Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic leader, died in Vatican City on January 10 at the age of 81. He is buried in St Mary’s Cathedral of Sydney, where he served as Archbishop for 13 years.
Pell was born in 1941 in Ballarat, Victoria, the second and youngest child of an Anglican father and a devout Irish Catholic mother. He was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne in his 1987 and Archbishop of Sydney in 2001. Finally, in 2003 Pope John He was appointed to the Cardinal Order by Pope Paul II.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia has lost “a devoted defender of Catholic orthodoxy and a strong supporter of the virtues of Western civilization”.
Abbott describes Cardinal Pell as a true “modern saint” and writes that “imprisonment on charges, which the High Court ultimately scathingly dismissed, was a form of crucifixion, reputedly at least like a living death.” It was something.”
In 2017, Cardinal Pell was indicted and convicted of historic child molestation, but the conviction was later unanimously overturned by a court of the Australian High Court.
Legal commentator Chris Merritt said: Said Sky News Australia said, “The fact that a sick old man spent so long in prison and was finally found not guilty by the country’s Supreme Court still ranks there… It’s one of the biggest misjudgments we’ve seen in this country.”
George Pell v The Queen (pdf) is a case involving allegations of sexual conduct against minors by one of the most senior prelates in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Because of the hostile reaction during his appearance, anyone unfamiliar with him would have tended to believe Pell was responsible for the sexual assault of children within the church.
But nothing is far from the truth. First and foremost, Cardinal Pell was a pioneer in combating institutionalized child sexual abuse. Second, he was not in charge of a parish or archdiocese when the historic incident of child abuse occurred.
Prior to the trial, Victoria’s Chief Commissioner Graeme Aston had hinted that Pell was guilty. refer Blame the accuser as his “victim”, erasing the benefit of doubt from the minds of potential jurors.
Pell appealed his conviction on the grounds that the jury flouted the necessary standard of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. In a short time, two judges promptly dismissed his appeal.
“We have no doubts about its truth. [the accuser’s] account, or cardinal guilt,” they said.
Justice Mark Weinberger’s dissent was less brief. In his compelling 215-page analysis of the case, he concluded:
“Plaintiff’s allegations against petitioner were, to some extent, implausible…in my view, petitioner [Pell] In this case, you may not have committed these crimes. ”
Cardinal Pell’s legal team applied for special leave to the High Court on January 3, 2020. committed a crime (pdf).
The court also said the jury could not accept the benefit of the doubt and that the Victorian Court of Appeal had made a serious legal error.
Australian leader ignores acquittal
Two days after the court’s acquittal, Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews declared he had no sympathy for an innocent man whom the country’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled was unjustly imprisoned for more than 400 days.
“I will not comment on today’s High Court ruling. But I have a message for all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. I hear you. I believe in you,” he said. said Said.
Unfortunately, the Prime Minister of Victoria was not the only Australian politician to ignore the principles of natural justice and due process of law.
Before the High Court had a chance to overturn Pell’s wrongful conviction, then Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison commented:
He also argued that the courts that rendered the ruling, which was ultimately overturned by the High Court, “did their job well.”
These statements of our political leaders must reflect their commitment to the realization of the rule of law.
Cardinal Pell was released from prison shortly after the High Court overturned all convictions.
“I have consistently maintained my innocence while suffering serious injustice,” he said shortly after his acquittal was announced.pdf).
According to constitutional law professor David Flint AM, Pell’s daring to take unpopular positions on issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and global warming essentially resulted in “mistreatment” and “character assassination.” became a victim of
“It’s better to be praised than hated. But the intolerant thinking of today’s elites makes dissent unacceptable, and dissent must be punished,” Flint said. Said.
The case against Pell was part of a “broader war” against all that he valiantly stood for. strongly, and as a result, our judicial system is in perpetual danger.
In conclusion, Cardinal Pell was a man of courage and a true defender of the Christian faith. He supported all of the traditional beliefs of the church and the teachings of the Bible and was not afraid to say so.
Veiled Cardinal George Pell. A True Soldier of Christ.
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.