Australia’s highest court on Tuesday overturned former Vatican treasurer George Pell’s conviction for sexually assaulting two teenaged choirboys in the 1990s, allowing the 78-year-old cardinal to walk free from jail.
In a unanimous ruling, the High Court found that the jury in Pell’s trial “ought to have entertained a doubt” as to Cardinal Pell’s guilt. The court’s seven judges ordered that the convictions be quashed and verdicts of acquittal be entered in their place, meaning Pell cannot be retried on the charges.
The cardinal began serving a six-year sentence a year ago for the alleged assaults, which the plaintiff said took place when Pell was archbishop of the city of Melbourne.
The above comes from an April 6 story on Reuters website.
Since the conviction was based on the testimony of only one person and no evidence, and seven judges unanimously agreed, it seems justice was finally served. Yet, as Gladstone is reported to have said, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”* The Cardinal should not have had to spend a year in prison and had his reputation severely damaged. Sky News Australia reports the Cardinal saying, “I hold no ill will toward my accuser.” What of those who bring false allegations against others (and not only against clergy)? Should they face any justice?
* And, the same holds true in the case of McCarrick, who should have been brought to justice many years ago.
Thank God!!!! The High Court saw through the manipulation of the judicial system by Pell’s enemies. What a sorry episode. Now if Francis would restore him to the position he was in investigating improprieties at the Vatican Bank, some real good might be accomplished, that is, after all the persecution, if Cardinal Pell has the stomach for it. Let us hope none of his enemies are still in Rome.
Now the question remains about whom are Cardinal Pell’s enemies in the Vatican.
He was exonerated the first time because there was no evidence, then faced double jeopardy the second time by a kangaroo court and finally exonerated the last time. God bless the Australians who finally saw through it.
Correction: if I read the other article, “Cardinal Pell — free even when incarcerated”, correctly, the first trial resulted in a hung jury. The other article was rather long and my time short, so I am open to correction. Nevertheless, there was no evidence Cardinal Pell was guilty of such a crime.
“Father forgive them for they know not what the do”.
Cardinal Pell:: “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,” Pell noted.
Thank you Lord for answering all of the prayers of those who were praying for Cardinal Pell.
The Cardinal’s conviction was an outrageous miscarriage of justice and a mockery of the legacy of centuries of English Common Law. As a former Criminal Defense attorney I was appalled that any prosecutor would bring such charges. I guess ambitious prosecutors riding the zeittgeist of popular sentiment are the same all over the globe. Shame on them and hats off to the Australian Supreme Court. God bless Cardinal Pell.