Five times guilty: how George Pell’s child-abusing past caught up with him in courtroom 4.3

Feb 26, 2019

By Melissa Davey

It was at 3.45pm on Tuesday 11 December that Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’s most trusted officials and the third most senior Catholic in the world, found out that he would, in all likelihood, be going to jail.

Room 4.3 at the county court in Melbourne was silent as the jury foreman delivered the verdict which – now that a strict suppression order on the case has been lifted – will send shockwaves across the global Catholic congregation.

Pell, the Vatican treasurer, was guilty of sexually assaulting two boys.

As each of the five charges was read out, and as each time the foreman of the jury confirmed his guilt, Pell sat in the dock, head bowed, staring forward, nodding his head slightly.

Despite the cardinal’s assertions that the charges against him were a series of “deranged falsehoods”, despite having brought together a formidable defence team led by the high-profile and expensive barrister Robert Richter QC, and with the crux of the prosecution’s case hinging on the evidence of just one complainant, the jury was unanimous.

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One comment on “Five times guilty: how George Pell’s child-abusing past caught up with him in courtroom 4.3”

  • While the specifics of the trial may cause some doubt to linger, it seems this was something of a “sample” prosecution, with a lot of other potential cases lined up behind in case this one failed to convince a jury.

    But guilty of this particular crime or not,  Cardinal  (or is it ex-Cardinal?) George would do well to accept his sentence instead of embarking on an embarrassing round of appeals.  He’s supposed to be a Catholic Priest, follower of that unjustly executed turn-the-other-cheek Palestinian, so he should man up and do the time without whining.  He’s bound to have preached that sort of advice for years, so it’s time to put his alleged faith to the test.

    Maybe he could spend some of his sentence watching the Irish movie “Calvary”, in which an innocent priest is targeted by an abuse victim, and accepts his fate with dignity, accepting that he’s suffering for the sins of others, just like JC.

     


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