Cardinal Pell Appeal: Will Prosecutor’s Retraction Make Any Difference?

Cardinal Pell Appeal: Will Prosecutor’s Retraction Make Any Difference?

From the Anglican blog, Quadrant Online

Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his conviction of historical sexual abuse of two choirboys will be heard before the full High Court of Australia on March 11. Pell’s conviction in a Melbourne county court in December 2018 was affirmed by the Victorian Court of Appeal in August 2019. The conviction was for two incidents of abuse that allegedly occurred in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, in December 1996 and February 1997.

As several writers in Quadrant have recorded over the past twelve months, the conviction of Pell is one of the worst miscarriages of justice in Australian history. This is not just because of his status at the time as the most senior figure in the Catholic Church in this country, but also because it breached the fundamental legal principle that an accused person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That is not how George Pell was treated either at his trial or in his first appeal. The jurors did not make their decision on the weight of evidence by more than twenty witnesses, who demonstrated that Pell could not possibly have done what the complainant said. Instead, the jurors accepted the sole evidence of the accuser, given in camera, with his identity shielded, and without corroboration of any kind. A two-to-one majority of judges in the Victorian Court of Appeal confirmed both the process and the decision… 

[After detailing the Prosecutor’s  –  Gibson’s –  retraction, the Quadrant Online report continues…]

Now, Gibson must be a Crown prosecutor with a short memory. He seems to have forgotten all about this retraction. Because on January 31, 2020, the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd, submitted a response to the appeal to the High Court by Pell’s lawyers, Bret Walker and Ruth Shann. One of the four signatories to the DPP submission was Mark Gibson, signing himself as Victoria’s Senior Crown Prosecutor. In paragraphs 59 and 60 of this submission there is a version of what the altar servers supposedly did after they entered the priests’ sacristy. It is written as if the rebuke from the defence at the trial never happened, as if Judge Kidd had not told Gibson to retract what he said, and as if his retraction had never been made to the jury.  End of extractsTo read entire report click here


The above article arrived in my inbox yesterday, courtesy of a reader of this blog, named Patrick.  He wrote: 

Dear Editor,

I have contacted you previously regarding the ‘kangeroo court’ verdict on Cardinal George Pell. Hopefully you will find time in your busy schedule to have a read of the [above] article. As far as I am concerned, the so called Catholic media should be shouting this from the rooftops.

It is sad that only two prominent commentators (and none outside Australia) are highlighting this satanic injustice perpetrated against a Prince of our faith.  As far as I know neither of them are Catholic which should make us hang our heads in shame  End of email.


Why is it, that journalists who purport to be keen to report injustices, miss something this  big?  I wonder what possible reason might explain their failure to cover something as serious as a Public Prosecutor admitting to false evidence while going on, later, to repeat it?  This is what I look like when I’m “wondering”…

As for the legal profession – least said, soonest mended…


Comments (32)

  • Athanasius


    You ask why the media in general is so quiet about this appalling perversion of justice regarding Cardinal Pell. Well, Pope Pius XI, in his Encyclical against Communism, asked the same question about media silence when millions of Christians were being systematically murdered in the Soviet Union. The same question about media silence came up again when Muslims were persecuting and murdering tens of thousands of Catholics in East Timor.

    The only logical conclusion is that the Western media is now largely controlled by Lucifer through his various anti-Christian agents in this world. There is no other reasonable explanation for such silence.

    February 12, 2020 at 12:40 am
    • editor


      There can be little doubt that what you say about the controlling influence in the media is absolutely true. Sad, shocking, but very true.

      February 12, 2020 at 2:58 pm
  • Mary Anne

    The fact that Cardinal Pell willingly left the safety of the Vatican and traveled to Australia to stand trial is not even considered by the Prosecution, the jury, the judge … it is so obvious that he could have stayed in Rome but that is not the kind of a man that Cardinal Pell is. He is honest and had a sense of trust in the judicial system. His trial was a ‘communist struggle’ … so like the trial of Cardinal Mindszenty. All lies. His torture was what England used to call the ‘silent system’ … now known as isolation … solitary confinement. Lord help this poor holy priest … release him before he perishes.

    February 12, 2020 at 5:37 am
    • Faith of Our Fathers

      It was a complete travesty of Justice what has been done to this Faithful Man .
      He knows that he has done no wrong but at the End of The Day He is Blessed. ” For Blessed are You who Suffer in my Name and have All Kinds of Calumny Thrown at You for My Sake . For yours is The Kingdom of Heaven ”
      In my mind the Biggest Travesty of all in this is that Francis Never gave this good Man his Backing. Yet for Bishops. Cardinals. Priests and Lay Atheists. He goes well out of his way to support them . God Bless . Cardinal Pell .

      February 12, 2020 at 1:07 pm
      • editor


        Well, let’s wait to see what the Pope does at the end of the Australian legal process. If HE (unlike our Anglican friends over at Quadrant Online) chooses to believe the corrupt Australian legal system over the Cardinal’s obviously solid case, then that would, indeed, be a travesty of justice.

        February 12, 2020 at 3:01 pm
      • RCAVictor


        I haven’t followed this case closely, but I do recall that this travesty began when an ad was placed in one or more Aussie newspapers asking for people to come forward with “evidence” against the Cardinal. Naturally, at least one liar did, and thus the Convocation of Kangaroos commenced.

        As for what Francis will do, regardless of acquittal, he will remain silent. I’m sure those who control the corrupt Vatican Bank (which corruption, I’ve also heard, Cardinal Pell attempted to clean up) (hmmm, what a coincidence…) will hand him his silent script.

        February 12, 2020 at 4:34 pm
      • Patrick Healy

        RCAVictor and Editor,

        Your point about the Vatican bank is spot on. The good Cardinal was auditing the Vatican finances, and just before his report was due he was – shall we say – put on the transfer list.
        Do you also know that he was one of the front runners to succeed Pope Benedict?
        In Australia he committed the grave sin of not only being a staunch supporter of the ex seminarian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, but a public critic of the global warming religion. He is a scientist by training.
        I first got familiar with him when he gave an outstanding address to the Global Warming Policy Forum in London.

        So when you add in the completely corrupt Victorian legal system which is overrun with raging lesbian anti Catholic lawyers, and then the topping of the pudding with a rabidly Masonic Victorian police force it is surprising that he has not already been crucified.

        Btw Victor my autocorrect insists on naming you ‘Radiator’ you must be hot stuff!

        February 13, 2020 at 9:26 am
      • Lily

        Patrick Healy,

        RCA Victor / radiator – is “hot stuff” – that’s hilarious! LOL!

        February 13, 2020 at 8:42 pm
      • RCAVictor

        Patrick Healy,

        There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still fire in the furnace…

        February 13, 2020 at 10:31 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        “snow on the roof” reminds me of my now favourite hairdresser who kindly praised the colour of my hair recently, dismissing my sigh of regret that the days when it was brown are long gone. She said “You must be joking – people pay good money to get their hair your colour”. I’ve been walking on air ever since…

        February 14, 2020 at 12:11 am
    • editor

      Mary Anne,

      It’s so ironic that of all the wolves in sheep’s clothing who definitely SHOULD be in solitary confinement, the powers-that-be pick one to punish who is manifestly NOT guilty of the charges against him. Incredible.

      February 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm
      • Theresa Rose


        You take the words right out of my mouth.

        February 12, 2020 at 4:59 pm
      • editor

        Theresa Rose

        Well, you just give them right back to me – this minute! 😀

        Seriously, you do always make me smile… Like this little guy…–minions-pics-funny-minion.jpg

        February 12, 2020 at 7:12 pm
      • Mary Anne

        But he raised the ‘ire’ of the highest power … did you read of the synod on the Family event where he slammed his fist down on the table proclaiming “you must stop manipulating this synod?” Then there was his discovery of ?money laundering in the IOR … and last but not least … his telling the boss “ you know you’re not a scientist.” Over a climate change discussion. Take care…

        February 12, 2020 at 7:55 pm
      • editor

        Mary Anne,

        I didn’t know any of that – at least, I don’t think I knew it; but then my memory isn’t at all what it used to be. And my memory isn’t at all what it used to be 😀

        I wish I’d been there to witness him telling Francis he wasn’t a scientist – I’d have been tempted to pipe up, “Shucks, there’s some folks don’t even think you’re a pope!”

        Couldn’t resist that (and it gave me a chance to show off my American accent. I do that sometimes, ask RCA Victor 😀 )

        February 12, 2020 at 11:11 pm
      • RCAVictor


        FYI, we Americans stopped saying “shucks” back in the early 60s – along with “gosh,” “golly,” and “gee whiz!”

        Have you been watching re-runs of the Andy Griffith Show again?

        February 13, 2020 at 3:47 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        That’s terrible news – gosh & golly along with shucks are my favourite words although I only use “shucks” when I’m speaking “American”.

        Never heard of Andy Griffith. Have YOU Heard of Andy Stewart? Thought not, so don’t be cheeky 😀

        February 13, 2020 at 5:39 pm
      • RCAVictor


        The Andy Griffith Show was one of the last TV shows in America to reflect good old down home American life, values, priorities and sanity. If you ever get tired of Columbo re-runs, check out YouTube for Andy Griffith episodes.

        Andy Stewart….hmmm… in…”Donald Where’s Your Troosers?”

        February 13, 2020 at 10:16 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        If this is Andy Griffiths at work, he (sure) gets my vote 😀 Great fun. The signature tune comes first, then the comical clip where he plays a practical joke…

        And yes, that’s Andy Stewart – I wonder how you knew that…

        February 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm
      • RCAVictor


        That’s the one! As for Andy Stewart, I cannot tell a lie: I looked him up. I also chopped down the cherry tree…

        February 14, 2020 at 2:20 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        We may just have confused poor old Google; an American searching for Andy Stewart, with a Scot searching for Andy Griffiths… 😀

        You just couldn’t make it up!

        PS – I don’t want to have to Google this … but I take it that’s YOU in the photo? 😀

        February 14, 2020 at 10:09 am
      • RCAVictor


        I think the apostasy is so advanced by now that the wolves no longer dress up as sheep. They are now dressed as wolves.

        February 13, 2020 at 10:29 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Agreed – and it is truly terrifying that so many priests and bishops no longer feel the need to hide their false beliefs, as they say “Thank you Papa Francis…”

        February 14, 2020 at 12:04 am
  • Margaret Mary

    It’s an outrage that the Australian Cardinal has been scapegoated like this. All concerned should be handing their heads in shame, including Pope Francis.

    February 12, 2020 at 5:48 pm
    • editor


      Agreed. When this is over and, hopefully, the Cardinal is released, then we might get some thinking journalist challenging the propaganda machine.

      February 12, 2020 at 7:14 pm
  • John Rayner

    The release of Cardinal Pell has been part of my prayers ever since he was convicted by this heavily biased Court. The legal standard of this South Australian Court is an utter disgrace, but then, it is an ultra left wing, anti-Catholic State as we, who live in this country, are only too well aware!

    February 12, 2020 at 11:18 pm
    • editor


      What I’d like to know is this: are any of the other Australian Bishops and priests making their disquiet clear in the public domain?

      February 12, 2020 at 11:23 pm
      • John Rayner

        No indeed they are not!

        February 12, 2020 at 11:45 pm
  • John Rayner

    I’ve mixed up South Australia and Victoria… two next door States. It was Victoria not South Australia. Sorry about that!

    February 12, 2020 at 11:29 pm
  • gabriel syme

    This whole case has been very concerning. The Cardinal has been subjected to repeated miscarriage of justice, in what amounts to a show trial.

    I think it is a grave indication (one of many) of how anti-Christian western-style societies are becoming.

    It also shows the power of the media, as very clearly the Australian courts have been focusing on appeasing the media, rather than delivering justice.

    The silence from Pope Francis has been very disappointing – he cannot remain silent if the next appeal upholds this scandalous verdict.

    February 13, 2020 at 8:38 am
  • Lily

    Gabriel Syme,

    “A show trial” is exactly what is going on here. It’s a total disgrace.

    If the Cardinal is not granted his freedom at this final (I think?) appeal, then as far as I’m concerned, there is no justice in the Australian courts, at least in that particular part of it which, I believe, is notorious for its corrupt system.

    February 13, 2020 at 8:41 pm
  • Helen

    Why doesn’t someone contact one of the American Catholic media people like Michael Voris or Tucker Carlson of Fox news? Or how about Edward Penton of the National Catholic Register?

    February 14, 2020 at 11:33 am

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