This Harebrained Hiatus

KEITH Windschuttle has once again amplified his demolition of “this hiatus, this gap.” TH-TG is the mythical five-or-six-minute lull into which Victorian prosecutors artfully squeezed Cardinal George Pell’s alleged crimes against two choirboys at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in December 1996 like so many sophomores into a 1950s phone-booth. Referring to the trial transcript, Windschuttle establishes that an exchange between Crown prosecutor Mark Gibson and sacristan Max Potter shows the stop-watch on the all-important “hiatus” began ticking directly after Mass had concluded, not after the procession from the Cathedral concluded.

Earlier this week, Windschuttle pointed out that Gibson was forced to retract a neatly companionable argument made to the jury about the whereabouts of other choirboys during “this hiatus” (which was ruled to have had no foundation in evidence tendered) and noted its inexplicable re-appearance in the Victorian DPP’s submission to the High Court. What this means is there was literally no time during which the two choirboys and/or Cardinal Pell could have been alone in the priests’ sacristy. During this time, all three were still in procession. Following that, the sacristy immediately became a “hive of activity.”

Could Chief Justice Ferguson and Justice Maxwell (who both accepted Gibson’s faulty interpretation of TH-TG) have made a fundamental and deplorable error based on – let’s say – inexpertise as regards liturgy or liturgical terms? As any church-going Catholic could have told them, Mass concludes with the final blessing (that’s where the word “mass” comes from, in fact: Ite, missa est – the dismissal). The period between the final blessing and a concluded archiepiscopal procession, however, is at least five or six minutes. At least. If you factor in the social attention at the doors given to an archbishop, add another several minutes to that. Again: this is being almost ridiculously conservative. Justice Maxwell was schooled at Melbourne Grammar (more than nominally C of E when he was a student there in the 1960s) and the Chief Justice was educated by the Brigidine sisters. Did they not attend chapel? Stated simply: if there is no hiatus or gap, there is no case.

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22 Responses to This Harebrained Hiatus

  1. Entropy

    Political appointments to the judiciary deliver reliable outcomes against class enemies.

  2. Entropy:
    We desperately need recall provisions written into Judges – especially High Court Judges – contracts.
    This ignoring and re interpreting our Constitution via an ideological lens has to stop. The Collectivists are destroying the social fabric of Australia, and remaking it into a garment that is antithetical to all of us who have laboured to make it what it is today.
    Which, of course, is precisely why it won’t.

  3. Old School Conservative

    It’s the vibe.
    Some Catholic priests committed horrible crimes therefore the most senior Catholic must pay.
    Rule of law and reliance on sound evidence be dammed.

  4. pete m

    Even more bizarrely to add to this is that the 2 December masses were the first post renos and post his elevation to red robe. Pell would have been swamped and unable to move from the front if the cathedral evrn if he declared an emergency

    It really is so silly to say he did it straight after a memorable mass as has been made out.

    I still don’t know how the jury got this so wrong let alone any judge.

  5. P

    His case will be heard in Canberra over two days on March 11 and 12.

    On November 13, Pell cleared a hurdle when the court announced it would refer his application to appeal his convictions to the court’s full bench.
    That does not mean that Pell won the right to appeal. What it did mean was that Pell’s lawyers could prepare for a hearing before all seven judges in March, when the High Court might reject Pell’s leave to appeal or it might allow the appeal to proceed.
    After hearing legal arguments, the High Court could refuse or approve Pell’s application. It could also allow or dismiss the appeal.

    SMH By Rachel Eddie. February 14, 2020 — 11.58am

  6. Judge Dredd

    The whole case is a house of cards. But then again the justice system is not about true justice, that is what awaits us from God’s judgement.
    Although the Catholic Church leaders have done some terrible things, this is clearly a stitch up, especially when you look at the general theme of Christian persecution that’s been going on since 33AD.

  7. dover_beach

    C.L., what is truly gobsmacking about this blunder is that it was uncovered by an editor, not a barrister nor one of Australia’s fine investigative journalist.

  8. C.L.

    Indeed, Dover.
    This is enormously important. The hiatus is dead in the water.

    It’s telling that Gibson could invent TH-TG and see it so lazily accepted by the bench.
    It is, literally, a fabrication.

    Whatever they’re paying Pell’s defence team, some portion of it should be donated to Quadrant.

  9. Cynic of Ayr

    Entropy. Political appointments to the judiciary deliver reliable outcomes against class enemies.
    Isn’t it sad that that is so true.
    As far as I am concerned, this whole fiasco does not rely on Keith Windshuttle’s analysis, as accurate and precise as it may be. It should not be needed!
    The whole damn case comes down to one person’s word against another’s!
    The complainant does not have to prove a damn thing to provet his version, whilst Pell has to prove his version.
    In fact, it comes down to the two so-called victim’s versions against Pell’s version.
    And, to add insult to injury, one the victims agreed with Pell! But, because he is dead, his version is totally ignored, and therefore is a liar.
    Not a single person in this racket of a legal system has said to the complainant, “Prove it!”
    This whole thing has imbibed in me nothing but contempt and disgust with the entire legal system in this country.
    We have Judges – as in this case- whose Judgement was not based on law, but based on “feelings”.
    Two Judges “felt” that the complainant was truthful, and therefore, that the defendant was not.
    They had no other reason but “feelings”
    What a fucking way to administer Law!
    How can Law be so freaking airy-fairy and wishy-washy, that a result depends entirely on the amount of money a Barrister is paid, and the “feelings” of a Judges or Judges?
    The whole damn stinking cesspool of the Legal Business – accent on Business – is nothing more than a money stealing racket. These pricks spend thousands of dollars of other people’s money, arguing the toss about what is legal and what is not.
    There is no effort whatsoever to actually get to the truth!
    Prosecutors hate losing, and will railroad anyone for money. Gibson especially, it seems.

  10. John A

    C.L. #3323276, posted on February 14, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Indeed, Dover.
    This is enormously important. The hiatus is dead in the water.

    It’s telling that Gibson could invent TH-TG and see it so lazily accepted by the bench.
    It is, literally, a fabrication.

    But it was not for the trial judge to accept. It was for the jury to determine, as a matter of fact, that there was sufficient opportunity (beyond reasonable doubt) to commit the offence. So, no, it does not take a legal mind to uncover the discrepancy, only a clear-thinking one.

    And, since the jury erred significantly in its finding, the appellant can argue that the decision was a miscarriage of justice needing correction. Because if a jury can decide contrary to the evidence, where the hell are we? (Rhetorically speaking, of course).

  11. Perfidious Albino

    Given the recent revelations regarding the outrageous bias of the jury foreman in the Roger Stone trial in the US ie: I can’t believe that was just a remarkable coincidence and not an artfully shielded and stacked jury, it does give one pause to reflect on the sanctity in composition of the second trial jury for George Pell…

  12. Tim Neilson

    And, since the jury erred significantly in its finding, the appellant can argue that the decision was a miscarriage of justice needing correction. Because if a jury can decide contrary to the evidence, where the hell are we? (Rhetorically speaking, of course).

    We’re in CFMEUistan, a Chinese satrapy on the southeast of the continent of Australia, ruled (under Chicom supervision) by the Setka government, figureheaded by the Hunchback of Spring Street.

  13. classical_hero

    As a Baptist, I’ve never seen a preacher left alone after a message. They are often the busiest person. I should know because I have preached before and people often want to talk to you about the sermon. Anyone who believes that a preacher would be alone for just one minute doesn’t know what they are talking about.

  14. Mmyes, CL. And jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. Yet here we are.

  15. C.L.

    You have to make an argument, Monty. That isn’t an argument.

    To borrow your analogy and put it to more illustrative use, the Victorian DPP would argue that the Jews were behind the Twin Towers attack because one anonymous person said so.

    Right?

  16. notafan

    Brigidines.

    Chapel?

    Probably rarely.

    You are right though.

    Anyone familiar with the liturgy of the mass would see this gaping hole.

    Which has, among other flaws, the choir procession marching on the spot for six minutes.

  17. You have to make an argument, Monty. That isn’t an argument.

    No I don’t. The arguments were made in court, and were decided by legal experts against the convicted kid toucher. No amount of pissant amateur sleuthing by you or Keith Windbag is going to crack the case.

  18. Professor Fred Lenin

    Put all judges and magistrates on annual contracts subject to review for performance , salaries reduced by half and super the same as real productive workers ,maybe politicians and public servants too ,after all if its good enough for the lawtradespersons its good enough for all public employees .

  19. dover_beach

    Obviously, monty has no concern for the truth or justice.

  20. Truth and justice, cries the supporter of an organisation dedicated to protecting criminals who destroy children’s lives, who is currently defending the leader of said organisation who was convicted of personally destroying children’s lives.

  21. dover_beach

    Poor old monty is frothing out the mouth.

  22. It is true that Pell is in gaol, and it is just.

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