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The Purge that will Follow Cardinal Pell’s Conviction has already started.

March 5, 2019

The Purge that will Follow Cardinal Pell’s Conviction has already started.

When the news of Cardinal Pell being found guilty of historic sexual abuse was finally revealed it made headline around the world.  A man who was once considered to be the third highest catholic clergy under the Pope was going to prison on serious crimes.  What makes this case so bizarre is the fame and notoriety of Cardinal Pell in Australia and around the world.  He is/was both a revered character and one of the most despised people in Australian history. In fact, many of those that hate Cardinal have done so for decades. Long before his latest court trial; long before he was promoted to the rank of cardinal; long before he became the arch bishop of Melbourne. He is one of the few people who can easily claim that he has had enemies all his public life that nothing more than drag him down from his office because of his well know traditional views on many social controversies.

Some, like David Marr proudly displayed their contempt of Cardinal Pell in his essay called “The Prince”.  Radical feminists hated him for his opposition to abortion.  Gay rights activists hated him for his unwillingness to yield to their world view.  Politicians like Bob Brown were apoplectic when Cardinal Pell dare oppose their attempts at legalizing euthanasia.

Somehow now, after the jury reached its perplexing guilty verdict, they must all feel like they have finally “rid themselves of this troublesome priest.”  

Whether the jury came to the correct verdict is still to be tested through the appeal process.  Like a recent case where an Australia Bishop had his conviction quashed after an appeal there always a chance that this could happen in the Cardinal’s case.

Here is why:

  1. The case built against Cardinal was pushed forward against the advice of the DPP.
  2. Contemporaneous evidence of the alleged crime does not exist.
  3. There is no witness to corroborate the claims. 
  4. The second alleged victim had, according to his own mother, retracted his accusations against Cardinal Pell, virtually on his deathbed.  Regardless, the charge was never retracted by the police.
  5. The second alleged victim case was entirely based upon his word against the Cardinal’s.
  6. The jury appears to have ignored how the cardinal’s clothing would have made the alleged crime impossible
  7. The jury appears to ignore the alleged victim’s claim that the door was open to a crowded cathedral when the crime was said to have taken place.
  8. The Victoria police had been leaking details of the allegations against Cardinal Pell long before he was ever questioned let alone charged on summon.  Thereby prejudicing public opinion in any potential jury pool.
  9. How could a jury be selected to be impartial and fair toward the accused?  Consideration can easily be made to exclude Catholics, conservative Christians or anyone who might hold Cardinal Pell in high esteem. However, this would also increase the likely hood of selecting jury members that harbour deep hostility and prejudices against Cardinal Pell.
  10. The case was of a well know figure, who is constantly attacked by the media, all but ensure a prejudicial verdict by a jury. 
  11. Whereas a judge would have been a more suitable way of avoiding prejudiced juries.


Several months ago, when this case started to become public, I wrote a post asking whether a fair trial was even possible for Cardinal Pell. Having seen the flimsy nature of the evidence against Cardinal Pell it I am increasingly convinced that this so.

Yet the verdict has been passed and as a result Cardinal Pell has been placed in prison pending the outcome of his appeal.

As is common in many trails an appeal has been and character witnesses have been sought to support.

Now that Cardinal Pell is convicted any one who disagrees with the vertical for any reason, or even so much as offers any support is now being attacked in the media.

Ray Hadley, a shock jock from the Sydney based 2gb radio station, is attacking Cardinal Pell’s character witnesses as lacking judgment:

John Howard, despite my admiration for him over a long period of time, I think he went way over the top in providing a reference for George Pell.

There’s no mention of any victim’s [sic] in Mr Howard’s reference and I think that doesn’t bring any great credit to the former prime minister.

Mr Howard is someone I respect hugely but this gushing reference, in my opinion, was over the top. He obviously believes Mr Pell and thinks the victim to be a liar.

He also condemns former PM Tony Abbott

“I’m trying to understand the call by Mr Abbott but I really am struggling to get a grip on it. His electorate would be looking at all this at the moment and scratching their heads. Both Mr Howard and Mr Abbott, in my opinion, have shown a complete lack of understanding of victims of paedophiles… [and] have made gross errors of judgement.”

In other words, believe all victims agree with every guilt verdict despite the shaky evidence that they are in fact victims. 

Kristina Keneally, a Labor senator and long time critic of the Cardinal, condemned Abbott and Howard on the ABC TV  panel program called Q & A.

“I’m quite surprised and distressed that people like John Howard and Tony Abbott, particularly Mr Howard, are running this type of commentary and providing support publicly for Cardinal Pell following his conviction,” Senator Keneally said on Q&A.

Former chief executive officer of Catholic Health Australia Francis Sullivan, had this to say about Abbott and Howards support:

“I think it’s disrespectful of the jury verdict.” 

Any question of an appeal and the possibility of overturning the verdict was never considered.  Nor was the possibility that there may be some people who genuinely believe that the Cardinal Pell is innocent.

Senator Keneally extended her criticisms from Cardinal Pell to extend to all priests and the vow of celibacy.

“Priesthood itself is flawed and broken,” she said

Now there is a story coming from the Guardian newspaper that the Australian Catholic University staff want Greg Craven disciplined over Pell support.  Craven’s crime is an article that he wrote for the Australian newspaper that described the trail of Cardinal Pell as unfair.

What happens next may be determined after Cardinal Pell’s appeal is heard.

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