Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Cardinal Pell Appeal Denied

As expected by me and many in the Catholic blogosphere, Cardinal Pell's appeal was denied. A panel of judges in Australia's appeals court system decided 2-1 that the verdict in the trial against Cardinal Pell was beyond a reasonable doubt.

So Cardinal Pell now stands still convicted of five counts of child sexual abuse, charges he adamantly denies even till today. The Chief Justice, Anne Ferguson declared the 2-1 decision and informed that Pell will be "eligible for parole after he has served three years and eight months."

The judges found the complainant as a "compelling witness" and that he did not fabricate the story nor embellished it. However, Justice Mark Weinberg found the testimony to have occasionally been embellished and was inconsistent. Over 24,000 people signed a petition fighting for Cardinal Pell to have an appeal. Many have shown doubt regarding the accusations and verdict. The details of the story do not add up, according to them. One of the major details is the claim that the Cardinal was able to sexually assault the alleged victim while wearing episcopal vestments and in an open area where other priests and personnel walked about. Nevertheless, defenders of the verdict insist that the cardinal could have simply lifted up his vestments in order to expose himself and engage in intercourse.

Cardinal Pell was the prefect for the Secretariate for the Economy. This is the branch of the Vatican which controlled finances. During his tenure, he discovered millions of euros hidden in other accounts and which were not listed on balance sheets. He found that various Vatican dicasteries, councils, and congregations had their own independent finances with funds totaling to nearly 1 billion euros.  No one had oversight of these accounts.

The cardinal has fought for his innocence to the point of not invoking diplomatic immunity as a cardinal.  Cardinals are Vatican citizens and are considered diplomats.  The cardinal could have stayed at the Vatican and declared diplomatic immunity rather than waiving this right and flying to Australia to clear his name.  This act, to many, shows that he is truly innocent.

You can write Cardinal Pell at:

Cardinal George Pell 
Melbourne Assessment Prison 
317-353 Spencer Street 
West Melbourne VIC 3003 AUSTRALIA
Let us pray for the Cardinal, alleged victims, and the Australian legal system.  The fight is not yet over.











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