George Pell walks free, holds ‘no ill-will toward my accuser’

The High Court of Australia unanimously overturns a Victorian High Court of Appeal decision that found Cardinal Pell guilty of abusing two choirboys in the 1960s.

George Pell walks free

Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic official, is being released from Barwon Prison today a free man.

The High Court of Australia this morning unanimously overturned a Victorian High Court of Appeal decision that found Cardinal Pell, 78, guilty of abusing two choirboys in the 1960s. Cardinal Pell, archbishop of Melbourne at the time of the offence, was sentenced to six years in prison.

The ruling was handed down by Chief Justice Susan Kiefel in an almost empty High Court hearing in Brisbane due to distancing measures introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Justice Kiefel said the Victorian Court had “failed to engage with the question of whether there remained a reasonable possibility that the offending had not taken place”.

The decision ends five years of legal action against Cardinal Pell, although a number of civil cases are due to be launched by those who allege they were abused by him or allege he did nothing to prevent their abuse by other priests.

In a statement issued shortly after the High Court decision, Cardinal Pell said: “I have consistently maintained my innocence while suffering from a serious injustice. This has been remedied today with the High Court's unanimous decision.

“I look forward to reading the judgement and reasons for the decision in detail.

“I hold no ill-will toward my accuser. I do not want my acquittal to add to the hurt and bitterness so many feel; there is certainly hurt and bitterness enough.

“However, my trial was not a referendum on the Catholic Church, nor a referendum on how Church authorities in Australia dealt with the crime of paedophilia in the Church.

“The point was whether I had committed these awful crimes, and I did not.

“The only basis for long-term healing is truth and the only basis for justice is truth, because justice means truth for all.

“A special thanks for all the prayers and thousands of letters of support. I want to thank, in particular, my family for their love and support and what they had to go through; my small team of advisers; those who spoke up for me and suffered as a result, and all my friends and supporters here and overseas.

“Also my deepest thanks and gratitude to my entire legal team for their unwavering resolve to see justice prevail, to throw light on manufactured obscurity and to reveal the truth.

“Finally, I am aware of the current health crisis. I am praying for all those affected and our medical frontline personnel.”

Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird said the case had divided opinions in legal circles and the general community, and particularly in his diocese because of Cardinal Pell's early connections there.

“Now that the highest court in the land has given a judgement, I hope this will bring some sense of resolution to all those affected by the proceedings,” he said.

The Age reports that the High Court decision does not repudiate Cardinal Pell’s accuser.

“Both Cardinal Pell’s senior counsel Bret Walker SC and Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions Kerri Judd QC agreed in their submissions to the court that the choirboy was a credible, believable witness.

“Rather, the decision exposes flaws within the rest of the prosecution case; evidence given by other witnesses at St Patrick’s at the time, which raised doubts about whether Cardinal Pell had an opportunity to commit the crimes he was accused of.”

Meanwhile, Cathy Kezelman, president of the Blue Knot Foundation National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma, said in a statement that her organisation was “absolutely devastated” by the judgement.

“For many survivors, this decision will be crushing as the immense courage it takes to stand up and be seen and heard is enormous,” she said.

Were you surprised by today’s ruling or did you expect it?

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    COMMENTS

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    KB
    7th Apr 2020
    3:05pm
    It was expected that George Pell would walk free due to having the best lawyers and high profile support. My heart goes out to the victims of those who have child abuse. I stand in solidarity with the victims
    Briar
    7th Apr 2020
    8:21pm
    Me too, as do so many others in Australia.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:25pm
    I stand in solidarity with all victims - but the court has said there is no victim of Pell.
    Jacky
    7th Apr 2020
    8:26pm
    It is absolutely disgusting that this animal has walked free. I also feel very sorry for his victims, justice has not been served.
    Ahjay
    7th Apr 2020
    9:30pm
    I attended a catholic school as a child and was abused by two church members. The trauma I went through was horrendous. Even now at 79 years of age I still re live it.For many years,I have believed the Catholic Church is nothing but a Pedophile Ring hiding behind the religion.When victims come forward, the are much braver than myself as my confidence was badly eroded by the experience.
    I feel for this victim as well as all others in a similar situation.Back in the 1940/50 era there were many victims and there was some sort of chemistry between us that we all seemed to know but not one of us was able to speak about the situation. I still have a couple of my old friends alive who I catch up with occasionally but the subject is still taboo.
    May George Pell and all his pedophile mates rot in hell.
    101
    8th Apr 2020
    9:46am
    Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no Hell, just as there is no Heaven. It's a fabrication of the many Cults and forms the basis of their existence.
    KB
    7th Apr 2020
    3:05pm
    It was expected that George Pell would walk free due to having the best lawyers and high profile support. My heart goes out to the victims of those who have child abuse. I stand in solidarity with the victims
    Briar
    7th Apr 2020
    8:23pm
    I agree that those victims need all the support they can get. Pell only got off because of the money from the Vatican to pay for the high profile lawyers. I too stand in solidarity with all the victims.
    mike
    7th Apr 2020
    3:41pm
    I said all along he was innocent. The jury system gets it wrong 20% of the time which is why we have appeals, but Pell was denied an appeal. WHY. He never got a fair trial, it was always a case of he said against he said, but vital evidence was not allowed in court, by what I believe was a corrupt judge. It was always a case of an attack on the Catholic Church. It brings back memories of the Chamberlain case, where vital evidence was suppressed bu corrupt police and court officials who had their own agenda
    ozrog
    7th Apr 2020
    4:03pm
    Really. He covered up so much. There was only 1 corrupt person in this.
    Jennie
    7th Apr 2020
    4:20pm
    Mike if you don't mind my asking, are you a Catholic?
    Bid
    7th Apr 2020
    4:25pm
    He has not been declared innocent. He's been released on a legal technicality.
    Luchar
    7th Apr 2020
    4:47pm
    No, Bid, he was not released on a legal technicality. He was released because the highest court in the land, in a unanimous decision ,looked at the evidence and decided the original jury decision and two of the three Victorian Appeals Court judges, got it wrong, when they decided he was guilty "beyond reasonable doubt". The dissenting judge in the Appeals Court listed no less than 13 areas which could or should have raised the question of doubt.

    And No, Jenniue, I am not a Catholic.
    KSS
    7th Apr 2020
    4:48pm
    Actually Bid he has been acquitted which means he is judged as innocent of the charges against him.
    Pass the Ductape
    7th Apr 2020
    4:48pm
    Why would a boy put himself through this if it wasn't true? What did the lad have to gain?
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:26pm
    Only 20% - at one time wrongful convictions in the US were possibly as high as one in six. Wrongful convictions can come about for many reasons.
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    1:19am
    Ductape, you seem to forget that the boy's alleged partner in crime denied the alleged incident on four separate occasions, as well as Pell's evidence being unchallenged.

    On why did he put himself through it, he possibly believed it to be true which is why he gave such credible testimony however numerous studies show the human brain is very fallible when it comes to accurate memory recall. For instance look up flashbulb memory studies for the New York 9/11 attacks

    https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/videos/breakthrough/flashbulb-memories-of-9-11-3691.aspx
    Pass the Ductape
    8th Apr 2020
    9:02pm
    Farside - I can think of one very good reason the lad who died changed his mind, but unfortunately we can't ask him. '

    As for Pell's other accuser - it stretches the imagination a great deal to think anyone could dream up a case of sexual assault perpetrated upon them by a high ranking catholic priest, then present that case to the courts knowing that doing so would place them at the center of world attention. '

    In light of Pell's release, it's now expected that Pell's accuser should be brought before the courts to face a number of charges relating to Pell's 'false' imprisonment, otherwise....
    Having indicated this however - it was forecast by many at the beginning of the trial that Pell would never be found guilty and if he was, would get off on appeal. It took a while longer than expected, but the judicial system - not the Lord in this case - often works in mysterious ways.

    It's quite clear to me that the Catholic Church still retains enormous power in the world - perhaps encompassing even our justice system.
    sunnyOz
    7th Apr 2020
    3:41pm
    I am APPALLED & DISGUSTED!! I help a close (female) friend who was a victim of this hell. At this moment, she is beyond devastated and I have had to break 'social distancing rules' to go around and comfort her. As she says, this decision literally says that they (the courts, judicial system, lawyers, etc) - will NEVER believe the children. They are literally saying that "all the kids are liars, and we don't believe you. And never will".
    Just because a holier-than-though priest wears a cloak of God does NOT mean he should be above the law. Which this decision reaffirms.
    Totally disgusted with verdict. The law is more of an ass than I ever thought. And after watching the ABC excellent program 'Revelation' - Pel is as guilty as hell. Where he belongs.
    Hardworker
    7th Apr 2020
    4:32pm
    I totally agree with you sunnyOz. I too am appalled and really feel for the victims of Pell's abuse and the abuse by other religious abusers. I too have been watching "Revelation" on the ABC. A very well put together production and very well researched by Sarah Ferguson. Pay attention to this show as it shows these cover ups and denials go all the way to the Pope in Rome. As a victim of narcissism and psychopathy in my own family I can well understand how the victims were groomed and abused. These individuals, although controlled by their personality disorder/mental disorder, are experts at manipulation, grooming and turning the games around to achieve the desired result for themselves. Whether this be sexual gratification, or just the need to feel powerful or better than everyone else, they know exactly how to go about it. They are extremely clever at manipulating everyone's thinking to believe that you are the problem, not them. What is the point in believing in a God if this is what he/she/they or it allows this type of activity (and it has been proven and admitted to by other priests who are currently in jail) to take place against innocent, unsuspecting, naive children, by it's so called representatives on earth? Pell is a liar and a very good one, and is backed up by his pedophile friends and those who are in denial. It would not surprise me if further down the track we discover that narcissism, psychopathy, pedophilia and several other similar problems are caused when the fetus is forming in the womb. It is the undamaged individuals among us who need protection from these people. Studies have shown that the church situation does not create these individuals but that these individuals are attracted to jobs where they have access to what they desire. Hence the Blue Card had to be created for adults who wished to work in children's homes.
    Unless the catholic church and other religious organizations change their structure, pedophiles will always be protected and children will be at risk. If I know the catholic church it will appear to be making appropriate changes but nothing will really change. Unfortunately judges are not psychiatrists or psychologists. They only deal with the law and we all know the law is an ass at times like this.
    Luchar
    7th Apr 2020
    5:20pm
    No one is saying that "all kids are liars, and we don't believe you". This is evidenced by the number of former priests who, over the years have been found guilty and sentenced over child abuse. It would be a heartless person, indeed, whose heart did not go out to the victims of child abuse, but the comments from sunnyOz and Hardworker simply point to the fact that, for many, Pell was seen as representative of all that was wrong in the Catholic Church, rather than just an individual defending accusations made against him.

    SunnyOz and Hardworker also show the dangers of watching ABC shows like "Revelation" and accepting what they say as factual. What the ABC presented in "Revelation: was not new evidence, but old claims which have never been proven. Just because the ABC says so does not make Pell guilty - that's why, thankfully, we have a justice system, and just because it doesn't deliver the verdict you wanted does not make it "an ass".
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:29pm
    She should reserve her feelings for the actual perpetrator, sunny - you can't condemn everyone on the basis of what one person did, and obviously all cases and allegations cannot be the same. There were several witnesses who said Pell was never in a position to carry out the acts.
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    1:23am
    It's evident in this thread as to why the jury got it wrong and wanted to use the Pell case as a judgement against the church, regardless of Pell's innocence of the crimes that he was accused
    inextratime
    7th Apr 2020
    3:49pm
    People are and will be upset with this decision. However the law must apply across all sectors of society. If someone accuses another of something no matter how convincing the testimony is, if it is not supported by any other evidence then it will never win a case. Imagine what would happen to the legal system if anyone could accuse anyone else of something and they were found guilty. This case should never have gone to court without more evidence. However I am sure it was propelled by the legal profession who could forsee big bucks being made.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:33pm
    Good to see that you support the principle of allegation and compelling and substantial supporting evidence being required for a valid conviction. That should throw out countless traffic offence allegations over the past fifty years or more which were all based on unsupported allegation and zero hard evidence. Similarly many people have been accused of such things as assaulting police... I know of one case where the alleged perpetrator was taken to hospital for repairs, the police officer concerned said nothing to ambos or to hospital staff and made no report of on-the-job injury - yet months later, in court, said he'd been punched so hard his face was sore and swollen for three days... total fabrication, and guess who the courts believed.

    The states should empty their coffers to past victims of this fraud.
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    1:25am
    It is not a matter for the states to offer compensation other than to the extent that they enabled the abuses to continue. The offending organisations have sufficiently deep pockets to provide financial compensation.
    Alexia
    7th Apr 2020
    3:52pm
    I can't understand why the child abuser is free when he was declarewd guilty of the dirty deed.
    How come he was allowed to appeal when he was found guilty?
    Can you commit a crime and be declared guilty and then appeal that final decission and be freed as any innocent person?
    WHY was this guilty person allowed expensive lawyers and outside high profile help when he was declared guilty? Come on people!
    Very unfair.
    It seems rather unfair, specially to the victims and their families.
    Roy
    7th Apr 2020
    4:45pm
    it is simply not possible to fathom the depths of the human condition, and why people bring false witness to an innocent person, only God knows and that's the truth... I know George and there is no way he is a child abuser. Agreed the Church as many of them, like that Risdale, but Cardinal Pell is truly innocent, please believe that - it is NOT POSSIBLE TECHNICALLY that he could be guilty, so why try to establish his guilt, why?

    Look understand one thing, and work from there in unravelling this case. It was simply not possible for Cardinal Pell to have committed this crime as stated, yet it was repeated over and over that those were the facts - well understand this THEY WERE NOT TRUE.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:34pm
    Because the highest court stated he was not a child abuser..... simple.
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    1:32am
    Alexia asks some great questions and demonstrates why civics and our legal system should be taught in schools and citizenship classes.

    Karen is right, the jury verdict was wrong, the appeal focussed on the process rather than justice as outlined in the dissenting judgement, the High Court sorted it.
    Jennie
    7th Apr 2020
    3:57pm
    I think the issue is that those who accused Pell of abusing them are liars. If they are, will they be punished for lying in a court of law? If they were abused and Pell has lied then the victims will suffer further.
    ozrog
    7th Apr 2020
    4:05pm
    why are so many religious people so blind as to what goes on. I feel for the victims. This is not over yet 2 more witnesses have come forward
    Jennie
    7th Apr 2020
    4:18pm
    Let's hope true justice is done.
    Luchar
    7th Apr 2020
    5:35pm
    I don't believe anyone is accusing the accuser of lying. Personally I believe his evidence (of which we know practically nothing) to be that of someone who had been abused - but not by Pell.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:35pm
    Wrongful conviction can come about for many reasons - not just simple lying, though that can be part of it. It is possible the complainant was mistaken or simply 'had issues'. That is why it is dangerous to allow emotion to control a trial.
    Leslie
    7th Apr 2020
    4:21pm
    Accusation is not proof of guilt.
    It is not - Guilty, until you prove yourself innocent, it is
    Innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
    Roy
    7th Apr 2020
    4:31pm
    The witch hunt against George Pell destroyed his reputation and locked him in jail for a crime he could not possibly have committed. This was one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in Australian history. The quashing of his conviction for inherently implausible crimes does not make things better. Pell has had his reputation smashed, his career ruined, his savings destroyed and his freedom stolen for 404 days. His supporters have had to spend millions to defend his innocence. Shame on everyone who participated in this witch hunt and punished those few who tried to speak for justice. Shame on the politicians today who still tweet as if Pell is actually guilty.

    Look understand one thing, and work from there in unravelling this case. It was simply not possible for Cardinal Pell to have committed this crime as stated, yet it was repeated over and over that those were the facts - well understand this THEY WERE NOT TRUE.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:39pm
    It is a great truth that even when the alleged perpetrator wins, they lose for many other reasons, not least the cost of trial. The accuser, the state, on the other hand, has unlimited funds to support its case... its people are paid handsomely to pursue these matters, and that includes police, and when they lose there is no comeback in any way. Even getting costs doesn't anywhere near cover costs. This system was set up this way to prevent people mounting a meaningful defence, thus solidifying the power of the state over the individual.

    Anyone seeing the need for a separate and budgeted prosecution service with funding no more than goes to Legal Aid? How would that work out? What about prosecutions be compelled to draw from Legal Aid lawyers as well? How's them apples?
    Tarabelle
    8th Apr 2020
    12:56pm
    I am in total agreement. All of those decrying this should stop and think for one moment.....if it was this easy to sidestep the rule of law, the lack of evidence, and the principals of "beyond a reasonable doubt" THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU! Anyone could accuse you, and if your case is conducted as this one was, and followed by the failure of the Appeals Court to correct it..............you could end up in Jail for the rest of your life. The accuser in this travesty of justice is now going to the civil courts for damages... Now that is what it has all been about..........MONEY
    Leslie
    7th Apr 2020
    4:34pm
    Today the High Court ...."ordered that the convictions be quashed and that verdicts of aquittal be entered in their place"
    Quashed means rejected as invalid.
    KSS
    7th Apr 2020
    4:50pm
    And acquitted means judged inocent.
    Jimbo
    7th Apr 2020
    4:36pm
    A rerrible wrong has been at last reversed. This has been a shocking miscarriage of justice from the beginning.
    101
    7th Apr 2020
    4:41pm
    It's not over by a long shot. There are many more Civil cases ready to be prosecuted against this Cult Leader.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:44pm
    On what basis, Care Bear? Of actually doing things himself or knowing of them and not acting and speaking out to protect the innocent?

    Let us be very clear on the difference. There was an episode of Law and Order in which a priest eventually dropped the goods on his superior in the church, which is a breach of vows and of sanctity of the confessional. His superior said to him, "You'll lose your mortal soul for this!".. to which the priest replied, "I believe I may already have."... meaning for not speaking out about the superior abusing children in his care.

    A tricky spot, and again, I'm no Catholic. It's up to the Pope to decree what is right here.
    P$cript
    8th Apr 2020
    8:54am
    Pell has been let off on a technicality, he has not been cleared of wrong doing.
    The redacted parts of the royal commission report now should be released which will reveal more of Pell's behaviour.
    Pass the Ductape
    7th Apr 2020
    4:47pm
    Better you should pray for yourself you lying filth!
    Luchar
    7th Apr 2020
    5:41pm
    Wow, 'Pass the Ductape", what wisdom and insight you bring to the discussion!
    BERRYUPSET
    7th Apr 2020
    5:49pm
    10 HAIL MARYS DUCCO!
    Pass the Ductape
    8th Apr 2020
    6:04am
    You might be more than a little surprised Luchar!
    Snowflake
    7th Apr 2020
    4:47pm
    Roy, I would like to know how you know that he couldn't have committed the offences he was accused of. I know people have their beliefs about what happened but to say he couldn't have done it and the facts show he couldn't have seems a bit far fetched to me.
    I remember a case I heard of where a grandfather would drive up to his farm gate with his two grandchildren. One would get out to open the gate and he would then cop a feel of his other grandchild, in the 30 secs he alone. On the face of it you would say it was impossible as the two kids were with him at all times but they weren't.
    Luchar
    7th Apr 2020
    5:29pm
    It might help you to understand why he could not have been guilty "beyond reasonable doubt" if you were to read the relevant sections of the report delivered by the dissenting judge at the Victorian Appeals Court.
    KSS
    7th Apr 2020
    5:02pm
    I absolutely agree with you Roy. Mr Pell was made a scapegoat for the ills of the Catholic Church and people's dislike of him personally. Neither of these was Mr Pell on trial for.

    Even some of the comments here show that much of the distress that people are displaying has nothing to do with Mr Pell personally but rather the actions of others.

    Mr Pell should never have been prosecuted on the evidence as it was presented. It was shown to be completely impossible for the described offence to have been conducted as alledged. That does not mean that the accuser was not in fact abused. Just that Mr Pell could not have been the abuser in the manner, time or place as described in court.

    This was nothing more than a show trial for a disgusting witch hunt that was primarily aimed at bringing down the Catholic church and the highest serving member of it in Australia.

    Today, in this case, justice was done. Finally.
    Lookfar
    8th Apr 2020
    9:56am
    Actually he was on trial for those issues KSS, which was why the trial did not properly cross it's 't's and dot it's 'i's, so it was overturned on a technicality, but unfortunately the issues leading to the trial have not been dealt with now, and that is actually detrimental to the Catholic Church.
    - the original judgement gave a sense of closure, and justice being done, the overturning has done the opposite and i suspect the Catholic Church has been more damaged in the long term by Pell's escape, - but time will tell.
    BigAl
    7th Apr 2020
    5:05pm
    This case was about one mans word against another. It should never have gone to court. In the first trial the jury found Pell not guilty 10 to 2 guilty. In the second trial it was unanimously guilty. So why the difference. Perhaps trial by the media namely the ABC swayed the jury. In the appeal court, the head judge was also leader of the Victorian Civil Liberties Group. No doubt the High Court will be highly critical of her judgment not adhering to the rule of beyond reasonable doubt.
    Horace Cope
    7th Apr 2020
    5:26pm
    Yes, BigAl, it should never have gone to court, the same as the Victoria Police wouldn't take the case of the woman who accused Shorten of rape and for the same reason; there were no witnesses and no proof.
    JAID
    7th Apr 2020
    5:10pm
    WHY? why offer an opinion.

    None of we here have anything like the grounding in this that that the Courts have. The guilty finding was fine and it was fair that it was respected pending any appeal. Now the highest Court in the land has been unequivocal in an opposite finding and unless somehow someone knows better they would do better respecting that also.

    MR PELL IS INNOCENT.

    If we want to be able to find people guilty of whatever he may or may not have done we need to change the laws (prior to the act.) Within its current capacity JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED.

    If the law has failed, then, of course I would have sympathy for the accusers, it it has not then I have none but we will never be certain either way and our best bet has just made the call.

    ----------
    We do not need to be blaming people all the time. I don't recall this behavior in my youth. It all looks the way Latin soccer looked back then. If it is not going your way you fall on the ground in tears and expect someone to pick you up. The news cycle may have trained us.
    Horace Cope
    7th Apr 2020
    5:11pm
    "Were you surprised by today’s ruling or did you expect it?"

    No, I was not at all surprised by the ruling which should shut up all those who wish to continue to claim that Pell is guilty because there are 7 judges in the High Court of Australia and all 7 of them agreed that this was a miscarriage of justice. Victoria Police have to explain why they brought this to the DPP on numerous occasions and on each occasion the DPP refused to take the case because of a lack of evidence. The Victoria Police selectively leaked parts of the interviews to a compliant media, called the accuser a "victim", even though no crime was proven, and got enough public sympathy to force the DPP to run with the case.

    Witness after witness told the court that it was impossible for Pell to have been in the same room as the accuser because he was at the front of the cathedral when the sacristy was empty and when he was in the sacristy, there was a number of others in there as well. It is also Catholic protocol that a member of the clergy be with the Cardinal at all times when he is wearing the robes used to celebrate the mass.

    I also find it abhorrent that our ABC ran the story about others who claim to be abused by Pell just days before the decision was handed down by the High Court. In the program, nothing new was revealed as the claimants had made these accusations previously but their accusations were found to either wrong or without proof. Interestingly, that part of showing that the accusations had been aired before and found unsafe or wrong were not made public in the program.

    I have sympathy for the accuser because he honestly believed that Pell had done what he claimed even though there was no proof and, further, it has been shown that Pell could not have done what the accuser stated. The accuser has to live with the decision and I hope that he can accept the decision and move on with his life.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:47pm
    I actually had that argument with a police sergeant one - that there is no victim of that specific person until an offence by that specific person has been proven to the proper standard. He did not agree....
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    1:40am
    and also remember the defence was not allowed to present during closing the real time animation of the movements on the grounds that jurors might view the video as evidence and fact.
    leek
    7th Apr 2020
    5:13pm
    At a very recent primary school reunion where we finished primary school in 1969, some of the girls remembered the quieter boys being chosen to go and have "special" music lessons with a male teacher. They remembered most of the boys coming back into class crying and sullen. Nothing was ever said. The teacher chose the right sort of kids, he didn't chose the school leaders, or the out going boys that would have punched the teacher in the head. Pretty sure those boys have never spoken about what happened to anybody. I feel for the vitims here, as they would have been like boys from my school in the 60's.
    Oldie87
    7th Apr 2020
    5:18pm
    We are certainly getting a plethora of opinion here. It amazes me how one can unilaterally state Pell is guilty when the Highest Court in the Land has found his guilt not proven. But this will follow him the rest of his days. Once an accusation is made it can never be erased. I don't know the why's or anything else but having been an altar boy in the dim past I know for certain the events as described could not have taken place. Sheer improbability, And yes I used to be a Catholic, albeit 70 years ago.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:51pm
    My mother's brother, my uncle, was an altar boy until his dying day (at 83), and also a top level Rugby League referee and family man - he was never abused. It has been stated that about 10% of priests carry out these crime. Surely it is up to the Church to stop them and prevent them from continuing.

    I'll say it again - I'm not a Catholic - my mother was but my family are Anglican.. boy did the feathers fly.... my father's mother hated Catholics with a vengeance and her boy took up with one...
    Janma
    7th Apr 2020
    5:22pm
    I too am appalled Sunnyoz and Hardworker. As a practicing Catholic I find it absolutely appalling that this man is now declared innocent. A man who, it has been shown, has clearly covered up sexual abuse. Also, he still has many accusations against him that have not yet been tried.

    As a retired Social Worker and one time Sexual Assault Counselor I worked with survivors of sexual abuse. Abusers are very skilled at grooming not only the child but also all the adults around them. In Sarah Ferguson's "Revelation" this is admitted by the likes of Vince Ryan one of the worst serial abusers.


    In the Maitland Newcastle Diocese we were given a letter from the Bishop throwing doubt o the fairness of Revelation, saying it was sensationalist. It was none of this it was well researched and presented in a balanced manner. What it did do, was reveal the horrific extent of abuse in our particular area.


    My heart goes out to the survivors who have a life sentence,who will forever suffer the pain of what happened to them. Watching abusers get off scot free or who have inadequate sentences will cause further pain. Watch for a spike in suicide.

    The Catholic Church should hold its head in shame. Although we were told that the church did not pay for Pell's defence, it is obvious that a lot of money came from somewhere. What funding did the survivors get, very little I would say. It is now time for the church to fully fund and support the survivors and leave the abusers to their own devices.
    Horace Cope
    7th Apr 2020
    5:37pm
    Janma, your post infers why Pell was found guilty by a jury initially. They appeared to want to blame all of the church's past indiscretions on Pell and chose to find him guilty even though there was no evidence that he had done anything to his accuser. Time and again we hear that Pell "should have known" because he was living and working with one of the most despicable paedophiles. I note that A Current Affair ran with this theory until it was made public that one of their colleagues with whom they had worked for 20 years, Ben McCormack, was charged as a paedophile. Surely they should have known?
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:54pm
    'covering up' is not the same as actually perpetrating the crime, though an argument could be made for creating a charge of aiding and abetting continued crimes by not speaking out or acting as a superior should.
    Couldabeen
    8th Apr 2020
    12:02am
    Janma, this High Court decision is that Cardinal Pell is innocent of the assaults that he was found guilty of in lower Courts. If he is guilty of other assaults, they are completely different matters and need to be brought to Court by the DPP. Until that time, unless you have direct evidence of offences, you must give the man respect.
    If he worked to coverup other perpetrators of such crimes, that is also a separate matter.
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    1:45am
    Karen and Couldabeen have it right that Pell was not tried for covering up, a charge which does not stand up in canonical law
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-02/vatican-law-requires-catholic-bishops-cover-up-abuse-expert-says/10057532
    101
    8th Apr 2020
    7:48am
    It's interesting that the ABC has withdrawn the last episode of Revelation which included alleged victims of Pell.
    fred
    7th Apr 2020
    5:24pm
    I'm not a RC and I don't like the cardinal's manner of dealing with his church's issues or many of his public utterances but it is time for people to accept the courts' decision and "get over it'.
    Furthermore, based on evidence presented at the trials, he would have to be better than Harry Houdini, to be in two places at the same time and within the same time frame as presented by the prosecution.
    Lucky for the abc and crazy ferguson that he is most unlikely to sue them for libel and interfering in a matter current before the court.
    Don't waste your time having a go at me, your opinions are of no consequence, "Matter Closed".
    Eddy
    7th Apr 2020
    5:35pm
    Nobody on this forum 'knows' if Mr Pell committed the crime for which he was convicted at trial, you may have an opinion but you do not know unless you were there to witness what occurred. However my position is why can a judicial panel, in this case the High Court, declare that the jury got it wrong and should have acquitted Mr Pell without new and compelling evidence that was not available at the original trial. What is the point of having citizens sit on a jury only to have judges overrule the verdict. I have no issue with appeals courts deliberating on a legal point of law or assessing new evidence which was not put to the jury and then directing the verdict to be set aside pending a retrial. Deciding an acquittal is the prerogative of a jury not a judge.
    I have been on two juries and each time the question of what is reasonable doubt was raised with the judge. Their answer was to the effect that reasonable doubt was in each jurors mind, there was no test or guidance. I could suppose that the jury at Mr Pell's trial asked the same question and received a similar answer. How can a judge or judges decide that there was reasonable doubt when they cannot even quantify for a jury what amounts to reasonable doubt. I an disturbed that judges take it on themselves to reverse the verdict of a jury.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:56pm
    Because juries can get it wrong for many reasons... say a black man or men in Alabama in the 1930's accused of raping a white girl??
    Eddy
    7th Apr 2020
    10:12pm
    Karen, of course juries can get it wrong sometimes but this is not 1930 nor Alabama. We are in Australia and it is 2020. My point is why judges can overturn a jury verdict on the grounds that the judges believe there was reasonable doubt, obviously the jury of 12 citizens did not have reasonable doubt. Why should judges opinions take precedence over juries especially since, as far as I understand, no new evidence was presented. Contrast that with the case of Lindy Chamberlain, the forensic evidence that was the basis of her conviction was shown to be wrong, ie there was new and compelling evidence.
    Couldabeen
    8th Apr 2020
    12:09am
    Eddy, the High Court is ruling on whether the Law was applied correctly in the cases that come before it. They can assess the evidence as presented and consider as to how that evidence was presented to the Jury. That is what has occurred here.
    The question that comes back is not whether the two lads were assaulted by a member of the Clergy or not, but whether it was Cardinal Pell who assaulted them in the manner that was claimed. Remember that the other lad had not made such accusations against Pell.
    Eddy
    8th Apr 2020
    1:14am
    Couldabeen, I am not debating the guilt or otherwise of Mr Pell, I was questioning the the judiciary deciding there was reasonable doubt when a jury of good and true citizens decided there was no reasonable doubt. This seems to undermine our system of trial by jury not by appointed judges. My reading of the judgement was that the judges did not determine whether the law had been applied correctly but rather if, on the basis of probability, Mr Pell had the time to commit the acts for which he was accused. Since this was not new evidence apparently the jury determined he did have time whereas the judges thought that he may not have had time therefore they concluded there was reasonable doubt. if the judges determined that an error in law had occurred then of course they should have vacated his conviction and send the case back for re-trial. But the judges decided to acquit on the basis of their apparent opinion there was reasonable doubt rather than any perceived error of law. This just does not seem right to me.
    Brissiegirl
    7th Apr 2020
    5:41pm
    The actual mechanics of the alleged crime seemed very similar to the Lindy Chamberlain case. People didn't like her. Many people did not like Pell. Evidence from two Tasmanians at the camp site showed Mrs Chamberlain didn't have sufficient time to do all the things to her baby that police claimed. But public anger continued until she was jailed. With Pell, it seems that a thorough test of the layout and procedures on the day in question showed that there simply wasn't time for him carry out all the things accused. The time he has spent in jail probably goes some way towards punishment for his inattention to the many other bad things that happened under his watch. Justice is justice, whether the public wants him guilty for these allegations, or not, imo.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:56pm
    I've found Lindy Chamberlain to be quite a nice person and very forgiving.
    Brissiegirl
    8th Apr 2020
    1:41pm
    What I found noticeable during that time was how Australian women, not men, so enthusiastically castigated Lindy Chamberlain before all the facts were known. Their haste to viciously paint her as a killer confirmed my opinion about (mostly working) women having well and truly lost our place as the fairer, gentler sex.
    BERRYUPSET
    7th Apr 2020
    5:58pm
    Conveniently overturned and released while we are all PREOCCUPIED with CORONAVIRUS!
    Think his `MATE` in Italy will rescue him back to ITALY ..MAYBE NOT!look what could happen to him?
    Aggle
    7th Apr 2020
    6:27pm
    We can only hope that one of his other victims will now bring charges against this vile man and put him back where he belongs. How cruel can he be not to admit he sexually abused many boys, not just the two in the original case. He has ruined their lives and yet he is prepared to lie in order to save his own skin. Despicable.
    Luchar
    7th Apr 2020
    10:39pm
    And we know all of this to be true.....How, Aggie?

    Seems we no longer need a justice system, or evidence, or proof. Just ask Aggie.
    Circum
    7th Apr 2020
    7:53pm
    George Pell reminds me of a song.Devil in disguise.
    Circum
    7th Apr 2020
    7:53pm
    George Pell reminds me of a song.Devil in disguise.
    etc1
    7th Apr 2020
    7:55pm
    I attended the Catholic education system and was made attend church weekly. Most of the priests in our area were relocated for either abusing their housekeepers or abusing members of the congregation. I remember one priest being relocated to Ballarat. Vic. As a Maltese child in the 60s, the local priest and nuns ruled our families. When we reported wrong doings happening at school by any of Gods workers, we were seen as siners and punished again. I know of boys being abused by the nuns and priests. One boy became so twisted that he later abused girls and boys himself.
    After all the years of evidence into the sexual abuse in the Catholic movement, how can anyone have any doubts of their guilt and why is this organisation still operating? Money and contacts, that's how. As time will tell, Pell is guilty of all charges and more.
    Roy
    7th Apr 2020
    9:34pm
    I think you are guilding the lily a little here - 'most of the priests' hmm, dubious testimony, not to say there are not offenders. I think the Catholic church has it horribly wrong to forbid marriage for nuns and priests, its a misenterpretation of St.Pauls writings - simple as that! He said refrain, not deny your passions. 1 Corinthians 7-9. Yes, the Priests & Nuns were strict, but that resulted in the cane, not sexual abuse. There are a lot of accusations but lack solid evidence, not to say they are innocent, but not proved guilty, and George Pell may well be guilty of failure to report as he was with Risdale, but personally guilty of sexual abuse, sorry not correct. Bottom Line - The Pope needs to rethink marriage for priests & nuns, it works in the Anglican Church, and they are good shepherds of the flock AMEN
    Couldabeen
    8th Apr 2020
    12:19am
    etc1, heresay is not evidence of the commission of a crime. Yes, there were offences committed against many youngsters by members of the Clergy. Always have been and due to human nature being what it is, always will be.
    But not all members of the Clergy were or are guilty of such crimes against the innocent.
    This particular case is specifically about Cardinal Pell and two young lads who accused him of assaulting them. It has been shown now that the evidence as presented in the Court that found him guilty was flawed and presented to the Jury in a manner that was inappropriate.
    If you have direct evidence against any member of the Clergy maybe you should document it and present it to the DPP and follow it through so that appropriate justice may be done.
    Karen
    7th Apr 2020
    8:25pm
    I always said the evidence didn't stack up, and there was doubt... and I feel he was convicted on emotion rather than on facts proven beyond any reasonable doubt. I'm not a Catholic and I loathe and totally fail to understand paedophiles and why they do it - but I always felt that he was convicted on knowing and not speaking up rather than on actual actions of his own.

    Such a conviction is not acceptable no matter how emotional the content of the accusation is, and unfortunately this is something that was deliberately introduced into jurisprudence by governments here... trial by emotion.
    Pass the Ductape
    8th Apr 2020
    5:57am
    So in essence - the accusers must have been lying.
    robin hood
    7th Apr 2020
    8:42pm
    Im not catholic but always believed he was innocent
    Jon S
    7th Apr 2020
    9:33pm
    In the UK it's call 'the establishment'. A tightly knit group of people at the top who look out for each other.
    Pass the Ductape
    8th Apr 2020
    5:59am
    Agree.
    101
    9th Apr 2020
    9:16am
    As most CULTS do.
    Couldabeen
    8th Apr 2020
    12:31am
    For even a casual observer, it was obvious the moment the original Guilty determination was passed that there were flaws in the prosecution's case. But the crowds baying for blood were determined to "hang" the former Cardinal by any means.
    Even here, the extreme emotions being expressed by some are of concern. No-one in this discussion were present in the Court Room when all of the evidence was presented. No-one here heard all of arguments both by the Prosecution or by the Defence. We only heard what elements of the media wanted us to hear and it was obvious that at least one news service was determined to have their version of justice applied.
    Remember that this was a trial of one man charged with two offences of assault against two teenage lads. It was not a charge against the Catholic Church nor any other members of the Clergy or any other offences that may, or may not have been committed by George Pell. He has been found innocent of those charges. If there are others, let them be brought forwarded and the wheels of justice turn for them then.
    It can be too easy to become subjective in cases such as this and let objectivity leave the room.
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    1:10am
    I am not a fan of Pell or his church however justice is all the better for today's ruling to quash his sketchy conviction
    Pass the Ductape
    8th Apr 2020
    5:54am
    You think?
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    7:28pm
    no doubt whatsoever
    Veritas
    9th Apr 2020
    9:53am
    A royal commission released a report in September 2017 on the conduct of Cardinal Pell early in his career in relation to allegations of sexual abuse by priests. This report was heavily redacted so as to not influence deliberations throughout Pell's trial. Various people now ask for the uncensored version to be released. Until that happens, opinions at best will be subjective.
    Franky
    8th Apr 2020
    7:33am
    When people in high places lie they're believed. When truth is being told by the victims they are not believed. What is justice but a farce?
    Veritas
    8th Apr 2020
    8:25am
    Putting aside the offense and the seriousness of it, I am disturbed by the legal process. Did police prosecutors get it wrong when their reputations demand to collate facts to present a watertight case before the court?

    Were they negligent in their professional duties? On Tuesday, after a journey through the Victorian criminal courts and the Court of Appeal, the High Court found there was room for reasonable doubt and Cardinal Pell is now free.

    How could the legal professionals in the criminal court get it wrong? To add further doubt of competency in the system, the court of appeal also got it wrong. How could 12 members of a jury be mistaken? Is a jury trial so flawed?

    The impact on victims of this crime cannot be overlooked, but one big loser in this case is the legal process.
    Farside
    8th Apr 2020
    7:50pm
    The legal process is the winner. The case should not have gone to court in the first instance. Ask yourself why was the police brief returned by the DPP three times before it was fit for prosecution?

    The High Court pulled the prosecution case apart based upon the boy's knowledge of the sacristy. "Judge Geoffrey Nettle probed whether this information specifically proved Pell had been in the room at the time the alleged offence was committed. Chief judge Susan Kiefel also weighed in, questioning that while this showed the complainant may have entered the sacristy at some point in time, “does it ever go further than that?”.

    In short, there was nothing about the complainant’s accurate descriptions of the room that proved Pell was also there and committed the abuse. And that was before Pell's witnesses gave uncontested testimony about the opportunity.
    Veritas
    9th Apr 2020
    5:47am
    My point was no so much about details in the case but about the Victorian judiciary in general. If we were talking about a bunch of nincompoops who couldn't organize their way out of a supermarket aisle, all well and good. But those involved were highly trained in their respective fields, given to uphold law and order in that state. For the Pell case to go as far as it did and get rejected caught many, if not most, by surprise. I think this case will be talked about for some time to come.
    POLLIE BACKFLIP
    8th Apr 2020
    8:31am
    I understand this is not over yet _
    What happens now?
    The full hearing of the special leave application will occur in 2020. If leave is then granted, the appeal will proceed. If the appeal succeeds, the court can grant a new trial, or reverse or modify the prior judgment.

    However, if special leave is refused at the full hearing, or granted but the appeal fails, the convictions stand and no further appeal is possible.
    KSS
    8th Apr 2020
    1:26pm
    The criminal procedings are now complete. There are no options left for either side and Mr Pell cannot be re-tried for these same offenses.

    What could happen, and what has been mooted, is a civil case against him by the alledged victim or the victim's family. A civil case has a far lower burden of proof than a criminal case. Civil cases are generally purely and simply about financial recompense. Mr Pell cannot be retried for these same alledged crimes and cannot be forced back to jail whatever the outcome of a civil case.
    JoJozep
    8th Apr 2020
    12:55pm
    This is a hot topic. In the end only God knows what Cardinal Pell did or didn't do. No one has yet, from what I can see, described the actual sexual event and the severity of it, including statements from the "victims". All I've heard so far is the victims were sexually abused.

    This stretches from sexual penetrations in the worst cases by pedophile priests to "hints" of sexual misdemeanors such as rubbing or exposing one's genitals to prospective victims. The latter can easily occur whilst alter boys assist a priest, bishop or cardinal disrobe and robe up after a church service. Whether this can be a classed as sexual abuse will depend whether it was accidental or intentional.

    God knows the truth about this intention. Someone has accused Pell of the worst crime, as supported by rulings of the lower courts and thus he was made to suffer a prison sentence. The High Court correctly applied the Law as it should have been interpreted, that is, where there is doubt the offences occurred. then the accused party is innocent till proven guilty . Whether Pell employed the best lawyers is irrelevant. He had every right to do so, Also, there are two disturbing aspects to the victim's or victims' statements, one the old "burn witches at the stake mentality" and two, prospects of lucrative compensation from a rich church, although this hasn't been trust forward in the debate.

    I would give Cardinal Pell the benefit of the doubt. He has to fend for himself when God beckons and so justice will be done. He knows this more than anyone.
    KSS
    8th Apr 2020
    1:21pm
    The graphic details were reported widely at the time of the original trial. You would be able to find them if you look them up. They should not be detailed here because they may be distressing for some even though they were not actully involved.

    It is those details that themselves show the boys could not have been abused by Mr Pell in the manner, time or place they alledged.
    Red Robin
    8th Apr 2020
    1:13pm
    The power of the Catholic Church and Money is how Pell got off.
    The Law is an Ass!
    pedro the swift
    8th Apr 2020
    3:21pm
    Is he guilty? I don't know.
    Did he know what was going on with other priests? I'm sure he did. Did he do anything to stop the abuse? No.
    The Catholic church is littered with all sorts of abusers. Have a look at its history. They have a certain power over believers. Just like anyone in a 'uniform.
    How to stop this abuse? Stop believing any thing any religion tells you. Its all bullshit!
    101
    9th Apr 2020
    11:14am
    It is obvious from the evidence presented to the courts and admissions by the convicted priests that the ONLY concern of the Catholic Cult is to protect it's reputation or what little it still has.
    This Cult along with many others operating under the guise of Religion, operates successfully by manipulating it's followers with fantasies and promises of an eternal life.
    This has been going on for as long as man has evolved, research history for all past religions and their beliefs.
    All have one aim. Control of their believers.
    We all operate according to our beliefs, so if you can Educate your Cult Members and instill a belief system, you have it made, you have a perfect business model, your only product is a belief system based on hope, no evidence is required, it's called FAITH or in MY Belief system, it's really delusion.
    Unfortunately for this Cult, more and more people are walking away as they realise it's a massive fraud, but a very lucrative one. The Catholic Cult is the largest business in the world, it will do anything to protect the business, even sacrifice children.
    If any other business had it's employees commit the crimes the many priest have been convicted and/or pleaded guilty, they would not be able to operate in this country.
    Cautious
    8th Apr 2020
    8:24pm
    A lot of aweful disgusting things have happened and there are many victims of clergy from the church that need to be punished. I don't know if that man did those acts or not that he was accused of. I would hate to think people hate him so much as to accuse him just so he coukd take the blame. I just don't know. But I do know that seven high court judges know the law better than I do and beg everyone to read the detail because the case should never have gone ahead in the first place. The courts do not work on feelings of hate and disgust or even need for revenge, it must be given facts. So sorry to the victims.
    DISCON
    10th Apr 2020
    10:58am
    Well the High Court verdict on Cardinal Pell has certainly polarised views.
    When one reviews the history of this sorry saga one is left with some worrying concerns.
    Normally such matters comment with police presenting the DPP with a brief and then if the DPP think there is a case they tale it to the courts. The DPP fund this. The DPP did not consider there was a strong case to pursue the matter. So the most unusual event took place - the Police funded the the matter - this could only occur with relevant Minister and Polie Commissioner knowledge - was this the commencement of the. witch hunt!!
    The first case (according to one the juors) resulted in a 10 to 2 jurors acquitting Pell. A hung jury. The matter should have ended then but another trial was ordered. This time is was 11 to 1 or 12 to 0 to find Pell guilty. However, we now know that the trail judge did not permit certain evidence that in all likelihood would have acquitted Pell. So on the case went to the Victorian appeal court - 2 to 1 to refuse Pell. However the dissenting judge wrote a 200 page document outlining why Pell should be acquitted. The other 2 judges were criticised by High Court for failing to consider certain evidence.
    The high court voted 7 to 0 (if they had all high court judges on it it would have been 9 to 0. There never was a case against Pell. Indeed several journalists one too site of alleged offence and proved it could not have occurred in timeframe as presented.
    There is apparently to be a civil case and also the church report. One QC has already come out and suggested with a 7 to 0 verdict the civil case will be most unlikely to get up. The church report will further exonerated Pell.
    This case is important to everyday Australians - our legal system is predicated on the presumption of innocence and any guilt must be beyond a reasonable doubt. The High Court had final say regarding reasonable doubt.
    This case should never have gone to trial.
    If there is a case to be had it is the Victorian Police ( yes the same lot with lawyer X issues), the relevant Minister, the 2 Appeals court judges who voted to convict Pell - their legal incompetence should preclude them from ever hearing another criminal case.
    A Royal Commission is required
    Veritas
    10th Apr 2020
    11:53am
    Large parts of the royal commission report were censored from the trial. This from Wikipedia:

    "Shortly after becoming Archbishop of Melbourne in August 1996, Pell discussed the issue of child abuse with the Victorian premier, governor and retired judge Richard McGarvie, who all recommended swift action.[117] He engaged the law firm Corrs to draft a scheme which would be funded by but operate independently of the Archdiocese of Melbourne"

    It may well be the parts censored was because of Pell's "good and Godly work" which would sway jurors--we will never know until if, and when, it is released.

    There's a well quoted legal adage that says, 'It is better nine guilty men/women walk free than to put an innocent man in prison'.

    There was no bias against the Catholic Church, nor any grievances against George Pell by authorities in Victoria. To say otherwise is to claim the legal system is vindictive and corrupt. A complaint was made. Authorities had to act. The case was tested through jurisprudence. End of story.
    DISCON
    11th Apr 2020
    10:23am
    Veritas I thought of that well quoted legal adage when I wrote and your quite right. However I do not entirely accept your position re legal system - by and large throughout Australia it is as you say but there are many concerns with Victoria - lawyer X is one example, another is appointment of judges from activist legal organisations - there is no balance in Victoria - as more information comes out there are serious questions too e asked as to whether some police were after Pell - we now know 26 attempts to change him and ALL failed. A complaint was made BUT authorities did not have to act other than to investaige the matter and when found to be insufficient to proceed they should have stopped. I am not convinced the story has ended yet - Royal Commission into Lawyer X may extend into unwarranted "withe hunt' again Pell.
    The Pell case reminds me of the Margaret Cullinian case in NSW where the ICAC went after her and lost.
    JoJozep
    10th Apr 2020
    12:24pm
    In fairness to Cardinal Pell, the way I see the situation, is that because he is a strong if not the ultimate figurehead after the Pope, he is an easy target to be held accountable. The trouble is not so much with Cardinal Pell, but beliefs of the Australian Catholic Church and it's history in Australia.

    If anyone attended a Catholic primary school, you don't need to be highly educated to realize they brainwashed the majority of school children, with religion a top topic. I remember being told that if you attended another church or even just went inside another church you were unfaithful and committed a sin. The Christian Brothers were formed in the 18th and 19th century as an organisation to promote the teachings of the Catholic Church. They hardly differentiated between the teachings of Christ and the teachings of the Church. Here is where the confusion lies.

    In secondary Catholic colleges, the Christian Brothers were more relaxed and mature and they never beat children for having divergent or opposite views to what were the official Church's position.

    The problem that arose is because the Clergy were at the top of the tree, followed by brotherhoods, nunneries monks and friars, the "army" commanders in the field. To compound this faithful structure, some idiot Pope brought in the taboo law that Priests, Nuns, Christian Brothers, Friars, Abbots, Monks and upholders of the "faith" were to remain celebit, never marry, and presumably never have sex.

    This teaching did several things, the least of which goes against God's (Christ's) teachings whereas Christ taught when families came together, it was a miraculous beginning and renewal of the human race. The non religious sector (families) were thus pitted against the religious clergy faithful.

    Secondly, the clergy sector left with no opportunity to have sex, when human nature made us so as to desire one another, was ridiculous. So what did many do? Masturbation was a sin, even watching others having sex was a sin, and actual sex was a mortal sin. Christ never said some groups of humans may not have sex.

    So is it surprising pedophilia developed within the Church? Remember, pedophiles either believe in their own hearts the Church's teachings on this subject are taboo or they think the whole status of the Church's teachings'' is human invented BS. That doesn't make the crime of abusing children any more acceptable, but it explains strong motivation. One day the Church will wake up to itself when all the years of hype and ever increasing cover up teachings are abolished and we go back to the simple faith of early Christians. Note also that in the early days after Christ's death, preachers of the faith married and had children, so why did celibacy come into it, hundreds if not thousands, of years later?


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