PopeWatch: Cardinal Pell

PopeWatch suspects that few tears are being shed at the Vatican for George Cardinal Pell who has been sentenced to six years in prison after his Kangaroo Court conviction in Australia.  George Weigel at First Things notes the attitude of the Vatican:


So as of early March, the cardinal is in jail, in solitary confinement, allowed a few visitors a week, as well as a half-dozen books and magazines at a time. But he is not permitted to say Mass in his cell, on the bizarre grounds that prisoners are not allowed to lead religious services in prisons in the State of Victoria and wine is not permitted in cells.

Given all this, it is not easy to understand why, the day after the conviction was announced publicly, the interim Vatican press spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, reiterated the mantra that has become habitual in Vatican commentary on the Pell case: the Holy See, Gisotti said, has “maximum respect for the Australian judicial authorities.”

Why say this? It is precisely the Australian judiciary (and the lynch-mob atmospherics in Melbourne and elsewhere) that is on trial today in the global court of public opinion. There was no need for such gratuitous puffery. Mr. Gisotti could have, and should have, said that the Holy See awaits with interest and concern the results of the appeal process, and hopes that justice will be done. Period. Full stop. No flattery. Above all, no hint of a suggestion that the Holy See believes that the Australian police and judicial authorities have done their job fairly, impartially, and respectably thus far.

Go here to read the rest.  Shielding the guilty and throwing the innocent to the wolves is de facto doctrine under the current Pontiff.

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  1. Fr. George Rutler writes a good article about the Cardinal Pell case. He is always well worth the read. The fact the Vatican almost seems pleased by this outcome is literally all I need to know about the truth of the charges.

  2. That’s an insult to Kangaroo Courts.

    Come on, even the Queen of Hearts is rolling her eyes at this one.

  3. Where is “Mercy” for Cardinal Pell ??? The pope of Mercy is strangely silent. Silent about Abortion, beheadings of Christians etc.
    Climate change, Climate change, and Climate change papacy of a fool.

  4. “maximum respect for the Australian judicial authorities.”

    I do believe this case has highlighted certain grave flaws in Australian criminal procedure, flaws that are not peculiar to Cardinal Pell’s case.

    1. Committal proceedings are held in open court. This meant that the public was made aware of a number of charges that were either dismissed by the examining magistrate, or subsequently departed from, such as the “Ballarat Swimming Pool” charges. The prejudicial effect on future jurors is obvious. Too many people, alas, give credence to what I believe is one of the most wicked proverbs in the world – No smoke without fire.

    2. The prosecutor was allowed to make a long statement to the jury detailing the evidence he proposed to adduce before actually leading his proof and examining the witnesses. This meant the jury would not be listening to those witnesses with an open mind, but with a preconceived notion of what they were going to say.

    3. The jury in the first trial were unable to return a majority verdict, meaning the panel had to thole a second assize and the prosecution witnesses were rehearsed in the cross-examination they were to face.

    4. The learned trial judge failed to direct the jury

    a. that no one can be convicted on the evidence of one witness alone: there must be evidence from more than one source which points to the guilt of the accused.
    b. Nor did he point out the facts which had to be corroborated nor indicate to them the evidence which, if they accepted it, they would be entitled to regard as corroboration and on which they would be entitled to convict the accused.
    c. Nor did he instruct them that it would be for them to decide whether they accepted that evidence as credible and reliable, whether it did in fact provide corroboration, and whether they were satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.

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