These are the sloppy phrases of somebody with an amateurish, recently assembled understanding of Catholicism. She doesn’t know what she doesn’t know. But she does know how to exaggerate and fulminate on behalf of a mob.

Loud and Shouty

A loud and shouty minority has insisted Pell is innocent. The fact that the defenders of a now-convicted paedophile include two former Prime Ministers floors me. I understand that people have friendships and political alliances with Pell. They have gone in to battle with him in the culture wars. But their comments have shown, in my view, an extraordinary lack of empathy for victims and their families who are hurting.

Two other former prime ministers, Gough Whitlam and Paul Keating, defended Pol Pot and General Suharto respectively. I doubt Milligan would be floored to learn this. History (and hours of videotape) prove that the only “loud and shouty” people in the larger Pell circus were the ones outside various court houses in Melbourne during the accused’s committal and trial. In the judgement of Victoria Police – which dispatched tens of armed officers to protect the Cardinal – he was in very real danger of being assaulted or worse. In sentencing, Justice Kidd accepted the truth and appropriateness of the character references provided to the court. Pointedly, he also noted that “these references were not challenged or contradicted by the prosecution.” Notice also Milligan’s plural trickery: “victims.” There was, of course, only one (supposed) “victim.” The second choirboy told his mother he was never sexually abused. Moreover, George Pell also has a family but that didn’t concern the ABC when it was slandering him using testimony from men whose claims have now been flushed down the Victorian legal system’s toilet. And a busy old dunny it is, already clogged with the Lawyer X scandal whose leitmotif is – get this – rigged prosecutions.

As for the “loud and shouty,” they were dealt with by Justice Kidd in an extraordinary aside:

… we have witnessed, outside of this court and within our community, examples of a ‘witch-hunt’ or ‘lynch mob’ mentality in relation to Cardinal Pell. I utterly condemn such behaviour. That has nothing to do with justice or a civilized society. The Courts stand as a bulwark against such irresponsible behaviour.

You can always pick the ring-leaders of a lynch mob. They invariably claim to speak for “everyone else in Australia” and “99.9 percent” of people.

I’m Guessing It Was Also a Dark and Stormy Night

Actual passages from the Milligan piece:

“… that evening is etched in my brain because releasing my book was a leap of faith into shark-infested waters.”

“… a dawn of change is sweeping through parishes and schools.”

Geez, Louise. For this, Australia’s arts apparatchiks awarded her several prizes for ‘literature.’

“We used my son and my neighbour’s boy …”

Here’s something that’s etched in my brain after reading Milligan’s essay: her strange obsession.

I remember when we started shooting a reenactment of a game being played by George Pell and some eight-year old boys at a swimming pool for our ABC story. We used my son and my neighbour’s boy for that scene. They enjoyed playing the game. It brought home to myself and my friend the horrible loss of trust that children who are victims of sexual abuse by clergy suffer.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this passage horrified Women’s Weekly readers more than any other. It certainly should have. What sort of person ‘uses’ two little boys in a filmed child molestation “reenactment”? Milligan could just as readily have used her aunt to dramatise the testimony about these particular charges given by the pool owner’s wife. That lady told police she never once saw – and was never apprised of – anything remotely suspicious involving George Pell. Milligan thinks she is clever in decorating the bereft case against the Cardinal with multiple “victims,” bogus patterns of behaviour and predictable third parties to hate: John Howard, Tony Abbott, the evil Vatican Doctor. She even gives left-wing Jesuit Frank Brennan a drive-by spray with the mud Uzi. It must have been particularly irksome to Milligan that Brennan – a distinguished lawyer and intellectual with a long record of theological animosity to Pell – questioned the propriety of the major partners in the Pell prosecution: Victoria Police and the media.

Time To Spike Milligan

One final mistake Milligan makes is general; as sweeping as the dawn, so to speak. Having appended to George Pell’s name culpability for multiple non-existent crimes – all the better to leave the phony impression of habituated sexual monstrosity – she concludes her Women’s Weekly feature by extrapolating for the Catholic Church a wider, revolutionary significance in the Cardinal’s conviction, as also an emphatic vindication for abuse victims. This hackneyed left-wing idea of justice – where the healing of a class of “victims” trumps even the safety of the prosecution that magically enables it – was forcefully and explicitly repudiated by Justice Kidd:

This leads me to say something to other victims of clerical or institutional sexual abuse who may be present in court today or watching or listening elsewhere. This sentence is not and cannot be a vindication of your trauma. Cardinal Pell has not been convicted of any wrongs committed against you. Cardinal Pell does not fall to be punished for any such wrongs. I recognise that you seek justice, but it can only be justice if it is done in accordance with the rule of law. For me to punish Cardinal Pell for the wrongs committed against you would be contrary to the rule of law and it would not be justice at all.

This too may be seen as a demolition of the Milligan/ABC exegesis. It is no excuse for either prosecutorial or journalistic chicanery to argue the unjustly spiked head will at least straighten out the recusants.

And yet …

So her work is marbled with harebrained suppositions, egregious cherry-picking, factual blunders, suspicious omissions, queer mysteries, adolescent prose and now discredited assertions; no doubt. But somehow Milligan – or, more to the point – a revoltingly ugly mentality walked away triumphant this morning from a car crash. We can only hope a second appellate sequel is in the making to right the wrong.

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522 Responses to C.L. : No country for old Catholics

  1. dover_beach

    No, they haven’t.

    Weinberg beautifully put the prosecution’s case as in sum ‘its possible’. You know, ‘it’s possible’ the altar wine was left out contrary to whatever was given in testimony. It’s possible’ that two choristers left the procession without being noticed by adult choiristers at the rear of the procession, and past the organist, as well as escaping detection of the choirmaster, even though they all gave testimony that they do not recall any such incident during the period in question. ‘It’s possible’ the sacristy was left unlocked, open and unattended even though Potter testified that this would not be the case. That ‘it’s possible’ Pell was not at the steps of the cathedral and left unattended by either Portelli or Potter immediately after Mass for a period of at least 10 mins while still in his robes, etc. even though this would be against custom and practice and they testified that the do not recall leaving Pell unattended at this time, and even though McGlone testified that Pell was at the front of the cathedral farewelling parishioners having introduced his mother to Pell.
    Yet none of this raised a reasonable doubt in Ferguson and Maxwell’s mind. Apparently, they imagined that all of these various ‘possibilites’ could give rise to a verdict of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Yeah nah. If none of this raises a reasonable doubt, the bar is far too high.

  2. classical_hero

    I’ve never known any preacher who gave a sermon to be alone straight after. They are always busy chatting to people.

    Yeah it’s possible, but it’s also possible that I win the lottery or get struck by lightning.

  3. classical_hero

    It’s also possible that he has 3 arms.

  4. candy

    Except there is no evidence of recent drug abuse, lying, or untrustworthy by the accuser – most accounts say he leads a fairly ordinary life now.

    He was a drug user then when all this happened?

  5. candy

    Reading above I saw the “victims” were druggies and drug dealers.

    Look, you can’t trust a word of drug addicts and people in that sphere. Their lives revolve around getting their drugs and they will let nothing stand in the way. So lie, cheat, steal – to get drugs.

    And they lie exceedingly well.

  6. Rex Mango

    To all those questioning the movitvation as to why would someone make false accusations about GP, just look at the lynch mob out front of court.

  7. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    Yet none of this raised a reasonable doubt in Ferguson and Maxwell’s mind. Apparently, they imagined that all of these various ‘possibilites’ could give rise to a verdict of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Yeah nah. If none of this raises a reasonable doubt, the bar is far too high.

    That’s how appeals work. They aren’t meant to completely re-hear a case. They consider the issues that were appealed. In this case, they were testing the defence’s proposition that the offence was ‘impossible’. Concluding that each aspect of the offence was in fact ‘possible’ is exactly what they needed to do to dismiss the appeal.

  8. FelixKruell

    Candy:

    Reading above I saw the “victims” were druggies and drug dealers.

    As children they apparently were (or at least one was). There’s no evidence that the accuser was a druggie or drug dealer now, or in the recent past. Again, what makes you think these things weren’t tested by the courts?

  9. Zatara

    Except there is no evidence of recent drug abuse, lying, or untrustworthy by the accuser

    Let’s assume for a moment that there was in fact evidence of recent drug abuse or more importantly, an arrest or two. How exactly would we find out about that?

    On the other hand, who would know about it and have a reason not to publicize it? Would it be the same agency who spent years advertising for and auditioning potential “victims” to prep for use against Cardinal Pell?

    Not suggesting it happened, just pointing out that “it’s possible”.

  10. calli

    They aren’t meant to completely re-hear a case.

    True.

    But re-trials are meant to. And this one didn’t.

    I wonder if the first, undecided jury were so because they saw the accuser cross examined in person? A person’s presence and demeanour is evidence in itself.

  11. Rex Mango

    Technically they did re-hear the case, as they watched the same video as the jury.

  12. notafan

    As children they apparently were (or at least one was). There’s no evidence that the accuser was a druggie or drug dealer now, or in the recent past. Again, what makes you think these things weren’t tested by the courts?

    because there are strict limits to what the defense can ask the accuser

    in this case I believe Richter tried to ask about prior criminal convictions at committal and was slapped down by Wallington.

    Earlier in the hearing Detective-Superintendent Sheridan admitted Victoria Police set up a secret task force to try and establish allegations against Cardinal Pell when he was still Archbishop of Sydney.

    The court heard “Operation Tethering” began in 2013 to seek out “intel” on Cardinal Pell, who moved over to the Vatican in 2014.

    “Operation Tethering wasn’t a ‘get Pell’ operation was it?” Mr Richter asked Detective-Superintendent Sheridan.

    The Detective-Superintendent did not deny the accusation, saying: “Tethering was commenced as an intel probe around what offences the cardinal may have committed.

    “I guess you could term it the way you did but I didn’t term it that way.”

    Mr Richter also questioned Detective-Superintendent Sheridan and later David Rae, a detective senior constable who worked on Sano Task Force and is now with the senior proceeds squad, about the “failures” of Victoria Police to carry out a proper investigation.

    Mr Richter said proper procedure was not followed in terms of interviewing potential witnesses, failing to seek Cardinal Pell’s diaries, improper note taking and failing to look into the psychological history of the accusers.

    He said officers also failed to ask “obvious questions” in regards allegations involving St Patrick’s Cathedral where Cardinal Pell took mass as Archbishop of Melbourne.

    Mr Richter also revealed he personally presented a “thick dossier” of evidence, including witness statements, to show Cardinal Pell’s innocence to detectives in Rome when they flew to Italy to interview the Cardinal in October 2016.

    It was also revealed for the first time that Victoria Police planned to arrest and question Cardinal Pell when he was supposed to attend a Royal Commission hearing in Melbourne in November 2015.

    Ten days before Cardinal Pell was due to travel he announced he was too unwell to fly.

    Mr Richter told Detective Senior Constable Rae it would have been “illegal” to arrest Pell just to question him.

    a reminder of the vicpol fun and games

  13. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    There must be a lot people on this thread who attended every day of hearings and who are extremely well versed in all the facts. I note that some are inventing facts in order to create new avenues of defence for Pell. So I am wondering whether they exercise this level of anxiety about our courts on every case or whether they reserve this scrutiny for cases in which they are biased?

  14. notafan

    Apparently no-one can have an opinion about a high profile case unless they attended the trial (even though they would have been excluded from watching the accuser give evidence even then)

    the same dumb know it all that said it was between the testimony of Cardinal Pell (who didn’t testify) and the accuser and cheerfully ignored the 20 odd other witnesses

    and of course dumb know it all doesn’t have any bias

    of course not

    what a contributer

  15. Viva

    We live in a culture dominated by the therapeutic imperative based on Healing/Feelings. This has become the focus for the religious impulse often no longer channelled through organised religion. We are all aware of how feelings now prevail over reason in many if not most public debates – the transgender issue being the latest among many.

    Healing/Feelings are in turn easily conflated with morality. Just as climate change is framed as a moral rather than a scientific issue, so I read in today’s Australian that some are saying the Pell case should be seen as a moral issue rather than a legal issue. Now we see, as a corollary, the view that Pell should cop his sentence in the name of victims’ healing allowing them to move on in their lives.

    The whole of the West seems to be governed by a category error. As a counsellor I can attest that therapy has its own genuine purpose and role. But the legal and climate systems do not exist for a therapeutic purpose and neither does the religious/spiritual dimension (organised or otherwise expressed).

  16. dover_beach

    That’s how appeals work. They aren’t meant to completely re-hear a case. They consider the issues that were appealed. In this case, they were testing the defence’s proposition that the offence was ‘impossible’. Concluding that each aspect of the offence was in fact ‘possible’ is exactly what they needed to do to dismiss the appeal.

    Weinberg’s dissent:

    625 In the majority judgment, the relevant test in relation to this ground of appeal was expressed in the following terms:

    If the alibi evidence is so cogent as to engender in any reasonable mind a doubt of the accused’s guilt, the conviction must be quashed and a verdict of acquittal entered however cogent the prosecution evidence would otherwise be.[173]

    and

    663 Accordingly, the task of this Court in dealing with Ground 1 is to carry out an independent assessment, but of the whole of the evidence. Having done so, each member of the Court must consider whether there is, in the mind of that particular judge,[189] a ‘doubt’ as to guilt. If such a doubt exists, it will ordinarily be a doubt that the jury ought to have had. In that event, a second question must be asked, namely, whether that ‘doubt’ persists notwithstanding the advantages over the appellate court that are normally ascribed to the jury.

    The defence’s case didn’t rest on ‘impossibility’, but

    [190] Although the word ‘impossible’ was used throughout, it is clear that what the defence sought to convey was ‘realistically not possible.’

    In other words, the mere possibility that X or Y ( and this ignores the accumulation of uncustomary occurrences and unnoticed absences) could have passed doesn’t ally each reasonable doubt.

  17. candy

    in this case I believe Richter tried to ask about prior criminal convictions at committal and was slapped down by Wallington.

    I reckon 99.9999% those prior convictions are drugs and theft and perhaps assaults. Drugs simply destroy people into brain damage and criminal activities. Nothing is believable or trustworthy. If that is a person’s world you simply cannot believe their recollections, in fact you simply can’t believe them at all.

    Those prior convictions would be most important in a case relying on someone’s memory with no evidence whatsoever. in my opinion.

  18. calli

    No one can have an opinion about robbery unless they have been robbed.

    Ditto for r a pe or abortion.

    Probably won’t work so well for euthanasia.

    h/t to C.L. and the thread title

  19. FelixKruell

    Zatara:

    Let’s assume for a moment that there was in fact evidence of recent drug abuse or more importantly, an arrest or two. How exactly would we find out about that?

    Presumably the defence would find out about it.

  20. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Elderly White Man From Skipton
    #3139078, posted on August 23, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    There must be a lot people on this thread who attended every day of hearings and who are extremely well versed in all the facts. I note that some are inventing facts in order to create new avenues of defence for Pell. So I am wondering whether they exercise this level of anxiety about our courts on every case or whether they reserve this scrutiny for cases in which they are biased?

    No champ, that’s you. If you had any shred of integrity you could gainsay my calims.

  21. FelixKruell

    Notafan:

    in this case I believe Richter tried to ask about prior criminal convictions at committal and was slapped down by Wallington.

    The quote you provided doesn’t seem to mention this at all?

  22. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    FelixKruell
    #3139016, posted on August 23, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Frank:

    Will you stop it with this faux concern for propriety?

    Making a decision based on the evidence is kinda important. But clearly you disagree.

    There is no evidence, the accuser PERJURED HIMSELF during the committal and LIED TO THE POLICE and was contradicted by the chronology of the Cathedral being renovated, bucko.

    Not to mention all of the exculpatory evidence the police & OPP excluded (misconduct, anyone) and witnesses who contradicted the accuser.

    Look champ, you just WANT Pell to be guilty.

    Did Weinberg find there was perjury by the accuser? Or chronological impossibility? Or misconduct by the trial judge? I must have missed that in his decision.

    I don’t need Weinberg to agree with me. Weinberg otherwise, agrees with me. I am correct. You are not.

    The final straw really being that two of the appeal judges have thus far incorporated “using your imagination” into the common law of Victoria and as a persuasive authority elsewhere in Australia.

    No, they haven’t.

    Yes, they have. You are lying Felix. At a minimum, you have NOT read the judgment.

  23. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    And now the bad news, maybe mentioned back thread as I haven’t checked. In the Oz this morning we find that of the three appellant judges, two had absolutely no background in the criminal law at all. One, the woman, was in litigation (contracts; ‘straight out of the partnerships’ suggests my husband) and the other of this duo was in securities, stock markets etc and has worked with known deep lefty Julian Burnside (the negatively-geared real estate supremo in his own lifetime) on various cases to do with the claims (sorry, feelz) of refugees, Burnside’s very particular interest. In contrast, Weinstein was previously a Director of Public Prosecutions, well versed in that which he wrote of in his dissenting judgement. Details here we retrieved from Dr. Google.

    As Candy says, and as I can confirm from similar knowledge of the life of those on the streets who have fallen through the cracks of a decent upbringing (and there are many of them, not all are derros from the start), you have to have some knowledge of how this life can affect people’s thinking. They turn inwards and often get rather delusional about the things that have affected them in the past as they search for a useful reason for their current state. Those dealing in criminal law know this only too well, the search to excuse failure and bad behavior, and the capacity to be delusional about their own inputs and decisions. Now, this could apply to the two young men (one now dead) who blame Pell for their problems, the deceased one telling his mother in a confessional moment that the Cardinal had never sexually abused him.

    Certainly, judges in a criminal court, in their long experience hearing what they do of the human side of life, would be more inclined to place far less importance on emotional appeals than those unused to the culture of the criminal mindset, and this would apply also to their understanding of Pell as well if they had doubts about his word. Weinstein would certainly have been aware, as a DPP and as his judgement shows, of the need to have greater evidence than the word of an accuser or indeed, the denial by an accused, in the determination of guilt in matters of a highly private and interpersonal nature, such as in this case. Just my opinion, of course, but relevant I think. If not in Criminal Law, then even a judge in Family Law might have had more insight.

    High Court, where are you?

  24. Cassie of Sydney

    “calli
    #3139096, posted on August 23, 2019 at 2:02 pm
    No one can have an opinion about robbery unless they have been robbed.

    Ditto for r a pe or abortion.

    Probably won’t work so well for euthanasia.

    h/t to C.L. and the thread title”

    You are allowed to have an opinion….as long as it is the “left” opinion.

  25. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    The defence’s case didn’t rest on ‘impossibility’, but

    [190] Although the word ‘impossible’ was used throughout, it is clear that what the defence sought to convey was ‘realistically not possible.’

    Weinberg’s interpretation of the defence’s position is one thing. The defence’s actual submission is something else though:

    According to the appeal submission:
    No matter what view was taken of [A] as a witness, it was simply not open to
    the jury to accept his word beyond reasonable doubt. That is so because: (i)
    the combined evidence of the witnesses, with the sole exception of [A], if accepted,
    showed that the offending was impossible; and (ii) there was no rational reason to
    reject this evidence

    They have since gotten some criticism for setting the bar for themselves as high as ‘impossible’.

    Nonetheless, the majority considered both the impossibility and the improbability argument, and concluded:

    As evidenced by their verdict, this jury rejected the improbability arguments.
    In our view, it was reasonably open to them to do so. We are not persuaded that
    there was anything about A’s account of the incidents which was so inherently
    improbable as to require the jury to entertain a doubt.

  26. feelthebern

    The AFR put this story up at 1:24pm.
    https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/leaders/george-pell-s-new-best-friend-dissenting-judge-mark-weinberg-20190823-p52k0u

    It’s paywalled.
    The legal affairs editor has a crack at Weinberg.

  27. FelixKruell

    Frank:

    There is no evidence, the accuser PERJURED HIMSELF during the committal and LIED TO THE POLICE and was contradicted by the chronology of the Cathedral being renovated, bucko.

    There you go with your feelings again. Did Weinberg find that the accuser perjured himself? Or lied to police?

    Not to mention all of the exculpatory evidence the police & OPP excluded (misconduct, anyone) and witnesses who contradicted the accuser.

    The witnesses were all heard. You really didn’t pay attention to this case, did you?

    Look champ, you just WANT Pell to be guilty.

    No, I’ve stated numerous times that I don’t have access to the evidence that would allow me to decide one way or another.

    I don’t need Weinberg to agree with me. Weinberg otherwise, agrees with me. I am correct. You are not.

    You don’t think Weinberg would have mentioned it, if all your wild allegations were true?

    Yes, they have. You are lying Felix. At a minimum, you have NOT read the judgment.

    Feel free to provide a quote to back up your contention…

  28. notafan

    The quote you provided doesn’t seem to mention this at all?

    no it didn’t and nor was it intended to be

    I’m sick of doing homework for someone who is late to the party but is throwing out uninformed opinions left right and centre

    we have been following this case closely since the get-go

    there were numerous fireworks at the committal

    as the nursery rhyme says if you want to know

  29. FelixKruell

    Lizzie:

    As Candy says, and as I can confirm from similar knowledge of the life of those on the streets who have fallen through the cracks of a decent upbringing (and there are many of them, not all are derros from the start), you have to have some knowledge of how this life can affect people’s thinking. They turn inwards and often get rather delusional about the things that have affected them in the past as they search for a useful reason for their current state. Those dealing in criminal law know this only too well, the search to excuse failure and bad behavior, and the capacity to be delusional about their own inputs and decisions. Now, this could apply to the two young men (one now dead) who blame Pell for their problems, the deceased one telling his mother in a confessional moment that the Cardinal had never sexually abused him.

    You have to ask yourself why you would jump to this conclusion about the accuser, without any evidence whatsoever. As with Candy, it’s like you want his evidence to be tainted by a life of drugs and crime. That doesn’t make it so. Your husband should be able to confirm.

  30. notafan

    we do know that the accuser was allowed to amend his statement many times as the defense provided new information

    all this has been in the public domain since forever

    the dates were changed because of the renovations and Cardinal Pell did not say mass on the days first suggested

    the wine changed from red to white

    the assumption that Cardinal Pell’s vestments had a side slit was dispelled

    the action iirc moved from the archbishops sacristy to the general sacristy because of the renovations

    I am sure there are more

  31. Zatara

    Let’s assume for a moment that there was in fact evidence of recent drug abuse or more importantly, an arrest or two. How exactly would we find out about that?

    Presumably the defence would find out about it.

    Felix,

    Not if the police or prosecutors never processed the charges as a trade off for testimony, which happens all the time. I seem to recall in this case that the defence was banned from digging into such matters by the Court.

  32. calli

    He isn’t a newbie, nota.

  33. FelixKruell

    Notafan:

    no it didn’t and nor was it intended to be

    So why provide the quote? Sounds like you can’t back up your unfounded contentions. That would be your homework, not mine.

  34. FelixKruell

    Zatara:

    Not if the police or prosecutors never processed the charges as a trade off for testimony, which happens all the time. I seem to recall in this case that the defence was banned from digging into such matters by the Court.

    This is all sounding like a conspiracy theory…

    The (unfounded) allegations here seem to be that he’s been living a life of drugs and crime – since well before his accusations. These wouldn’t be traded off or expunged, no matter how much Vic Pol might have wanted to encourage his testimony.

  35. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Felix

    No you are very confused. This Pell case has dropped your IQ about 70 points.

    1. I am not relying on my feelings. I am stating facts. Weinberg does not have to talk about the same things to have a dissenting judgment. Nor do I need to rely on his jurisprudence. The accuser ought to be tried for a justice offence.

    2.

    The witnesses were all heard. You really didn’t pay attention to this case, did you?

    That you reckon no one else can see other than yourself or Weinberg? What a rhetorical bullshit artist trick. Let’s assume all the witnesses were heard. This means the verdict is unsatisfactory because they all contradict the working lie/hypothesis spun to the court. The police did not submit all of the evidence.

    3.

    No, I’ve stated numerous times that I don’t have access to the evidence that would allow me to decide one way or another.

    Then be more attentive: it has been pointed out numerous times that A lied to the police and kept on rehashing his story. His original story was physically impossible unless he was a time lord.

    4.

    You don’t think Weinberg would have mentioned it, if all your wild allegations were true?

    They’re not “wild allegations”. They are facts.

    5.

    Feel free to provide a quote to back up your contention…

    It is at para 112 of the judgment. “Can you imagine this happening….”, is the kind of crap that was entertained in the Dream/Killer fiasco in the USA.

    The quote:

    a fleeting physical encounter of the kind described by A can be readily imagined

    “I can imagine it so it happened” is bloody awful jurisprudence. As is “he wouldn’t lie because he might get caught out”.

  36. notafan

    Lady Justice wears a blindfold. She holds a sword in one hand and scales in the other. She is a product of ancient Rome but stands as a potent symbol in our modern age of “your truth,” “my truth” — and nothing but those truths, so help us all.

    This week, Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction of “historic sexual abuse” was rejected by a vote of 2–1 at Victoria’s supreme court. Still blindfolded, Lady Justice might very well be shaking her head. The dissenting justice, Mark Weinberg, had reservations. He warned of a “significant possibility” that Pell is innocent, explaining that he found it “impossible to accept” the sole accuser’s testimony, which, uncorroborated, may have been “concocted.” From Justice Weinberg’s judgment:

    The Strange Case against Cardinal Pell

  37. Infidel Tiger

    Mark Weinberg is now the most important person in George Pell’s life.

    Over the next four weeks, George Pell’s legal team will be poring over Weinberg’s dissenting judgment in his appeal against conviction for the sexual abuse of a chorister at St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.

    A leading criminal barrister speaking on background describes its reasoning as impeccable. “You would be on pretty safe ground following Weinberg,” says another.

    George Pell, left, and Mark Weinberg, who has written extensively on the burden of proof in cases of historic sexual abuse involving a single complainant. The Age

    In fact, the most common observation by those concerned about the verdict – and its sole reliance on testimony by a victim 20 years after the event – is that Weinberg got it right because he had the most experience in criminal law.

    It’s unfair on his fellow judges – Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Court of Appeal president Chris Maxwell – but it’s also true.

    Advertisement
    Weinberg did a lot of criminal law in private practice before he was appointed the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in 1988. He joined the Federal Court in 1998 but after a change in pension arrangement moved to Victoria’s Court of Appeal in 2008.

    The following year he was invited to sit as acting judge of the NSW Supreme Court on a criminal law appeal. He has also written extensively on sexual assault cases and – most relevantly – the burden of proof in cases of historic sexual abuse involving a single complainant.

    Weinberg retired in 2018, but has been an acting judge of appeal since then. There were some murmurs of discontent from inside the court that a full-time judge should have been selected, but no one questioned his credentials for the case. He was the “crim law” judge.

    Ferguson and Maxwell, who wrote a joint judgment, both have a background that is almost exclusively commercial law. Ferguson was partner at top law firm Allens when she was appointed to court in 2010. She was made chief justice in 2017. Maxwell spent two decades at the Bar until he was appointed in 2005.

    Three grounds of appeal
    It appears Weinberg did everything possible to convince them to change their mind. Then he took twice as many pages (200 v 100) in explaining why he was right and they were wrong.

    The Pell appeal had three grounds: that the verdict could not be supported by the evidence; that the trial judge erred in not allowing the defence to use a “moving” video in closing arguments; and that there was a “fundamental irregularity” because Pell did not enter a plea in the presence of the jury.

    All three judges agreed the second and third grounds had no merit. They said the video was correctly excluded because it was not an accurate recreation. This was because there were extra priests in the sacristy in the “pacman” video, which was never part of the Crown case.

    As for the arraignment point, the court noted the jury was actually watching on video as Pell pleaded not guilty. So they were indeed “present” (as was required by the Criminal Procedure Act), even if not physically so.

    The unsafe verdict charge had 13 parts (down from the 17 argued at trial). Ferguson and Maxwell said Pell failed on all 13.

    Weinberg said the correct test was whether “my doubt is a doubt which the jury ought also to have had”.

    He didn’t subscribe to the “only a madman theory” which said Pell would not have committed such a brazen act as forced fellatio with the sacristy door open and so many people nearby. He noted teachers had sexually assaulted students in class.

    He also did not accept Pell’s charge that his accuser was a fantasist. And he didn’t think the boy’s confusion about whether Pell parted his robe – which he claimed was impossible – or lifted it up for the sexual assault was an issue. He said it was also possible to slip away from the post-Mass procession.

    But he said for the allegations to be accepted “a number of the ‘things’ had to have taken place within the space of just a few minutes” and that “the chances of ‘all the planets aligning’, in that way, would, at the very least, be doubtful”.

    Weinberg placed a great deal of store in the evidence of Monsignor Charles Portelli, a junior priest in 1996 who said he was at Pell’s side during the post-Mass procession.

    “There was every reason for the Archbishop’s first two Sunday Masses, and the first Mass over which he presided in February 1997, to have been truly significant events in Portelli’s life.

    “His evidence alone may well have been sufficient to have created a reasonable doubt as to the applicant’s guilt.”

    The High Court likes to move criminal cases along because the appellant is usually in custody, so it may be able to schedule a hearing as early in mid-October.

    It’s more likely, though, that Pell’s next court date will be on the second Friday of either November or December.

    Compelling blood sport
    Special leave hearings are the legal system’s most compelling blood sport. Imagine the robed barristers as gladiators trying to put the other side’s argument to the sword in the allotted 20 minutes. Then the bench of two or three judges decide – like the emperor – whether a case lives or dies.

    If the High Court does not side with Pell, then every five years or so Weinberg’s judgment will be cited as reason for judicial inquiry into the cardinal’s conviction.

    Lindy Chamberlain’s appeal is probably the most famous example. Her appeal was knocked back by the High Court in 1983, only for an inquiry to later clear her of killing her infant daughter Azaria during a holiday at Uluru.

    So it was notable that Weinberg cited the dissent of Bill Deane, who said he had doubts about that verdict.

    “There was much about the defence story about the dingo that struck him as being ‘far-fetched.’

    “I find myself in a position quite similar to that which confronted Deane J. To borrow his Honour’s language, there is, to my mind, a ‘significant possibility’ that the applicant in this case may not have committed these offences.”

  38. FelixKruell

    Frank:

    No you are very confused. This Pell case has dropped your IQ about 70 points.

    What’s with all the childish personal attacks? Keep it civil.

    Let’s assume all the witnesses were heard.

    We don’t need to assume that – we know that they were. It’s in the decision.

    This means the verdict is unsatisfactory because they all contradict the working lie/hypothesis spun to the court

    No, the court weighed up the conflicting evidence and decided which it preferred. And gave reasons for it. Which is what courts do all the time. You think this is the first case where witnesses don’t agree on what happened?

    Then be more attentive: it has been pointed out numerous times that A lied to the police and kept on rehashing his story. His original story was physically impossible unless he was a time lord.

    This was all considered and addressed by the Court of Appeal.

    It is at para 112 of the judgment. “Can you imagine this happening….”, is the kind of crap that was entertained in the Dream/Killer fiasco in the USA.

    It always helps to read the full quote:

    Nor do we regard the description of the second incident as being so
    improbable as to entail a reasonable doubt. As discussed more fully below, a fleeting
    physical encounter of the kind described by A can be readily imagined. Jurors
    would know from common experience that confined spaces facilitate furtive sexual
    touching, even when others are in the same space.

    In the context of considering the purported impossibility and improbability of the accusation, being able ti imagine that the events happened as described is entirely appropriate. It has not changed the common law one bit. They’re simply testing the submission made by the defence.

  39. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    We are not persuaded that
    there was anything about A’s account of the incidents which was so inherently
    improbable

    I’d say it wasn’t just ‘inherently improbable’ it was ‘inherently impossible’. The defense made a proper judgement in their submission by using this word; it is not ‘setting the bar high’ it is being totally realistic about a situation. The unheeded, indeed abandoned, evidence of many others indicates that this was the case; the account given was not true because it was impossible.

    The account of rape of two young boys in the Sacristy after a solemn mass by a Cardinal in full regalia has all of the believability of Dan Brown’s imaginative novels.

    It seems to me that the Appelate Duo were very imaginative in their judgement. Perhaps they too had read the Australian Women’s Weekly and were fans of Dan Brown in their leisure hours. I think that the initial jury were far less impressionable, but that by the time the second jury was called a highly imaginative aura surrounded the whole case, as also happened in the Chamberlain case.

  40. Lee

    The AFR put this story up at 1:24pm.
    https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/leaders/george-pell-s-new-best-friend-dissenting-judge-mark-weinberg-20190823-p52k0u

    It’s paywalled.
    The legal affairs editor has a crack at Weinberg.

    Fairfax/Nine owns The Australian Financial review.

    I wouldn’t give a crap for what one of their opinionistas thinks on any topic.

    I would trust Weinberg’s judgment more than that of a left wing newspaper editor/writer.

  41. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Frank: what is a calim? (Is it a number, as in Chaldean numerology?)

  42. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    What’s with all the childish personal attacks? Keep it civil.

    Yeah right.

    We don’t need to assume that – we know that they were. It’s in the decision.

    You keep on saying that, but you refuse to accept that the police excluded exculpatory evidence.

    Why is that?

    No, the court weighed up the conflicting evidence and decided which it preferred. And gave reasons for it. Which is what courts do all the time. You think this is the first case where witnesses don’t agree on what happened?

    20:1 in favour of the defence.

    In the context

    Hold it right there. The police submitted an out of context phone tap that was heavily edited, and you refuse to discuss this.

    Why is that?

    Facts and evidence do not need to contextualised if they are submitted with propriety.

    Old mate changed his story numerous times. His final draft was preposterous, edited in court (which should have been grounds for dismissal, instantly) and it was contradicted by the chronology and third party witnesses.

    It has not changed the common law one bit.

    Find me another case where a appeals court judge says “it is easy to imagine” regarding a hypothetical, accused act in criminal law or tort. Finders of fact are there to draw inferences, not imagine things.

  43. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Elderly White Man From Skipton
    #3139161, posted on August 23, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Frank: what is a calim? (Is it a number, as in Chaldean numerology?)

    You ridiculous wanker, white trash. Trolling entire threads looking for spelling errors.

    I see the afternoon shift has begun.

  44. feelthebern

    IT, you have outed yourself as an AFR subscriber.

  45. feelthebern

    The Victorian judges hauled those LNP pollies in front of them for less than that article.

  46. Tintarella di Luna

    The comments on the George Weigel article on the travesty of justice in Victoria has some very scholarly heft.

  47. Infidel Tiger

    IT, you have outed yourself as an AFR subscriber.

    Free with Platinum AMEX card.

    I ‘m also an ACCOR member now and get discounts on AVIS rental cars.

  48. Zatara

    This is all sounding like a conspiracy theory…

    As I said, I’m not suggesting this happened, but since the appellate Judges’ relied on their imagination and the “It’s possible” theories… it’s possible.

  49. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    If this case is not properly reviewed it will fester in the Australian legal system as did the Dreyfus case in France. The High Court of Australia has a duty here to show that justice can be done and is not blind. The current Dissenting Judgement raises many important issues of concern.

    The High Court is the highest repository of our legal wisdom. They are well paid and highly esteemed because it is a very large burden that they carry. It is imperative that they do not drop it. My best hope is that they accept an appeal, consider it promptly and produce judgements that do not offend legal sensibilities even if they do not provide results everyone may acclaim.

  50. Seco

    The latter isn’t impossible, but it’s certainly improbable.

    That was enough to lock up Pell.

  51. Seco

    Just by the way: what is “a devoted Catholic”?

    I’ve heard Christopher Pyne, Malcolm Turnbull, Kristine Kennealy and now Milligan referred to as “devout Catholics”, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean much at all.

    Funnily enough I never heard that term with Tony Abbott.

  52. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Find me another case where an appeals court judge says “it is easy to imagine” regarding a hypothetical, accused act in criminal law or tort. Finders of fact are there to draw inferences, not imagine things.

    Nails it.

    The world is missing a great novelist in this imaginative Judge.

  53. Mak Siccar

    Apologies if this has already been posted but the article by Geoffrey Luck in Quadrant online is well worth a read….

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/08/the-pell-outrage-vibe-trumps-veracity/

    … together with this comment.

    Richard H – 23rd August 2019
    Ferguson CJ should be given much credit if (as I believe) she was responsible for ensuring that Weinberg RJ (a “reserve judge” only – effectively retired) was included in the bench that decided this case.
    But Her Honour’s own CV leaves her sadly unprepared for her current role, which of course includes presiding over criminal appeals. She never practised at the Bar, and while that isn’t a fatal flaw, the fact that her experience as a solicitor (and later as a judge) was almost entirely bound up with civil cases has left a dangerous gap when it comes to judging in criminal cases. Legal brilliance and hard work are no substitutes for deep experience in the practice of criminal law.

  54. Classical Hero:

    It’s also possible that he has 3 arms.

    Perhaps he’s an undercover Motie?
    (Make sure you have safe search on.)

  55. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Next time though, our judicial novelist should leave more time for the act to occur, and somehow make it somewhere a little less public. Plus a scintillating account of how the Cardinal in the tale manages to disencumber himself of his liturgical clothing should be included. Surely he should tie one of the boys up first with a rosary? And stuff a communion napkin down his throat to stop him yelling out. Oh, and for goodness sake, get the Cardinal to lock the door before he starts slowly disrobing to reveal the dagger in the shape of a twisted horned cross with a Devil’s face that he keeps secreted under his robes to slash them aside for the terrible ritual act he is about to perform on the innocent lads.

    You get my drift.

  56. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Legal brilliance and hard work are no substitutes for deep experience in the practice of criminal law.

    Yep. My thoughts too when I saw what Dr. Google turned up about her.
    Glad to hear that she didn’t want to do this entirely without some experienced Judge on board.

  57. vr

    Free with Platinum AMEX card.

    News you can use.

  58. Lee

    I am utterly gobsmacked that a judge, of all people, would say “imagine.”

    I absolutely sure that if I testified as a witness in a court of law, using the words “imagine” or “in my opinion,” that would not be accepted as evidence.

  59. JC

    Infidel Tiger
    #3139171, posted on August 23, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    IT, you have outed yourself as an AFR subscriber.

    Free with Platinum AMEX card.

    I ‘m also an ACCOR member now and get discounts on AVIS rental cars.

    How do you arrange it?

    There’s aso much free shit on that card, but I don’t ever take an interest in it.

  60. dover_beach

    As evidenced by their verdict, this jury rejected the improbability arguments.
    In our view, it was reasonably open to them to do so. We are not persuaded that
    there was anything about A’s account of the incidents which was so inherently improbable as to require the jury to entertain a doubt.

    Look how low the bar is being set here. Firstly, the burden isn’t any longer establishing a case that removes all reasonable doubt of guilt, but one in which we assume the guilt of the accused unless and until the defence establishes that the complainant’s ‘account of the incidents’ is so inherently improbable as to raise a doubt about the accused’s guilt. Secondly, it is entirely ambiguous what the standard ‘inherently improbable’ means. What one must do to establish the ‘inherently improbability’ of each incident? There is an account of Pell’s using hands, two on ‘the other boy’s’ head, and one holding ‘the boy’. We can surmise that having ‘three hands’ is not ‘inherently improbable’ given the decision of Fergurson and Maxwell. ‘Habit and custom’, which

    945 Professor Wigmore, in his classic treatise on evidence, … observed that to the extent that such evidence suggested an invariable regularity of action, ‘this fixed sequence of acts tends strongly to show the occurrence of a given instance.’[228] Habit established a regular practice of meeting a particular type of situation with a specific type of conduct. Habit evidence could be highly persuasive of proof of conduct on a particular occasion. Habit was regular and repetitive behaviour, and could be a reliable indicator of probable conduct.[229]

    even though we have several first-hand accounts which observed no such departure in customary practice, in fact, they denied any such departures being undertaken on the day.
    All of this waved away.

  61. Infidel Tiger

    How do you arrange it?

    There’s aso much free shit on that card, but I don’t ever take an interest in it.

    Website.

    Benefits & Help section.

  62. C.L.

    There’s no evidence that the accuser was a druggie or drug dealer now

    There is exactly the same amount of evidence that he is indeed a drug user that there is George Pell assaulted him in a sacristy.
    If I say in a statement to police and a court that I (alone) saw him shooting heroin in a private room a month ago, then it is established. That is now the law in Victoria.

  63. dover_beach

    Alleged but uncorroborated departures from ‘habit and custom’, which…

  64. Lee

    All of this waved away.

    No doubt by people who don’t believe in miracles or who are atheists, but think they can just ignore having to explain away “three hands” and other highly improbable things.

    Apparently there is no burden of proof required for Pell’s accusers.

  65. C.L.

    Luck’s thesis (up at Quadrant) is that the two denialists – let’s call them John and Yoko – slackened off and wrote their sketchy “Imagine” judgments because they’d seen Weinberg’s adult conclusions and realised the case was off to the High Court.

  66. Infidel Tiger

    Luck’s thesis (up at Quadrant) is that the two denialists – let’s call them John and Yoko – slackened off and wrote their sketchy “Imagine” judgments because they’d seen Weinberg’s adult conclusions and realised the case was off to the High Court.

    I thought that the other day.

    Just as well we are only trashing the legal system, the rule of law and an innocent man’s life or this would be serious.

  67. FelixKruell

    Lizzie:

    The account of rape of two young boys in the Sacristy after a solemn mass by a Cardinal in full regalia has all of the believability of Dan Brown’s imaginative novels.

    Clearly you haven’t read about the brazenness of some of the other abuse that went on – Ridsdale abused kids on the altar in church. Others were abused in their own homes, with their parents in the next room. Or in the school classroom, or the school toilets. Or in the confessional box.

  68. FelixKruell

    Frank:

    20:1 in favour of the defence.

    You think criminal cases are a simple numbers game? Sigh…

    Hold it right there. The police submitted an out of context phone tap that was heavily edited, and you refuse to discuss this.

    Why on earth would I discuss this?

    Facts and evidence do not need to contextualised if they are submitted with propriety.

    I was being generous – I wasn’t contextualising it, I was providing the actual quote of what you misquoted.

    Find me another case where a appeals court judge says “it is easy to imagine” regarding a hypothetical, accused act in criminal law or tort. Finders of fact are there to draw inferences, not imagine things.

    Onus is on you, not me. Simply because a phrase is used in a decision doesn’t make it a part of the common law.

  69. FelixKruell

    Zatara:

    As I said, I’m not suggesting this happened, but since the appellate Judges’ relied on their imagination and the “It’s possible” theories… it’s possible.

    The appeal submission by defence was that the offence was NOT possible – which is why the Judges considered whether is was in fact possible (as well as probable).

  70. MsDolittle

    The legal affairs editor has a crack at Weinberg.

    Thank christ the judge’s surname wasn’t Coady/Fitzpatrick/etc

  71. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    You think criminal cases are a simple numbers game? Sigh…

    Twenty or so witnesses to one. That is a numbers game.

    Why on earth would I discuss this?

    Why on earth won’t you?

    I was being generous – I wasn’t contextualising it, I was providing the actual quote of what you misquoted.

    I did not misquote anything.

    Onus is on you, not me. Simply because a phrase is used in a decision doesn’t make it a part of the common law.

    It was part of their ratio, if you can dare call it that. Quit this idiocy, Felix.

  72. notafan

    Clearly you haven’t read about the brazenness of some of the other abuse that went on – Ridsdale abused kids on the altar in church. Others were abused in their own homes, with their parents in the next room. Or in the school classroom, or the school toilets. Or in the confessional box.

    and you don’t get anything

    Ridsale was a master groomer

    he didn’t just (allegedly) spot a kid or two in the wrong place at the wrong time and he certainly didn’t commit a random attack on the spur of the moment in most improbable circumstances in the cathedral after high mass on a Sunday with hundreds of people around.

  73. JC

    I recall ma always informing me, Weinberg’s mother and father telling her , the kid was really really smart. I think he dux’ed all his way through school and received scholarships at uni. Smart dude.

    When my kid finished school and accepted into law school, ma (was so proud of her grandson) was determined he should go see Judge W. There was never a way out with my mother. She called him and I then had to intervene, so I took the kid to go see Judge W in his chambers. Ma never would let a situation arise where she wouldn’t embarrass me in some way. I had to take a gift to him on her behalf.. to the freaking chambers. It was a bottle of brandy or whisky. In order to get through past the guards at the office, you have declare what you have on you and proceed through a metal detector. The security dude asks what’s in the sealed box and I tell him it’s a gift from my mother for the judge. He kind of looked at me strangely and put the box through the x-ray machine. I later learned from Judge W that the gift had to be declared or some stuff. Not having anything to do much with legal stuff I hadn’t twigged until he told me.

    Anyways, he was really gracious and suggested my kid should look him up from time to time if he wanted any help with the law course and would entertain him for a assistant position at the end course if that’s what he chose. My kid didn’t have any interest in practicing straight out law so it came to nought. He was really very gracious though.

  74. Lee

    Ridsale was a master groomer

    he didn’t just (allegedly) spot a kid or two in the wrong place at the wrong time and he certainly didn’t commit a random attack on the spur of the moment in most improbable circumstances in the cathedral after high mass on a Sunday with hundreds of people around.

    Even the most brazen, hardened pedo would have balked at the thought.
    Anyone could have walked in on him at any time, in such circumstances.

  75. max

    The acceptance of the second offence also stretches credibility. It’s characterised as a furtive encounter in a confined space.

    Anyone who’s seen the procession after mass down the centre aisle and then back around a side aisle knows that the choir and celebrant are in full view to all. Nobody is alone or isolated in a position where they cannot be seen by others. And how would the (then) archbishop move from the back of the procession to the front where the junior members were without being noticed ?

    These points must have been raised in the trial. But brushed aside in the judgement.

  76. notafan

    A process by which a person prepares a child, significant others, and the environment for the abuse of this child. Specific goals include gaining access to the child, gaining the child’s compliance, and maintaining the child’s secrecy to avoid disclosure. This process serves to strengthen the offender’s abusive pattern, as it may be used as a means of justifying or denying their actions.

    it defies imagination that Cardinal Pell would have risked all with not one but two boys

    as for Risdale some children did complain to their parents but he was very good at at what he did and he operated at a time when even when someone complained to the police (inglewood iirc) nothing was done.

    he even managed to assault his own nephew with impunity

    Stages of Sexual Grooming: Recognizing Potentially Predatory Behaviors of Child Molesters

  77. dover_beach

    Clearly you haven’t read about the brazenness of some of the other abuse that went on – Ridsdale abused kids on the altar in church.

    Was he in full regalia and was this immediately after solemn Mass in a cathedral where he would usually be accompanied by concelebrants until he disrobes in the sacristy, and so on. No, of course he wasn’t, which is exactly the point. This, of course, ignores that ‘the boy’ and ‘the other boy’ were never noticed missing nor seen departing the procession by the choirmaster or any adult member of the choir wich typically followed from the rear (or their return to the choir room), nor did the organist notice either their entrance towards the sacristy or their departure. Nor did any altar boy or priest assisting Pell notice their entry or exit of the sacristy or the cathedral after the procession even though the sacristy would have been a hive of activity immediately following Mass and their presence noted.

  78. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    Look how low the bar is being set here. Firstly, the burden isn’t any longer establishing a case that removes all reasonable doubt of guilt,

    It was not the Court of Appeal’s job to establish a case. Their job was to consider the points that the defence appealed. Specifically, whether the accusations against Pell were so improbable as to prevent the Jury from concluding he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court of Appeal did just that, and concluded is wasn’t so improbable.

    even though we have several first-hand accounts which observed no such departure in customary practice, in fact, they denied any such departures being undertaken on the day.
    All of this waved away.

    Given those witnesses were trying to remember one such event (post-mass movements) out of hundreds, which from their perspective was not otherwise noteworthy, it’s not unreasonable to prefer the evidence of the accuser (who had every reason to remember that one event).

  79. Bill Thompson

    Dear Guest Author,

    I was an ATO auditor for 26 years & had a few interesting cases which resulted in legal proceedings. Since I retired in 2010, I’ve whiled away some free time by attending interesting hearings/trials/Royal Commissions in Melbourne & Sydney, including, among many others, matters relating to Pell. As an aside, I’m always astounded at how glacially slow & colossally expensive the legal process can be.

    I attended what I believe was the initial committal hearing of the Pell matter(s) at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, on 26 July 2017 & arrived early, hoping to avoid what I imagined would be something of a stampede for access. After passing through tight security, I stood at the end of a line of people waiting to get into Court 2, on the ground floor. Soon afterwards, a court officer came along the line, counting heads & when she got to “40”, a couple of people ahead of me, she announced that that was the maximum seating capacity & that only a few extras would be allowed in, to stand in the aisle to one side. She moved to a person close behind me & announced that anyone behind them would have to go to a “media room”, where they could watch proceedings via TV. As I gazed at the line behind me, I noticed a late arrival, about 20-30 back – I recognized her as Louise Milligan. After a few minutes, Louise left her place in line & strolled forward, passed me & kept going, before stopping to chat with someone about 10 places ahead of me. When the courtroom doors opened soon afterward, Louise simply entered alongside her new companion. Some people call that sort of thing “queue-jumping” & it meant that someone newly relegated to being behind Louise lost their chance for a seat in the court & someone further back, behind me, lost their chance to even get into the courtroom at all. Some people call that sort of thing exercising one’s supreme sense of entitlement…

    Anyway, I did get into the courtroom & stood in the aisle, to the left, as various lawyers & court staff entered & took their places, before George Pell walked past me & sat near the bar table. I won’t describe the proceedings, however, afterwards, I shot two GoPro videos outside the court – one of the extraordinary media melee which occurred & another of a short chat I had with Louise Milligan, herself, during which I asked her about a certain ABC-related paedophile scandal.

    This is the thing with their ABC, their reporters & their producers… in my opinion they only run with stories, or certain aspects of stories, which suit their “narratives” – whether it’s climate change, refugees, aboriginal identity issues, same sex marriage, etc, etc. They also seem to be a bit selective in reporting instances of child sex abuse because, although they had been all over the Cardinal like a cheap suit, the 2017 guilty plea by ex-ABC staffer, Jon Stephens, didn’t seem to make the cut as “national news” for them. In May this year, I also asked former ABC hero, Kerry O’Brien, whether their ABC had done anything to support Stephens’ victim.

    Here are three relevant videos.

    https://youtu.be/cpkwJOphk70

    https://youtu.be/VZUhRTkp6vI

    https://youtu.be/AocQjTcPvLE

  80. FelixKruell

    CL:

    There is exactly the same amount of evidence that he is indeed a drug user that there is George Pell assaulted him in a sacristy.

    How so? No-one has accused him of this under oath in a court.

  81. notafan

    and what a coincidence

    the one time Cardinal Pell abandoned the final procession was the one time the wine was left out and the one time the two boys left the procession and the one time they entered the sacristy the one time it was empty the one time they decided to steal sacramental wine (red or white)

  82. JC

    The Court of Appeal did just that, and concluded is wasn’t so improbable.

    Beyond a reasonable doubt?

  83. FelixKruell

    Natofan:

    he didn’t just (allegedly) spot a kid or two in the wrong place at the wrong time and he certainly didn’t commit a random attack on the spur of the moment in most improbable circumstances in the cathedral after high mass on a Sunday with hundreds of people around.

    Other priests/abusers did though. Some groomed extensively, others were opportunists.

  84. C.L.

    Given those witnesses were trying to remember one such event (post-mass movements) out of hundreds …

    What “hundreds” of events were they trying to remember?

  85. candy

    Ridsale an evil man. Funny thing, Ms Millugan, the ABC barely mention him amd somehow have painted GPell as being the evil one who raped boys over some 40 years and yet innocent.
    I don’t think I have ever read or noticed any sympathy to Risdale’s victims, it has been Pell as the ultimate devil priest of all time and yet imnocent just the word of a character with criminal convictions who never even appeared in court.

  86. notafan

    , it’s not unreasonable to prefer the evidence of the accuser (who had every reason to remember that one event).

    except that he didn’t because it didn’t happen

    not to mention he couldn’t even remember the dates or the type of wine that they stole

  87. FelixKruell

    JC:

    Beyond a reasonable doubt?

    They are different tests.

  88. vr

    There’s aso much free shit on that card, but I don’t ever take an interest in it.

    You can get one domestic flight (upto $200 I think). Nevery figured out how to take advantage of it.

  89. FelixKruell

    CL:

    What “hundreds” of events were they trying to remember?

    The movements of Pell after mass at the cathedral (which would have, over his time in Melbourne, easily added up to hundreds).

    That is, their evidence was largely along the lines of “Pell always went to the steps after mass. I always accompanied him. Then we did this. Then we did that”. Rather than “On this particular day, I remember we did this and then that…and then the next week, we did it slightly differently…and then the next week we did it like the first time again”.

  90. bruce

    The first trial in August 2018 failed to convict Pell as some jurors were obviously not persuaded by the accusers “compelling evidence”, and not swayed by the massive media bias. Maybe the courtroom
    appearance by the accuser influenced their findings.
    The second trial in December delivered the sought after unanimous guilty verdict, although no courtroom appearance by the accuser.
    So what happened between August and December ? In October the Royal Commission findings were delivered and our political leaders were fierce in their condemnation of the evil predators and demanded that all accusers must be believed to enable justice to be delivered. With this ringing in their ears the empanelled jury were then reminded that they must be absolutely objective and be free of bias.
    Pell should never have been charged. Never, never was he going to get a fair trial against charges which were unbelievable then, and even more unbelievable now after the failed appeal. Outrageous.

  91. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Given those witnesses were trying to remember one such event (post-mass movements) out of hundreds, which from their perspective was not otherwise noteworthy, it’s not unreasonable to prefer the evidence of the accuser (who had every reason to remember that one event).

    What about your previous nonsense about “no one here has seen the trial”?

    Twenty witnesses against the accuser “it’s not unreasonable to prefer the testimony of the accuser, if I assume he’s telling the truth”.

  92. notafan

    Other priests/abusers did though. Some groomed extensively, others were opportunists.

    not as a rule

    you will find that almost without exception they had an MO that involved preplanning and the targeting of more vulnerable children

    sexual offenders don’t like to be caught and most make sure they mitigate risk, most especially the smarter educated ones, and most especially if they can be easily identified.

    The idea that two boys having been attacked in such a heinous way would scoot back to choir as though nothing had happened is preposterous

    I cannot imagine them not being quite distressed

  93. FelixKruell

    Notafan:

    except that he didn’t because it didn’t happen

    Oh, you were there, were you? Well, that should make the next appeal much quicker. Have you put your name forward as a witness?

    Most abuse victims can’t recall all the details of what happened, especially 20 years on. That doesn’t, of itself, mean they are not telling the truth.

    Just ask yourself about something significant in your own life (first kiss, first job etc). You’ll likely remember some details like what it felt like, how people treated you, even what you wore etc. But what day/month/year did it occur? Usually you can only figure this out by reference to other events in your life that help establish that date.

  94. notafan

    The movements of Pell after mass at the cathedral (which would have, over his time in Melbourne, easily added up to hundreds).

    no they wouldn’t

    and considering that this was either his first or second high mass after being installed as Archbishop and just before Christmas, especially memorable

  95. Cassie of Sydney

    “Pell should never have been charged. Never, never was he going to get a fair trial against charges which were unbelievable then, and even more unbelievable now after the failed appeal. Outrageous.”

    Bruce….I think that is a very good summation of the whole travesty. Thank you.

  96. Lee

    Twenty witnesses against the accuser “it’s not unreasonable to prefer the testimony of the accuser, if I assume he’s telling the truth”.

    “It was a conspiracy by the twenty witnesses, I tells ya!”

  97. FelixKruell

    Notafan:

    Examples are easy to find…

    He said his first abuser was Robert Charles Best, the principal of St Alipius Primary School.

    “I was 11 years old, and I was down the back in the classroom sitting on the art table and he came up and sat next to me and started putting his hand down the back of my pants,” he said.

    No less preposterous than what Pell is accused of…

  98. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    That is, their evidence was largely along the lines of “Pell always went to the steps after mass. I always accompanied him. Then we did this. Then we did that”. Rather than “On this particular day, I remember we did this and then that…and then the next week, we did it slightly differently…and then the next week we did it like the first time again”.

    What a joke, Felix.

    The accuser gets a pass on the following details:

    Date
    The calendar year
    Month
    What Pell was wearing
    What he stole
    He didn’t know the place was being renovated
    He contradicted himself on comittal
    Pell not having a third arm
    His mate denying ever being abused by anyone

    …and has twenty other witnesses against his testimony.

  99. Infidel Tiger

    Just ask yourself about something significant in your own life (first kiss, first job etc). You’ll likely remember some details like what it felt like, how people treated you, even what you wore etc. But what day/month/year did it occur? Usually you can only figure this out by reference to other events in your life that help establish that date.

    I wager I would remember the day I grew a third arm and forced two altar boys to suck me off while hundreds of parishioners stood metres away.

    That’s just me though. For leftists, these sick acts of depravity are very ho hum.

  100. FelixKruell

    Lee:

    Twenty witnesses against the accuser “it’s not unreasonable to prefer the testimony of the accuser, if I assume he’s telling the truth”.

    Twenty witnesses who weren’t in the room – they were merely witnesses to what usually happened in the cathedral and what Pell and the choir usually did after mass.

    Weighing up conflicting witness statements is pretty common in these cases – no conspiracy required.

  101. FelixKruell

    Infidel:

    I wager I would remember the day I grew a third arm and forced two altar boys to suck me off while hundreds of parishioners stood metres away.

    Pell may well have – but we don’t know, because he didn’t testify.

    But I was talking about the other witnesses, who were just remembering for how long they followed someone else around for after one particular mass some 25 years ago. Hardly depraved.

  102. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    Still hysterical I see Frank. It does your cause no good you know.

  103. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Yes white trash, trolling comments for spelling mistakes is normal in your world though?

  104. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Pell may well have – but we don’t know, because he didn’t testify

    Autism speaks.

  105. dover_beach

    It was not the Court of Appeal’s job to establish a case. Their job was to consider the points that the defence appealed. Specifically, whether the accusations against Pell were so improbable as to prevent the Jury from concluding he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Court of Appeal did just that, and concluded is wasn’t so improbable.

    Not at all, what the Court of Appeal was required to do was excerpted above, namely,

    663 Accordingly, the task of this Court in dealing with Ground 1 is to carry out an independent assessment, but of the whole of the evidence. Having done so, each member of the Court must consider whether there is, in the mind of that particular judge,[189] a ‘doubt’ as to guilt. If such a doubt exists, it will ordinarily be a doubt that the jury ought to have had. In that event, a second question must be asked, namely, whether that ‘doubt’ persists notwithstanding the advantages over the appellate court that are normally ascribed to the jury.

    Nothing about this requires the defence to establish the ‘improbability’ of the complainant’s claim, it is enough for them simply to raise a doubt by providing contrary evidence.

    Given those witnesses were trying to remember one such event (post-mass movements) out of hundreds, which from their perspective was not otherwise noteworthy, it’s not unreasonable to prefer the evidence of the accuser (who had every reason to remember that one event).

    That doesn’t follow at all. Firstly, if the ‘incidents of the complainant’s account’ marked a departure from ‘habit and custom’ you are indeed very likely to remember them, precisely because they are departures from long-standing ‘habit’. For instance, if you invariably watch your team play football during the season, you will remember why you didn’t attend on this or that day. If you don’t recall any such departure its very likely the case there was no such departure from ‘habit and custom’. To hang each ‘incident’ on departures from ‘habit and custom’ being ‘possible’, and that that the principals involved in each ‘incident’ failing to remember any such departure in the face of long-standing practice stretches credulity, particularly when no one else involved in the practice themselves noticed no such departures from ‘habit and custom’.

  106. JC

    Kruell.

    The entire thing is a fucking circus and you should STFU and stop being an idiot. The accusation was brought up about two events occurring in a very short time frame over 20 years ago. It’s fucking impossible to split hairs and should never have been brought to court without some decent supporting evidence by the accuser.

    Here’s a question for you, you hair splitting doofus. What were you doing on 10.36 am May 26th and 3.17 pm June 28 1995

    Here, I’ll tell you what you were doing. You r* ped two women and I saw you do it.

    What’s your alibi? Do you have one?

    If you don’t then fuck off because that’s what you did and I saw you do it.

  107. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    Not at all, what the Court of Appeal was required to do was excerpted above, namely,

    According to Weinberg only. The majority on the other hand said:

    Rather, the appeal court reviews the evidence as it was
    presented to the jury and asks itself whether — on that factual material — it was
    reasonably open to the jury to convict the accused. Having reviewed the whole of the evidence, we would answer that question
    affirmatively.

    In our view, it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable
    doubt that Cardinal Pell was guilty of the offences charged. That is, there was
    nothing about A’s evidence, or about the opportunity evidence, which meant that
    the jury ‘must have had a doubt’ about the truth of A’s account. It is not enough, as
    the authorities make clear, that one or more jurors ‘might have had a doubt’

    As for this:

    That doesn’t follow at all. Firstly, if the ‘incidents of the complainant’s account’ marked a departure from ‘habit and custom’ you are indeed very likely to remember them, precisely because they are departures from long-standing ‘habit’

    Not if there were frequent small variations to the usual habit/custom.

  108. calli

    Cat spends a lazy afternoon playing with mice.

    Uh oh.

    The dog just ate the cat.

  109. FelixKruell

    JC:

    I see we’ve thrown out all pretence of civility. Bye now.

  110. JC

    JC:

    I see we’ve thrown out all pretence of civility. Bye now.

    I’m not the only person to call you a moron so it’s very offensive that you have the hide to single me out.

    Kruell, on the same basis of the evidence used against Pell, I’m making the claim you raped two women on those dates and those times. What’s your alibi? Do you have one, because if you don’t you’re fucked in the place like Victoria.

  111. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Felix

    If you were being civil you wouldn’t act with selective autism, insult our intelligence and you’d be a straight shooter and answer the goddamned questions posed to you.

    No, you’re not doing that.

    You’re basically running PR for overpromoted judges and running PR against Pell, whilst giving “A” the most absurd latitude regarding his honesty and ability to get any details correct at all.

  112. JC

    Also, as for civility… Oh it’s okay for you to claim I’m being uncivil for calling you a r** pist while you’re defending the same exact strength of the accusation against Pell. You hypocritical douchebag… and r** pist.

  113. FelixKruell

    JC

    I’m not the only person to call you a moron so it’s very offensive that you have the hide to single me out.

    Oh that makes it alright then? Just quit with the personal abuse. Focus on the discussion. It’s not that hard.

    Kruell, on the same basis of the evidence used against Pell, I’m making the claim you raped two women on those dates and those times. What’s your alibi? Do you have one, because if you don’t you’re fucked in the place like Victoria.

    That’s nowhere near the same evidence used against Pell. Firstly, you aren’t the victim. Secondly, you haven’t identified the place. Thirdly, you haven’t identified me physically. Fourthly, you haven’t described the interior of whatever place it was to have occurred, that you otherwise don’t have access to. Lastly, you haven’t shown that we were ever in the same building.

    These he-said/she-said cases will always be hard to prove/disprove. That’s why we have a legal system, with lots of appeal rights, to test the evidence. Which is what has happened here, and is continuing to happen here. It doesn’t always get it right. He may well be innocent, and if he is, I truly feel for him. None of this makes any of the jury or the judges incompetent, or biased, or ‘idiots’, or ‘morons’. They are trying to do a difficult job, balancing the needs of accusers and those accused.

  114. Empire 5:5

    There is an anti-Catholic cabal within Vicpol, Masonic in origin, that targeted Pell long before the accusations began appearing in the fakestream. They were not determined to root out evil wherever it may operate, but rather to discredit the Catholic Dioscese of Melbourne at all costs.

    This cabal has existed since the time of Mannix.

    There is also an anti-Catholic cabal operating at the taxpayer funded media outfit, Marxist in origin, committed to the destruction of Christian morality at all costs.

    The question I don’t see being asked amongst the majoring in minors, is who brought together these strange bedfellows to rig the fix?

  115. FelixKruell

    JC:

    Also, as for civility… Oh it’s okay for you to claim I’m being uncivil for calling you a r** pist while you’re defending the same exact strength of the accusation against Pell. You hypocritical douchebag… and r** pist.

    Now you’ve made me regret responding to you again. Sigh.

    You and Frank are clearly a little too emotionally invested in this case. Or maybe it’s in general, that anyone that disagrees with you must be a moron?

  116. JC

    That’s nowhere near the same evidence used against Pell.

    Don’t make laugh.

    Firstly, you aren’t the victim.

    ‘sactly, which makes it even more compelling as I have no skin in the game.

    Secondly, you haven’t identified the place.

    On the Heads side wall of the Sydney Opera house, both times. You were there. I saw you. You also don’t appear to shower much because of a distinct odor.

    Thirdly, you haven’t identified me physically.

    Short, weedy, bespectacled, balding with as bad mullet cut. It was you and describes you to a perfect image for the time.

    Fourthly, you haven’t described the interior of whatever place it was to have occurred, that you otherwise don’t have access to. Lastly, you haven’t shown that we were ever in the same building.

    Sure I did. It was outside on the wall of the opera house facing the Heads.

    These he-said/she-said cases will always be hard to prove/disprove.

    Welcome to the Pell case, you genius. Add 20 years too.

  117. dover_beach

    In our view, it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable
    doubt that Cardinal Pell was guilty of the offences charged. That is, there was
    nothing about A’s evidence, or about the opportunity evidence, which meant that
    the jury ‘must have had a doubt’ about the truth of A’s account. It is not enough, as
    the authorities make clear, that one or more jurors ‘might have had a doubt’

    I don’t see anything about whether the “accusations against Pell were so improbable as to prevent the Jury from concluding he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    Not if there were frequent small variations to the usual habit/custom.

    Oh, sure, but where was it established that the variations were ‘small’? On the contrary, we have testimony to the effect that the variations were not ‘small’ at all, but significant.

  118. Empire 5:5

    You and Frank are clearly a little too emotionally invested in this case. Or maybe it’s in general, that anyone that disagrees with you must be a moron?

    I reckon they’re generous. Anyone who doesn’t agree with a progressive (I am literally shaking) is Hitler. It could be worse, just sayin’.

  119. Lee

    There is an anti-Catholic cabal within Vicpol, Masonic in origin, that targeted Pell long before the accusations began appearing in the fakestream. They were not determined to root out evil wherever it may operate, but rather to discredit the Catholic Dioscese of Melbourne at all costs.

    After their pursuit of Pell – before there had even been allegations – the Lawyer X affair, and wilfully turning a blind eye to, or downplaying black gang crime and violence, I have no confidence in the VicPol hierarchy.

  120. dover_beach

    “accusations against Pell were so improbable as to prevent the Jury from concluding he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”

    Just think about what you purported Ferguson and Maxwell to have said though, why would any case proceed from committal hearing to trial if the evidence was of a sort, specifically, ‘so improbable’ as to preclude a jury from concluding that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt’? Precisely because the defense in appeal never had to argue any such thing. Rather, as stated earlier, it merely had to raise a doubt about the complainant’s claim. And as I’ve mentioned, there was ample evidence to raise such doubts.

  121. Empire 5:5

    After their pursuit of Pell – before there had even been allegations – the Lawyer X affair, and wilfully turning a blind eye to, or downplaying black gang crime and violence, I have no confidence in the VicPol hierarchy.

    I don’t disagree, but I’m talking about an old school relatively small group, not the top brass. That said, I can’t say fatty isn’t Commissioner Keystone. I mean, it is possible.

  122. bruce

    Simply put, I cannot believe that anyone who has closely followed these trials, and appeal, has, at worst, in their heart, some degree of doubt about the guilt of Pell. Honestly, just some ,even if a little bit uncomfortable.
    If you have absolutely no doubt, no doubt that Pell is an evil, lying, molester of children and should die in prison, because that’s what the verdict suggests, then you totally lack any ability to think critically or objectively. And don’t try to defend this with ‘I have total faith in our courts”.
    Hello Lindy, we all had faith once.

  123. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    I don’t see anything about whether the “accusations against Pell were so improbable as to prevent the Jury from concluding he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    That’s further along in the decision.

    As evidenced by their verdict, this jury rejected the improbability arguments.
    In our view, it was reasonably open to them to do so. We are not persuaded that
    there was anything about A’s account of the incidents which was so inherently
    improbable as to require the jury to entertain a doubt.

  124. Seco

    and what a coincidence

    the one time Cardinal Pell abandoned the final procession was the one time the wine was left out and the one time the two boys left the procession and the one time they entered the sacristy the one time it was empty the one time they decided to steal sacramental wine (red or white)

    And there it is. Well done Nota, this is it in a nutshell.

  125. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    And as I’ve mentioned, there was ample evidence to raise such doubts.

    The court of appeal considered all 13 reasons put forward for why such doubt should exist, and dismissed them. They examined the alb. They considered the other witnesses.

  126. FelixKruell

    Bruce:

    It’s not a question of ‘no doubt’. It’s a question of ‘reasonable doubt’. And none of us have access to the main evidence here which would allow us to make our own assessment of whether there should be reasonable doubt.

  127. Empire 5:5

    Who played date-maker for Vicpol and Aunty?

  128. Roger

    the one time Cardinal Pell abandoned the final procession was the one time the wine was left out and the one time the two boys left the procession and the one time they entered the sacristy the one time it was empty the one time they decided to steal sacramental wine (red or white)

    And there it is. Well done Nota, this is it in a nutshell.

    Well done, indeed.

  129. JC

    Kruell

    There are 325 pages of evidence review and what they looked at to make the appeal determination. Stop trying to play games and suggest we can’t see what the jury saw. The appeal judges exactly told us what they considered pertinent. Shut up.

  130. bruce

    So Felix, on what we both know, do you have absolute faith in the verdict and that Pell is ……..
    Or ?

  131. Empire 5:5

    the one time Cardinal Pell abandoned the final procession was the one time the wine was left out and the one time the two boys left the procession and the one time they entered the sacristy the one time it was empty the one time they decided to steal sacramental wine (red or white)

    It is possible.

    Misogyny = what time is it?
    Possible = beyond reasonable doubt

  132. Entropy

    It’s not a question of ‘no doubt’. It’s a question of ‘reasonable doubt’. And none of us have access to the main evidence here which would allow us to make our own assessment of whether there should be reasonable doubt.

    So when you say “evidence” you mean the lone testimony of the accuser. Because there is no corroborating witnesses, no physical evidence, no priors, no admission.
    That isn’t evidence. It is an accusation. From Australia’s Elizabeth Hubbard.

  133. C.L.

    … this jury rejected the improbability arguments.

    They did nothing of the kind.
    They convicted the famous evil man from television.

  134. Infidel Tiger

    Can’t blame the Jury.

    They had been groomed for a decade by a cabal of homosexualists, militant atheists, corrupt politicians, police and media players.

  135. FelixKruell

    Bruce:

    So Felix, on what we both know, do you have absolute faith in the verdict and that Pell is …

    No, on the evidence we have access to (noting it’s missing the biggest evidence supporting the accusation) I would struggle to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  136. FelixKruell

    Entropy:

    So when you say “evidence” you mean the lone testimony of the accuser. Because there is no corroborating witnesses,

    Yep. That evidence. And it most certainly is ‘evidence’.

  137. FelixKruell

    JC:

    There are 325 pages of evidence review and what they looked at to make the appeal determination. Stop trying to play games and suggest we can’t see what the jury saw

    The accusers testimony, and the cross (both of which the jury saw) is not public. This is the key evidence the jury and the court of appeal relied upon. And we don’t have access to it.

    The fact you don’t seem to know this, but still feel able to confidently comment on this case, is mindboggling.

  138. calli

    And the call went out throughout the land –

    “Who will rid us of this turbulent priest?”

    And there were many…many takers.

  139. notafan

    Felix

    Best I know of.

    Like I said he was one well known to target vulnerable children

    He had the opportunity to observe students in his classroom over time and know their family backgrounds etc

    That is a fail for you sorry.

    Btw
    I have very close relatives who were taught by Best.
    He established a reputation with parents as a ‘great disciplinarian’
    Those boys knew all about his proclivities but were never personally targeted.

    He knew what he was doing.

  140. Empire 5:5

    The fact you don’t seem to know this, but still feel able to confidently comment on this case, is mindboggling

    Thankfully we have you to provide an authorative defence of the prosecution.

    Are you top quintile IQ? Trust but verify.

  141. Ivan Denisovich

    They convicted the famous evil man from television.

    Note the measures that Pell and his supporters were being forced to consider if the appeal was successful. For the msm – Milligan and the ABC in particular – and VicPol, no smear was too foul or repeated too often.

    https://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2019/06/25/due-to-backlash-pell-to-live-in-secure-compound-if-appeal-succeeds/

  142. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    Jeremy Gans has a good explanation in his article today of the differing approaches the majority and Weinberg took to the appeal (impossibility/improbability approach versus reasonable doubt approach):

    The majority judges’ approach was to ask whether any of the claimed flaws in the prosecution’s case meant that the jury ‘must’ have had a doubt. They thought not, because there were explanations each and every time. By contrast, the dissenting judge repeatedly asked whether those same flaws left him personally in doubt about Pell’s guilt. They did, not individually, but all together. Pell’s conviction “cannot be permitted to stand”, Weinberg wrote, because, in his mind, there is a significant possibility that an innocent person was convicted of child sexual abuse.

  143. JC

    What’s mindboggling, Kruell is your obtuse position.

    Did the appeals court examine the evidence? Do you believe there was anything they weren’t allowed to see or simply ignored?

  144. Tel

    Are you top quintile IQ? Trust but verify.

    I was right near the top until that scientific discovery of inverse correlation to the length of your dangly bits; which sure has knocked my IQ … errr … on the head as it were.

    Nevertheless hope remains … I appear to get smarter in cold weather.

  145. Roger

    The accusers testimony, and the cross (both of which the jury saw) is not public. This is the key evidence the jury and the court of appeal relied upon. And we don’t have access to it.

    We know the gist of it and anyone familiar with the way cathedrals (or even parish churches) operate would be unable to suspend disbelief long enough to begin to entertain thoughts of the cardinal’s guilt, let alone to assent that the charges were proven beyond reasonable doubt.

  146. notafan

    Any half decent actor could give ‘compelling evidence’.

    The only jury that saw the accuser in the flesh, didn’t believe him 10 to 2.

  147. Leo G

    So when you say “evidence” you mean the lone testimony of the accuser. Because there is no corroborating witnesses,

    A statement made by a witness in court proceedings is testimony. Evidence is stuff a court accepts to test alleged matters of fact. Testimony presents or proposes those matters of fact, while evidence is used to test the propositions (ie the matters of fact).

  148. Infidel Tiger

    It is the most preposterous story ever invented.

    Only a man like Pell could endure this mental torture.

    What an awful country we are.

  149. Leigh Lowe

    The only jury that saw the accuser in the flesh, didn’t believe him 10 to 2.

    Did they eyeball him.
    I thought he gave evidence via video-link, complete with comfort dog, tim-tams, cuddly teddies and support persons.
    I then thought the video of this questioning from the first trial was played to the second jury.
    This, of course, shut down an avenue of appeal if he had given significantly different answers between the two trials.

  150. candy

    They convicted the famous evil man from television.

    Yes, that’s all it boils down to. The age of Internet, Facebook etc. And G. Pell photo all over those as the evil priest who raped boys for over 40 years.

    I can bet very few people have heard of Ridsale. It’s Pell the evil priest people want to see locked up and die in jail. Ms Milligan and ABC have played on this concept for years, and in fact seem to show no compassion for the victims of Ridsale at all.

    Ms Milligan lovingly calls this victim of G. Pell “The Kid”. Honestly, she’s a cold hearted person, to my mind, and does not see the real victims or acknowledge them at all from what I have seen or heard from her. She is fixated on this guy who won’t show in court.

  151. Bruce

    Felix, we agree on this
    BUT, is there a big ‘there’ there re the evidence we haven’t seen?
    If there is ,the dissenting judge has has not considered it crucial.
    Maybe not there at all?
    BTW ‘no big there there’ courtesy Peter Strzok FBI re Trump Russia collusion. (Another witch hunt)

  152. notafan

    It was via video link but live is still better than pre-recorded.

    Actually it’s weird because Richter and the prosecutor were in the room with the jury asking live questions first time round

    I wonder how much observing their live reactions influenced the first jury.

    I’m imagining the second jury saw the accuser with Richter etc being voice only recordings.

  153. classical_hero

    Don’t feed the troll. That’s the only way to describe him.

  154. Empire 5:5

    The Church of Rome has a p e doh / homo problem. So do a bunch of other institutions, some of which have yet to be investigated.

    In 1996 the newly appointed Archbishop of Melbourne denounced his predecessor, admitted they had a problem and approached Vicpol to formulate a transparent response. That same man was to become a vocal critic of the normalisation of deviency and fashionably progressive claptrap.

    That same man was ultimately appointed #3 by #1, ostensibly to audit the Vatican’s finances – an historically dangerous job. #1 has problems and is protecting real monsters globally.

    #3 Ret. is now sleeping in a cage, silenced.

  155. Infidel Tiger

    The Church got rid of the Gays and Phile problem disappeared at the same time.

    A lovely coincidence.

  156. Infidel Tiger

    However, getting rid of the Gays meant there would be massive retribution.

    And here we are today.

  157. custard

    C.L.

    Thanks for this summary about Milligan and the “get Pell” movement (or conspiracy).

    Has any Cat sent this story to Milligan via Twitter?

    She needs to read this.

  158. notafan

    Empire

    Pushing that preposterous barrow gives vikpol and their co conspirators a pass.

    Project tethering ie get Pell commenced in 2013 while Cardinal Pell was still archbishop of Sydney.

    Do the math.

  159. Empire 5:5

    Pushing that preposterous barrow gives vikpol and their co conspirators a pass.

    What is this narrow you speak of?

    Project tethering ie get Pell commenced in 2013 while Cardinal Pell was still archbishop of Sydney.

    He’s been in vicpol sights for longer than that.

  160. Crossie

    let’s call them John and Yoko – slackened off and wrote their sketchy “Imagine” judgments because they’d seen Weinberg’s adult conclusions and realised the case was off to the High Court.

    They may have abdicated their responsibility to make sure they will not be deplatformed by their dinner companions but that doesn’t mean the High Court judges will not do the same.

  161. Iampeter

    See JC? I wasn’t projecting after all. You definately need urgent help for your many mental problems.
    And Frank Walker! Just when you think you couldn’t possibly be more stupid you manage to break new grounds. Keep up the good work you Exceptional Individual!

    And Infidel Tiger, the brilliant political aficionado who doesn’t even know what “rights” are and thinks leftists are probably something like atheist, homosexuals and other non-political terms, has made one of the highlights of the thread:

    It is the most preposterous story ever invented.

    Yes, a catholic priest molesting children is totally preposterous.
    Not like the totally believable things such as god and resurrection and life after death and other nonsense you believe completely uncritically.

    Can’t wait to read more of this unhinged, spittle flecked, ding-battery from the usuals when faced with perfectly rational, clear and well thought out arguments…

  162. dover_beach

    The majority judges’ approach was to ask whether any of the claimed flaws in the prosecution’s case meant that the jury ‘must’ have had a doubt. They thought not, because there were explanations each and every time.

    Really, Pell’s ‘three’ hands could be explained? The two boys entering and exiting the sacristy undetected and their absences unnoted by anyone explained? The sacristy left open explained? Pell left unattended by Portelli at his first solemn Mass as Abp. of Melbourne explained? McGlone’s testimony that Pell was at the front farewelling parishioners and not in the sacristy with the two boys explained? And so on. How was each of these explained? More to the point, how do any of these not raise a doubt as to Pell’s guilt? Saying that something is ‘possible’ is hardly convincing.

  163. Crossie

    “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization as the church has done so often in human history.”
    — Cardinal Francis George during a 2010 talk to newly ordained priests on the increasing secularization of society

    From Chicago Tribune, 17th November 2014.

  164. Crossie

    Recently our parish priest has stopped having children as altar servers, there is just a middle aged man who helps him most Sundays. I can’t help but think his decision was influenced by the Pell trial. The youth choir is still functioning because it’s run by one of the mothers.

  165. Iampeter

    There is an anti-Catholic cabal within Vicpol, Masonic in origin, that targeted Pell long before the accusations began appearing in the fakestream.

    Was it also part of this cabals plan to allow the Catholic Church, standing accused of thousands of cases of child abuse, thousands of alleged perpetrators and alleged cover up that allowed most to escape justice, to setup their own “response unit” with the full blessing of the police?
    A response unit that essentially paid victims in order to not go to the press or the police. Something that up until that point I had also thought was illegal…?

    Yes there have been grave miscarriages of justice here.
    The Pell case is not one of them.

  166. FelixKruell

    JC:

    Did the appeals court examine the evidence? Do you believe there was anything they weren’t allowed to see or simply ignored?

    They did see everything. But we didn’t. And they dismissed the appeal.

    Which part of my position do you find obtuse?

  167. FelixKruell

    Roger:

    We know the gist of it and anyone familiar with the way cathedrals (or even parish churches) operate would be unable to suspend disbelief long enough to begin to entertain thoughts of the cardinal’s guilt, let alone to assent that the charges were proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    Gist of it isn’t the same as all of it. The jury and the judges toured the cathedral. And heard evidence about how they operate. Yet found the charges proven beyond a reasonable doubt. As I said before, his testimony must have been very compelling.

  168. FelixKruell

    Bruce:

    If there is ,the dissenting judge has has not considered it crucial.

    He did actually. Weinberg also found his testimony crucial, and compelling. He said as much. He just found the other evidence raised too many doubts.

  169. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    Yes, the majority found each of those 13 issues could be explained. You can read some of the details in the decision.

  170. JC

    Which part of my position do you find obtuse?

    All of it.

    On the one hand you’re jumping around in your skirt claiming we haven’t seen the evidence and therefore can’t reach a conclusion. On the other hand you agree the appeal judges did and in their 325 pages of summation pretty well summarized what was pertinent evidence. Your argument is therefore stupid to claim we haven’t seen it. We have through the eyes of the appeal judges and their summation and that’s pretty good for everyone except that special you. There is zero evidence the two sides of the appeal court left out. That doesn’t appear enough for you though, you doofus.

    Next, you persist it was a majority judgment. However there were two summations and not three. Therefore, there are essentially two views voted on by three judges. There are two opinions as both the Liar Party hack and the lezzo signed onto one summation as their own.

  171. JC

    Peter

    You are mentally unwell.

  172. max

    This is why Cardinal Pell and other members of the Church hierarchy cannot be tried fairly in the justice system in Victoria:

    And so, when the Supreme Court declares that, for example, abortion, homosexual sodomy, same-sex “marriage,” and euthanasia are fundamental rights, it is by very clear implication also declaring that Christianity is the enemy of human rights.

    We are, as I see things, in the middle of a great but slow-moving cultural revolution in the United States, as atheists and their near-atheist fellow-travelers (including religiously liberal Protestants and Catholics) attempt to destroy the traditional Christian ethic and worldview and replace it with a God-less ethic and worldview.

    So far, the atheist coalition seems to be winning. Their advance, supported by the mainstream media, the entertainment industry, our leading universities, and the Democratic Party, looks unstoppable. And one of the great instruments of this advance is the idea that the leftist agenda can be enacted by the un-democratic “discovery” of more and more fundamental human rights.

  173. JC

    Peter, you dickface, if you despise the catholic church so much, why are you carrying the name of its first apostle, you hypocritical, self unaware retard. Why not change it to.. Dickface…. or something appropriate like that?

    You’re mentally unwell , seek help.

  174. dover_beach

    I don’t see explanations in the majority. I see claims that this or that was ‘possible’, which is not quite beyond reasonable doubt which is what is required.

  175. Empire 5:5

    Peta got touched by her uncle. Go easy.

  176. JC

    Peter, Dickface

    You’re the most logically perverted person, in your case mentally unwell person, whose ever been here. You refer to Christianity as collectivist. You ridiculous clown, if following a religion, which is open to all, to adhere or leave at any time, then anything humans do collectively (together) is therefore “collectivist” by the definition you apply. Going to dinner with friends, attending a party, joining a club is therefore collectivist by your perverted reckoning. You have no appreciation of semantic differences. Collectivism through compulsion and free association are not the same. Collectivism in a political sense always goes with compulsion.

    You are a logical pervert.

    You are a freak, an imbecile and a very unhappy person. In short you’re very unwell.

  177. JC

    Empire 5:5
    #3139474, posted on August 23, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Peta got touched by her uncle. Go easy.

    Go easy on the logical pervert.

  178. FelixKruell

    JC:

    On the one hand you’re jumping around in your skirt claiming we haven’t seen the evidence and therefore can’t reach a conclusion. On the other hand you agree the appeal judges did and in their 325 pages of summation pretty well summarized what was pertinent evidence.

    There’s nothing inconsistent there. We haven’t seen all the evidence. They have. They summarised their reasoning. They didn’t replicate all of the testimony, or the cross examination. They then dismissed his appeal. By a majority. Pretty straight forward.

  179. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    I don’t see explanations in the majority. I see claims that this or that was ‘possible’, which is not quite beyond reasonable doubt which is what is required.

    Reread my quote from Jeremy Gans above. The test the majority applied required them to consider what was probable and possible. That’s why their decision is full of references to what is or isn’t possible. Your understanding of what is required is wrong.

  180. C.L.

    Was it also part of this cabal’s plan to allow the Catholic Church, standing accused of thousands of cases of child abuse, thousands of alleged perpetrators and alleged cover up that allowed most to escape justice …

    No, but apron-wearing goat riders were heavily involved in the Uniting Church and its historical progenitors – and – statistically – these were the worst sexual abusers of all.

  181. dover_beach

    How does ‘possibility’ allay reasonable doubt? You said earlier that Gibson provided explanations that the majority accepted, and yet when you read their explanation of the possibility that the complainant entered, was assaulted, and exited the sacristy undetected, we find Gibson relying on part of the testimony of McGlone but ignoring the part were he testifies that Pell is at the front farewelling parishioners. Incredible.

    BTW, why should I prefer the majority’s claim re the standard to Weinberg’s, especially when the latter’s is an exhaustive account involving a number of cases.

  182. JC

    Kruell

    Gans isn’t that smart. In fact, he’s a bit of an idiot.

    The term is academic yet idiot. Stop using him as a reference.

  183. Delcon

    How does ‘possibility’ allay reasonable doubt?

    I am no legal expert, but in this case it may be the case that all the court needed to establish is that there was a possibility, rather than certainty, of a crime to put Pell in jail (or, rather, return him).
    The reason being that the court was not there to establish whether Pell was guilty, but only whether it was possible that he was guilty. If it was no more than possible, then the jury were not inherently unreasonable to establish that a crime was committed. That’s all the court needed to establish to dismiss the appeal.
    Having said that, I think the court was wrong: it was not just uncertain that the crime was committed, but outright impossible.

  184. dover_beach

    The other thing that should be added here is that Gibson thinks McGlone’s testimony means he can set aside Potter’s testimony that he only unlocks and opens the sacristy 5 mins or so after the procession has ended leaving time for private prayer before the altar, while still wanting to buffer the possibility of priests and altar servers entering and exiting the sacristy as they remove vessels, etc. from the sanctuary by relying on Potter’s testimony that the sanctuary is left for a short time so that people can engage in private prayer before the altar and therefore does not require the unlocking and opening of the sanctuary until then.

    Yes, yes, all of this was ‘possible’, leaving no room for doubt.

  185. dover_beach

    I am no legal expert, but in this case it may be the case that all the court needed to establish is that there was a possibility, rather than certainty, of a crime to put Pell in jail (or, rather, return him).
    The reason being that the court was not there to establish whether Pell was guilty, but only whether it was possible that he was guilty.

    No, as I mentioned above:

    663 Accordingly, the task of this Court in dealing with Ground 1 is to carry out an independent assessment, but of the whole of the evidence. Having done so, each member of the Court must consider whether there is, in the mind of that particular judge,[189] a ‘doubt’ as to guilt. If such a doubt exists, it will ordinarily be a doubt that the jury ought to have had. In that event, a second question must be asked, namely, whether that ‘doubt’ persists notwithstanding the advantages over the appellate court that are normally ascribed to the jury.

  186. FelixKruell

    Dover:

    You said earlier that Gibson provided explanations that the majority accepted,

    Did I?

    BTW, why should I prefer the majority’s claim re the standard to Weinberg’s, especially when the latter’s is an exhaustive account involving a number of cases.

    Because they’re the majority. And because you’re criticising their analysis for following their own well-stated standard/approach.

    That said, this would be an interesting point for the high court to weigh in on. Which approach is correct? As a Gans explains, both approaches have support from previous high court cases.

  187. Leo G

    The test the majority applied required them to consider what was probable and possible.

    Sure. It’s possible that Pell could have adjusted his outer garments and rotated his one-piece alb (with doubled-rope waist restraint) so that one of its very short pocket slits lined up with the fly in his dress trousers, unzipped the fly, and adjusted his briefs to expose his penis, while also restraining two wily young boys.
    I think the type of possibility was described by Pell’s defence as “inhumanly possible”.
    But does the possibility of the inhumanly possible imply certainty beyond reasonable doubt?
    Or is doubt dispelled by the sheer number of requisite inhumanly possible events?

  188. FelixKruell

    JC:

    Yes yes, everyone who disagrees with you is some type of idiot. We get it.

  189. dover_beach

    Correction: require the unlocking and opening of the sacristy until then.

    To make myself clearer still, Potter’s testimony was that the opening of the sacristy is delayed because the clearing of the sanctuary is delayed in order to respect those praying before the altar. Gibson wants the half of the testimony where the sanctuary is left unattended so as to free the sacristy of priests and altar servers coming back and forth from the sanctuary, but he doesn’t want the other half, that the sacristy need not be opened until this actually commences at the end of the procession.

    This really is a despicable prosecution.

  190. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    There is no way in hell Jeremy Gans has asserted that Australian criminal and evidence law merely requires a possibility of a crime occurring as a basis to reject an appeal against a guilty trial verdict.

    The burden of proof does not change on appeal.

    Nor was this common law, until now.

  191. JC

    No, not everyone, Kruell. Gans is a leftwing troll. The chances of that imbecile moving one inch from his political ideology and where he believes his political tribe sits on issues would be about 1,000,000,000 :1.

  192. dover_beach

    Did I?

    Sure, by implication, or are you saying that the majority gave explanations that the prosecution didn’t?

    Because they’re the majority. And because you’re criticising their analysis for following their own well-stated standard/approach.

    The majority don’t set the standard. They are relying on a standard set by the HC, and Weinberg’s exhaustive account of that standard is more cogent.

  193. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    McGlone’s testimony that Pell was at the front farewelling parishioners and not in the sacristy with the two boys explained?

    Instant case dismissal and prosecution of “A” ought to have followed.

  194. JC

    Frank Walker from National Tiles
    #3139527, posted on August 23, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    McGlone’s testimony that Pell was at the front farewelling parishioners and not in the sacristy with the two boys explained?

    Instant case dismissal and prosecution of “A” ought to have followed.

    But according to Gruell, you can’t say that because we never saw the evidence at first hand. 🙂

  195. Robert Mc

    I think the type of possibility was described by Pell’s defence as “inhumanly possible”.
    But does the possibility of the inhumanly possible imply certainty beyond reasonable doubt?
    Or is doubt dispelled by the sheer number of requisite inhumanly possible events?

    From the meticulously well researched and reasoned Majority Judgement (my bolding):

    146 In final address, the prosecutor invited the jury to feel the weight of the alb and ‘assess its manoeuvrability as a garment’. This gave the jury the opportunity, counsel submitted, ‘to assess whether what [A] described as having occurred is physically possible or impossible.’ Having taken advantage of that opportunity ourselves, we consider that it was well open to the jury to reject the contention of physical impossibility. The alb was neither so heavy nor so immoveable as the evidence of Portelli and Potter had suggested. To our observation, it was well capable of being manoeuvred — while the cincture was firmly tied at the waist — in a way that might be described as being moved or pulled to one side or pulled apart.

  196. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    If you don’t then fuck off because that’s what you did and I saw you do it.

    Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to jail he goes.

    See ya, Felix.

    Ole Felix hoist on his own petard.
    I’m calling for anyone else who feels aggrieved by Felix to chime in with their own accusations.

  197. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    his testimony must have been very compelling.

    Indeed, Felix. Quadrant had some ‘testimony’ up not long ago that was ‘compelling’ too.
    Apparently some nuns were running a Nazi electrocution torture chamber.
    All sorts of very lurid goings-on were going on. In odd places at very odd times.
    Whips and all sorts of things. You just wouldn’t credit what was happening.
    You really wouldn’t. It was sooo compelling. How awful it was.
    You only had to read it to see that it was very compelling.
    All those weird Catholic things that were going on.

    Felix, it is such a shame that we too couldn’t hear or read this testimony against Pell.
    Honest and heartfelt would be my guess at the style of it.
    Perhaps some descriptors of a sequence of events that made female jurors gasp.
    Certainly some emotional misery and sadness that has continued throughout life.
    Bravely surmounted now, of course, but so important that justice prevails etc.

    I could write three different scripts and all could be ‘compelling’.
    Perhaps I should do one for JC as he has clearly suffered greatly long ago at your hand.
    JC is known for his confidence that he could readily embrace a new career with great success.
    Here ya go, JC. Take my script and run with it. We’ll make an actor of you yet. 🙂

  198. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Doesn’t all of this rather bring to mind the ‘compelling’ nature of the evidence against a certain Justice who was President Trump’s choice to be appointed to the US Supreme Court? A woman, doubtless consumed by her own version of her own problems, but with little grasp on reality past and present I decided, in my sympathetic (yes, I was) understanding of her situation, nearly destroyed the career and lifetime happiness of a very good man.

    Very compelling, she was.
    Pour soul, caught up in the maelstrom of things she very imperfectly understood.
    Perhaps Pell’s accuser is similar.

  199. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Yes, a catholic priest molesting children is totally preposterous.
    Not like the totally believable things such as god and resurrection and life after death and other nonsense you believe completely uncritically.

    Iampeter, a Catholic priest molesting children is not unknown, although I would believe that the majority do not do this. Celibacy is quite possible as a moral lifestyle. Many other than priests practice it.

    Believers in Christianity will tell you, and they are right, that what they believe is a matter of faith. Evidence is something else again. Evidence for Christians may be seen in miracles, or in the numinous nature of the world we live in, or in the textual wisdom found in the Christian bible, or in a chosen scripture.

    Your categorizing of the sincere views of others as ‘nonsense’ is entirely your right to opine, although I think it is a particularly crass thing to do on a site where many Christians come to discuss. It is also a site where many atheists and agnostics come to join in discussion, and I am one of them (which type I’ll leave you to ponder) and you make me ashamed to be in what appears to be your camp there. There is enough anti-Christian, and especial anti-Catholic, sentiment abroad in Australia at the moment without you adding your two cents worth.

  200. Seco

    No, on the evidence we have access to (noting it’s missing the biggest evidence supporting the accusation) I would struggle to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt

    I don’t get this this, why wouldn’t the smoking gun be released for public knowledge in such a high profile case. How on earth could this do anything but answer the questions of the nay sayers?

  201. Mark A

    Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare
    #3139606, posted on August 24, 2019 at 12:14 am

    There is enough anti-Christian, and especial anti-Catholic, sentiment abroad in Australia at the moment without you adding your two cents worth.

    You are grossly overvaluing his contribution.

  202. Iampeter

    if you despise the catholic church so much, why are you carrying the name of its first apostle, you hypocritical, self unaware retard.

    Whether you despise the church or not shouldn’t matter. I’ve even said I wouldn’t have found Pell guilty on the available information and I’m certainly no fan. But unlike you I’m a princpled person.
    You are unhinged, corrupt and dishonest. So even if the case against Pell was some kind of corruption, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Going to dinner with friends, attending a party, joining a club is therefore collectivist by your perverted reckoning.

    LOL no. That’s not what’s meant by the term “collectivist.” Not understanding entry-level, political terms like this makes you politically illiterate. You have no business on a political blog.

    You are a freak, an imbecile and a very unhappy person. In short you’re very unwell.

    And finally you descend into once again describing yourself as any honest person can easily see.

    These are all pretty basic and straight forward points. You know I’m right, that’s why you respond with unhinged rants of someone who has no counter points but doesn’t have the honesty to concede.

    Sadly this blog is overrun with cretins and nutjobs like you which chase off sane people like Felix, making any serious discussions about topics impossible. You neither know anything nor are you capable of having discussions.

    Happily though, the stupidity you and others put into writing here cannot be found anywhere else on the internet and that provides pretty original, you-couldn’t-make-it-up entertainment for many of us.

  203. Iampeter

    Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to jail he goes.
    See ya, Felix.
    Ole Felix hoist on his own petard.
    I’m calling for anyone else who feels aggrieved by Felix to chime in with their own accusations.

    *facepalm* that is not an example of Felix being hoisted, that is an example of JC, others and yourself being spectacularly unintelligent and going down nonsensical tangents, instead of conceding to his very straight forward positions that none of you can counter. Because he is correct.

    Also, I wouldn’t be posting the things JC has posted, nor calling on others to do so.
    Those comments from JC walk the legal line and in Australia your anonymity online is not guaranteed if someone decided to take action.
    It’s not the first time the hopeless posters here have made comments that are unwise to say the least.

    Basically it’s probably a good idea NOT to accuse people of serious crimes, you idiots.

    Your categorizing of the sincere views of others as ‘nonsense’ is entirely your right to opine

    That was the point I was making directed at Infidel Tiger who was dismissing not merely “the sincere views of others” but a proper and methodical legal proceeding as “nonsense.” You missed the entire point of my post but still decided to respond with this pretentious tone, making a complete fool of yourself.

    although I think it is a particularly crass thing to do on a site where many Christiabe ns come to discuss

    Oh shut up Elizabeth. In this thread alone there are completely unhinged rants, some of which maybe even bordering on actionable, written by truly rude and disgusting people and you decide to focus in on anything I’ve said as “crass?”

    Just how vile and dishonest are you?

    You really should be very ashamed but not for any of the nonsense reasons you’ve posted.

  204. Leo G

    But unlike you I’m a (principled) person. You are unhinged, corrupt and dishonest. So even if the case against Pell was some kind of corruption, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

    You suggest that even if he has a leg of sorts, he cannot stand on it because you dislike him.
    In accord with a peg-legged Peter Principle, I think.

  205. Iampeter

    You suggest that even if he has a leg of sorts, he cannot stand on it because you dislike him.

    No, that’s not at all what I suggest.
    You misunderstood the very simple point I was making but responded anyway, making a complete fool of yourself.

    THIS is exactly what is so entertaining about the Cat.
    Nowhere else on the internet will you find people this stupid.

  206. Empire 5:5

    No, but apron-wearing goat riders were heavily involved in the Uniting Church and its historical progenitors – and – statistically – these were the worst sexual abusers of all.

    Fact: no actual goats are used in the practice of English rite Freemasonry.

  207. mh

    THIS is exactly what is so entertaining about the Cat.
    Nowhere else on the internet will you find people this stupid.

    Iampeter, can you tell us where else you post online so I can witness others appreciating your powerful intellectual rigour.

  208. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    that is an example of JC, others and yourself being spectacularly unintelligent and going down nonsensical tangents, instead of conceding to his very straight forward positions that none of you can counter. Because he is correct.

    I think Felix’s positions have been very well countered, both here and elsewhere, by commenters bringing a range of perspectives to the table. Read back, and follow some links. There is no point at this late stage in the thread for me to be reviewing them all once more.

    As for anonymity, legality and JC’s comment: I do not think satire is yet completely dead in Australia. This decision offers open slather to legal success with extremely unlikely invented accusations that are backed up by no substantiated evidence, inventions which are simply untrue about people of previous good character. As I see it, JC was simply satirically making the point about that. This point is also one which many people in pubs are making jokingly about each other simply to show how easy, and how ridiculous, it would be to do so. Satire can be a form of argumentation. Jane Austin knew that. So did Jonathan Swift before her. They must have been ‘spectacularly unintelligent’ people though.

  209. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    I do not think satire is yet completely dead in Australia.

    Although I hae ma douts about that when I see it seriously proposed in our Parliament that men too can have a uterus and have babies. Monty Python’s Loretta, after more than 40 years on the peak of the grand stage of satire, is by this made completely redundant. Loretta’s ‘right’ has become a social ‘reality’, in the minds of some at least.

    Words fail.

  210. calli

    C.L.’s forensic examination of the anti-Pell movement, root and branch, must be very, very close to the truth.

    Such a lot of effort to distract from it, so many…many words.

  211. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    These are all pretty basic and straight forward points. You know I’m right, that’s why you respond with unhinged rants of someone who has no counter points but doesn’t have the honesty to concede.

    Sadly this blog is overrun with cretins and nutjobs like you which chase off sane people like Felix, making any serious discussions about topics impossible. You neither know anything nor are you capable of having discussions.

    Ah no. Felix said he’d be happy to face a court the same way as Pell did with that subpar level of evidence and proof. He has that much faith in juries and judges they can change facts by belief.

  212. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Those comments from JC walk the legal line and in Australia your anonymity online is not guaranteed if someone decided to take action.
    It’s not the first time the hopeless posters here have made comments that are unwise to say the least.

    Abuse of process and using the court system as a threat isn’t exactly legal either, Bucko (coercion).

  213. Iampeter

    I think Felix’s positions have been very well countered, both here and elsewhere, by commenters bringing a range of perspectives to the table.

    I’m sure you do. But as we’ve established in the very post you’re responding to, you’re not an honest person, so what you “think” is not an argument proving anything, nor in any way related to facts.
    It’s you who would benefit from re-reading the thread, if you had any honest interest in the facts that is.

    As for anonymity, legality and JC’s comment: I do not think satire is yet completely dead in Australia.

    Yes, yes it was “satire.” JC is a satirist!
    And you’re clearly such an HONEST person.
    Good to see you’re not completely lost though, by trying to downplay the comments instead of doubling down, even though you’ve shamed yourself so completely.

    This decision offers open slather to legal success with extremely unlikely invented accusations that are backed up by no substantiated evidence, inventions which are simply untrue about people of previous good character.

    No it doesn’t. This is addressed in the early sections of the ruling laying out the process and has been thoroughly addressed by Felix and Pyrmonter.
    For the record: accusations alone are considered evidence by the court and people can be found guilty if they are compelling. In addition to all the supporting evidence the judges and jury would’ve also examined. E.g. a lot of hay was made of how impossible it was for the robes to be pulled apart, but if the jury and judges examined them and found it be quite easy, then this would be a big problem for the defense. And so on. There are a lot of very certain statements often made by the defense, leaving no room to cover themselves when such total certainty may not have been justified. Perhaps an endless parade of 100% certain statements been found to be unjustified, that we are not privy to because we weren’t on the Jury nor saw what they saw, made a guilty verdict seem the right one to them.

    We just don’t know. In any case, I also don’t agree with the ruling like many here, but there’s clearly been a methodical process followed, with no evidence of corruption. Questions I had, like many others here, about whether a single persons testimony can be used to convict, have been thoroughly answered.

    There are some people here simply pointing out these basic facts and don’t need to be abused or accused of serious crimes because you don’t want to hear it and don’t have the skills required to engage in discussions of this type.

    Nor can you then take a pretentious and condescending tone with those people, or accuse them for being “crass” by rightly calling you fools out for your appalling, dishonest, triggered and unhinged behavior.

    You should be very ashamed and embarrassed.

  214. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    No “Peter”.

    We’re not going to be “shamed and embarrassed” from some fake Rand bot who denies reality, such as the accuser “A” fabricating his story many times over, curating it each time as mistakes were progressively noted.

    Nor are we going to fall for your concern for the wisdom of the judicial panels – where 20 witnesses denied to one accuser who is a proven liar.

  215. Iampeter

    Speaking of completely shaming themselves, Frank Walker, you’re posts rarely connect with the things you’re quoting, nor is the mindless and ranting content of your posts worth responding to.

    I’m just telling you this so you don’t waste your time following me from thread to thread and responding to everything.

    But you’re a completely crazy person so I imagine you’ll do as the voices tell you to do…

  216. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Show some examples Peter. Maybe you can answer the questions I asked Felix and he dodged.

    I imagine you’ll do as the voices tell you to do…

    Projection, little buddy. Get some help.

  217. Leo G

    For the record: accusations alone are considered evidence by the court

    Not so. Accusations arise from testimony. Evidence is stuff the court accepts and which supports or rebuts testimony. Testimony itself is not evidence, even though a statement with a record of testimony may be accepted as evidence.

  218. JC

    Peter

    You have defined Catholicism as collectivism. You have no understanding what the term means.

    You are also very mentally unwell.

  219. Hugh

    From the ground floor plan of the Cathedral supplied in the majority decision, the scenario is this:

    The two boys split off from the procession at the doors of the south transept, unnoticed by the 20 or so people in the two by two files immediately behind them, and re-enter the Cathedral.

    At this stage, the procession has about 70 metres to walk to the priests’ sacristy (the locale of the alleged rapes) where, as is the invariable practice, they will enter, bow to the crucifix and divest. *

    In the time they’re walking that 70 metres, 1. The 2 boys, having entered the Cathedral, make their way to the priests’ sacristy, about 20-30 metres from the south transept doors. 2. They enter it and look around a bit. 3. After a while, they discover a bottle of sacramental wine and have a few swigs each. 4. They are discovered by Archbishop Pell, who threatens them.

    … OK, hold the tape: Where is the procession at this stage? I’d say even at a snail’s pace it is at the entrance to the Knox Centre … ie, about 30 metres or so, as the crow walks, from the priests’ sacristy

    … Meanwhile, back in that sacristy (a mere 30 metres away from the procession now) 5. The Archbishop moves his clothes around and exposes himself and rapes the first boy for, allegedly, one or two minutes.

    So … the procession is unable to move 30 metres in one or two minutes to get to the priests’ sacristy and witness that action?

    But there’s much more! 6. Having raped one boy, the Archbishop begins with the other (the complainant himself). His abuse is comprised of two acts: sexual penetration which lasts one or two minutes and then 7. other indecent acts on the complainant … which last another one or two minutes!

    Where in God’s name is that procession? Still not at the priests’ sacristy? Unable to move 30 measly metres in about four minutes? Not noticing two choristers furtively ducking out of an area that’s strictly out of bounds for them? Not coming upon the Archbishop, mysteriously, already in the priests’ sacristy, when they left him a few minutes hence at the West Door greeting mass-goers, now alone – ie without Fr Portelli or another priest in attendance as required?

    So many dogs not barking here.

    Forget all about other people such as the sacristan Max Potter coming in and out of the sacristy in that interval of time with the missal, cruets, as well as switching off the mikes, turning off lights, emptying, cleaning and putting away the thurible, incense and charcoals, etc … that’s all relevant and significant and happens in or immediately adjacent to the priests’ sacristy. Forget too about the trove of incongruities, inconsistencies and incoherences in the complainant’s testimony …

    … Just look at the bare chronology! You don’t need to be an expert in criminal law, as Justice Weinberg demonstrably is, to think that the jury ought to have had a reasonable doubt that the events occurred as the complainant asserted.

    You just need to walk it through with a stopwatch.

    *For the ministers and choristers, the procession from the altar is still part of the liturgy. They’re in a solemn, prayerful disposition until such time as they enter the priests’ sacristy and bow to the crucifix. So it’s not as if the walk back from the West Door to the sacristy is purely functional … a chance to light up a fag and chat about the footy before getting out of the gear. The point is: they’re going to be heading straight for the priest’s sacristy, not dawdling about, lingering with bystanders, etc. The choristers split off from the procession at the entrance to the Knox Centre entrance. They’re still part of the liturgical ministry, though. They don’t complete the procession to the priests’ sacristy for purely logistical reasons, but finish their part of the procession at the choir room. I don’t know for sure, but they in all probability would have had to bow to a crucifix there when they arrive, at which time they’ve finished the procession. That’s certainly what would have happened over the centuries.

  220. Empire 5:5

    Nor can you then take a pretentious and condescending tone with those people, or accuse them for being “crass” by rightly calling you fools out for your appalling, dishonest, triggered and unhinged behavior.

    Classic projection.

    You got triggered..again. It’s always priests. You drop the veil and vomit emotional word salad. You’re a case study is crazy.

    Therapist? Take meds?

  221. Gab

    Only those who have never been to Mass said by an archbishop in his Cathedral would believe Cdl Pell could do what he is accused of doing.

  222. Rex Mango

    When you look at this case, the real failure was the committal hearing, where once the defence showed how shoddy the sole complainant’s evidence was, it should have been tossed out. Instead they were allowed to change the evidence and carry on towards a jury, which perverts the whole reason for having a committal.

  223. dover_beach

    Hugh, that is an excellent account of what immediately follows a solemn Mass, and why the complainant’s claim is at best, practically speaking impossible, and at worst, creates a doubt that the jury itself should have also had.

  224. dover_beach

    There is going to be a canonical inquiry into the allegation. This should involve a reenactment of the allegation that is videoed and then publicized in order to fully expose the sheer improbability of the allegation itself.

  225. cohenite

    THIS is exactly what is so entertaining about the Cat.
    Nowhere else on the internet will you find people this stupid.

    Only when you or one of the other trolls are here.

  226. areff

    Apparently some nuns were running a Nazi electrocution torture chamber.*

    Worse than that, Lizzie. The sisters allegedly had a dungeon, complete with St Andrews cross, on which poor boys were tied and whipped. They were also hit in the face with hamnmers. Washed for the use of visiting priests, too, so they could be “purified”

    The little jerk who successively embroidered his accounts of abuse at three different testomies was one of the botherers who scored a free trip to Rome to harass Cardinal Pell., even though his allegations had nothing to do with Pell.

    Full Quadrant story here:

    https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2019/03/memoirs-of-an-abused-altar-boy/

    *

  227. areff

    Lizzie, you write: Perhaps Pell’s accuser is similar.

    I’d bet he’s told his wife he was abused and, big-noting, says it was Pell who did the schtupping. She’s says there’s good money to be made here, as youre a no-hoper and we’ll never score a windfall otherwise.

    Presto! ‘Pell buggared me in the sacristy’, which is just what VicPol wanted to hear.

  228. mh

    Dot (Frank Walker) and Iampeter used to be so close.

    So sad what’s happened to them.

  229. Dodgy Brother

    Arief: if this accuser was so dodgy why did Pell lawyers seek to exclude the actual evidence he gave from the appeal?

  230. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Really? Putrid has said stuff so out there I suspect he was never sympathetic to my views.

  231. Leo G

    I’d bet he’s told his wife he was abused and, big-noting, says it was Pell who did the schtupping.

    Or perhaps, assuage some fear of culpability for the fate of a childhood friend. But that is just speculation- unless there is supporting evidence.
    Better to evaluate alternative narratives based on the available facts.

  232. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Ah well. Some last thoughts. Good to know I am not completely ‘lost’, just mostly so, given over to the dark side by my supposed specious ramblings. Shame for Iampeter that I am not alone in my critique of his tropes and his crass slurs at Christianity. Perhaps the issue with Iampeter is he is in emotional turmoil. For here is one who believes the verdict should be otherwise but who thinks nevertheless that a smart case has been made for it to stand. The cognitive dissonance must be colossal. That head must explode shortly.

  233. Old Lefty

    In the meantime, some practical consequences and lessons.

    Anyone who lives in the Soviet Socialist Toilet of Yarragrad/Victoriastan should get out as soon as possible. (I suppose Pell’s family will have to stay to visit him, if the stalinoid police state allows, and wait to be picked off in political show trials.)

    No one from elsewhere should visit that corrupt Stalinist dungheap if they can avoid it.

    Anyone with assets held there (including in managed funds etc headquartered there) should get them out asap, given what we have now learned about their legal system (with the honourable exception of Weinberg J).

    No wonder the Victorian Liberals are such useless wimps. Any signs of serious opposition will lead to (1) physical violence from the Socialist Left rentamob, with complete immunity guaranteed by Ashton’s KGB Keystones; and, if that fails, trumped-up criminal charges courtesy of the corrupt and politically prostituted police and OPP.

  234. Rex Mango

    When you think about it, waiting 22 years until you make your accusation, so appeal judges can then criticise the alibi witnesses as being vague etc and also for them to say that holes in your testimony is proof of your honesty, demonstrates that the law in Victoria has reached an absolute low point.

  235. Rex Mango

    The whole thing is pretty simple, someone waits 22 years to report a crime, after the co-complainant is dead and a jury and then appeal court convicts on this testimony. The criminal justice system in Victoria is in really bad shape.

  236. Iampeter

    Ah well. Some last thoughts.

    Why? You’re previous “thoughts” were a mess and this post doesn’t add anything except more embarrassment for you.

    Shame for Iampeter that I am not alone in my critique of his tropes and his crass slurs at Christianity.

    The fact that you’re not the only vile and dishonest person here is not in dispute but it is indeed a shame.
    Also, my criticisms of Christianity are not “crass slurs” but are just. You’re lack of knowledge or counter argument does not equate to my points being slurs.
    And since you don’t have any issue with the many kooks throwing actual crass slurs all the time here, you’re just doubling down on your dishonesty. I guess you have as little shame as you have a clue about anything.

    For here is one who believes the verdict should be otherwise but who thinks nevertheless that a smart case has been made for it to stand. The cognitive dissonance must be colossal.

    *facepalm* That’s not an example of “cognitive dissonance.” Don’t use words you don’t understand so you don’t make a fool of yourself.
    An example of cognitive dissonance would be ignoring endless streams of crass slurs, only to then suddenly be concerned with it when you’re faced with a position you have no counter to, which has caused you to be triggered.
    Another example would be supporting organizations like the Catholic church then crying about organizations being corrupt.
    Etc.

    On the other hand being able to see that an entire legal system isn’t flawed and riddled with corruption because one case didn’t go your way, is the sign of a rational and principled person.

    Concepts that a dishonest person like you obviously doesn’t understand and isn’t interested in.

  237. Iampeter

    Is Frank Walker really dot?
    Why did he change his name?
    Why did he lose his mind completely?
    He never used to post mindless, unhinged rants as dot. Did he?

  238. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Iampeter. You were crass about Christianity, in an improper manner. No-one else on this thread so patently expressed scorn about the deeply held religious feelings of others. I have no cognitive dissonance in my views about this. It added nothing to the debate, and left you open to dismissal as an hysteric. Face it, and move on.

    I do not ‘lack knowledge’ about either Christianity, nor the intellectual rejection of it. I am probably similar to you in my religious views, founded in my case on a wide reading in science, anthropology, history, human psychology and an occasional piece of theology. I have enough awareness of the ‘sin of pride’ to leave some room for uncertainty in my understandings, and certainly room for tolerance of the genuine beliefs of others.

    I am not a ‘supporter of the Catholic church’ in this case nor in any other, I am a supporter of the rule of law. Quite different.

    I am sure you are trying to be a ‘rational and principled’ person; but in my opinion you fail in this particular situation. There is a very strong case to counter the legally concerning positions held by the two far less experienced appellate Judges. Throwing nasty words and intellectual slurs at me will not change that.

    Nor will it help your obvious cognitive dissonance, which is a concept that applies well to your current personally parlous intellectual position re this case. It does cause you considerable distress; that is obvious. There are a number of ways to interpret Festinger’s concept. This one seems apposite to you:

    Belief disconfirmation[edit]
    The contradiction of a belief, ideal, or system of values causes cognitive dissonance that can be resolved by changing the challenged belief yet, instead of effecting change, the resultant mental stress restores psychological consonance to the person by misperception, rejection, or refutation of the contradiction, seeking moral support from people who share the contradicted beliefs or acting to persuade other people that the contradiction is unreal.[5][6]
    The early hypothesis of belief contradiction presented in When Prophecy Fails (1956) reported that faith deepened among the members of an apocalyptic religious cult, despite the failed prophecy of an alien spacecraft soon to land on Earth to rescue them from earthly corruption. At the determined place and time, the cult assembled; they believed that only they would survive planetary destruction; yet the spaceship did not arrive to Earth. The confounded prophecy caused them acute cognitive-dissonance: Had they been victims of a hoax? Had they vainly donated away their material possessions? To resolve the dissonance between apocalyptic, end-of-the-world religious beliefs and earthly, material reality, most of the cult restored their psychological consonance by choosing to believe a less mentally-stressful idea to explain the missed landing: that the aliens had given planet Earth a second chance at existence, which, in turn, empowered them to re-direct their religious cult to environmentalism and social advocacy to end human damage to planet Earth. On overcoming the confounded belief by changing to global environmentalism, the cult increased in numbers by proselytism.[7]

    Perhaps you should start believing that Pell was proven guilty by these Judges and the previous jury, as I suspect you think that he was thoroughly guilty anyway, if not of this case, then of others. That would resolve some of your cognitive dissonance. Alternatively, you might find yourself more intellectually comfortable if you start seeing some problems in the Judgement which might explain why you do not wish it to stand.

    This thread is now disappearing down the memory hole. Take it up on another thread if you really want to pursue your attack on me further. I am not coming back here to respond any more.

  239. Iampeter

    You were crass about Christianity, in an improper manner. No-one else on this thread so patently expressed scorn about the deeply held religious feelings of others.

    I was not crass about Christianity, nor was anything I said improper. On the other hand, many posters in this thread have been FAR MORE than merely crass in their responses to peoples ideas which are much more thoughtful than pretending to be religious in the absence of thinking, that you refer to as “deeply held religious feelings.” You’ve said nothing about this to any of them.
    This renders any attempts by you to direct such criticism at me an example of cognitive dissonance and also downright dishonesty on your part. I can’t believe this has to be explained for a third time.

    I do not ‘lack knowledge’ about either Christianity, nor the intellectual rejection of it. I am probably similar to you in my religious views, founded in my case on a wide reading in science, anthropology, history, human psychology and an occasional piece of theology.

    Then you wouldn’t need to say so, you could demonstrate it. Clearly this isn’t true and whatever comment I made about Christianity triggered you by exposing your superficiality.

    There is a very strong case to counter the legally concerning positions held by the two far less experienced appellate Judges. Throwing nasty words and intellectual slurs at me will not change that.

    Maybe. But a lot of points raised have been addressed by some of the more rational posters here.
    Many of you don’t want to hear it and keep rehashing the same talking points over and over.
    Also you clearly have no issue with anyone throwing nasty words except me it seems. This again demonstrates your cognitive dissonance and dishonesty.
    Also, accurately describing you is not “slurs.”

    Nor will it help your obvious cognitive dissonance, which is a concept that applies well to your current personally parlous intellectual position re this case. It does cause you considerable distress; that is obvious.

    But I’m not distressed by this case. As opposed to many posters here who are raving about every conspiracy theory they can think of. This is ANOTHER example of YOUR cognitive dissonance.

    This thread is now disappearing down the memory hole. Take it up on another thread if you really want to pursue your attack on me further. I am not coming back here to respond any more.

    I’m not sure why you responded the previous times as your responses don’t add anything. You’ve now followed the usual pattern of cat posters whose points have all been addressed, you have no counter points, so you just evade and double down.

  240. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    On the other hand, many posters in this thread have been FAR MORE than merely crass in their responses to peoples ideas which are much more thoughtful than pretending to be religious in the absence of thinking, that you refer to as “deeply held religious feelings.”

    An example would help.

    Clearly this isn’t true and whatever comment I made about Christianity triggered you by exposing your superficiality.

    Tim Pool and Dan Crenshaw are on opposite sides of politics, but they can resist the temptation to be an arsehole. Can you give it a try?

    Many of you don’t want to hear it and keep rehashing the same talking points over and over.

    No, you refuse to address any of the questions posed to you and the rest of the ridiculous, hare-brained “Get Pell” mob.

    But I’m not distressed by this case.

    This is because you have your head up your arse.

    A man was convicted on the say-so of an accuser who was a proven liar, proven to be lying in court.

    You are fucking brain dead if this case doesn’t concern you.

    I’m not sure why you responded the previous times as your responses don’t add anything. You’ve now followed the usual pattern of cat posters whose points have all been addressed, you have no counter points, so you just evade and double down.

    No peter, you and felix refused to answer any of my questions.

    BTW, who do you vote for?

  241. JC

    I was not crass about Christianity, nor was anything I said improper.

    You accused Christianity of being collectivist. You no idea what collectivism means. Fuck off.

    You’re mentally unwell.

  242. carol

    Unless I missed it when reading (admittedly quickly) through the comments here, nobody seems to have been considering motivation. As in, what motivation could have caused Pell to take such a terrible risk in order to have taken the action he has been accused of at the time and place it has been claimed to have happened?
    As opposed to what motivation someone might someone have to accuse him of it? I can’t really think of any for the former. On the other hand, the accuser will not be thought poorly of if, down the track, he decides to sue the Catholic Church to compensate him for his traumatic experience. It’s entirely possible he was indeed interfered with by some clergy member at some time which would make his anger understandable and justifiable and if transferring that to Pell is unfair he could certainly justify it as what happened to him was equally unfair making it right to go to the top for revenge.

  243. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Maybe the proven perjurer is just lying for the compo?

  244. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Maybe the proven perjurer is just lying for the compo?

    That thought had crossed my mind.

  245. notafan

    I noticed in one of the articles link to yesterday that in the evidence the accused claimed to have been very keen to have maintained his very valuable St Kevins scholarship.

    and that seems to be rather at odds with someone who allegedly as a 13 year old , along with another boy, spontaneously left the procession, went straight to the sacristy and stole wine, while presumably the rest of the procession marched on the spot.

    A scholarship he lost as the result of leaving the choir. Quite some time after the alleged incident iirc.

    That’s a grievance might well have been nursed for many years.

    No one’s ever suggested a reason why Cardinal Pell would have abruptly left the final procession.

    The only reason I could imagine he would do so would be an extremely urgent call of nature. And yet he didn’t.

    Inexplicable.

  246. notafan

    Potential future financial gain would be another clear motive.

  247. Rex Mango

    Reference motivation for making up stories, besides the hysterical hatred of Pell across a huge section of society which every day you can find new examples of, there is the simple fact bearing false witness is one of the Ten Commandments and hence quite a problem for thousands of years. Any legal system that doesn’t guard against this (ie the Victorian one) is very dangerous.

  248. Hugh

    Notafan – snap.

    Complainant and his mate break away from the procession, enter priests’ sacristy (out of bounds area to choir boys) and helps himself to the sacramental wine. Clearly serious disciplinary offences for the choirboys.

    To the question: why didn’t you mention the attack later to anyone whatsoever especially your mate? Ans: I was terrified of losing my scholarship!!

    Supplementary question should have been: if you were so terrified 1. why did you go on the frolic in the first place, a serious disciplinary infraction which would have been so easy to notice and 2. why didn’t you for this very reason (fear of losing scholarship) bring it up again at least with your mate, with whom you were good friends, overnighting at his home on several occasions after this. Why didn’t you try to warn him that if he blurted about it to anyone, it might lose them both their scholarships?

    1. could be explained by saying that when it happened, the complainant wasn’t worried about the losing the prized scholarship issue and that this concern evolved only subsequently. O.K. ( but actually that raises other questions – e.g. how long after the incident did the losing scholarship fear arise, and in the interval before it did, what was the reason you didn’t discuss it with your mate? ) – but that still doesn’t answer 2 in any way.

    while presumably the rest of the procession marched on the spot.

    Well put. But I’m sure the majority would say “We can picture a liturgical procession marching on the spot for 5 to 6 minutes totally out of their normal routine without wondering why.” (!)

    P.S. I have it on very good authority from a current server that today it takes only about a minute or two for the procession from the West Door to arrive at the priests’ sacristy. The route and layout of buildings and rooms is exactly the same today as it was at the time of the alleged offence.

    The only reason I could imagine he would do so would be an extremely urgent call of nature. And yet he didn’t.

    Yep. And my personal experience is that urgent calls of nature rather tend to dampen the heat of other desires and emotions. Perhaps several shots of Viagra might have been able to account for his 3-6 minute sustained sexual frenzy, in the face of such an urgent call, but I’m no expert in that area.

    Archbishop Pell’s appearance at the sacristy door, sans assistant priest, and without any probability that two choirboy victims would happen to be inside – well, it has the whiff of a miraculous bilocation. Or as Justice Weinberg put it : an “alignment of the planets”.

    ******
    DB – thanks. And let’s hope for a re-enactment. It’s what Weinberg referred to as the particulars which show up most starkly the weaknesses of the complainant’s case.

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