Cardinal Pell’s Conviction

I have no idea whether Cardinal Pell is guilty or not. I must either believe that he did indeed do the terrible things he is accused of, or that there has been a grave failure on the part of the Australian justice system. Neither is an attractive proposition. The reports of both accusations and trial left me thinking how very strange some aspects were, but more than that I cannot say. I did not attend the trial, I cannot weigh the evidence, though I can see some of the consequences for the Church in Australia, and that gives me pause. There have been so many shocking revelations about the past, with the Christian Brothers coming in for particular censure, that one wonders how the Church has survived at all. Then one remembers the faith and goodwill of the ordinary, decent Catholic and is reminded, yet again, that it is the grace of the laos, the people of God, that draws others to Christ and keeps them there with him.

This morning the Church in Australia looks battered and bruised. As we pray for all who have been affected by Cardinal Pell’s conviction, not least the cardinal himself and those involved in his trial, let us pray especially for those ordinary, decent Catholics, that they may not lose heart. Our Lenten journey always contains twists and turns not of our making but, if we are steadfast, we shall reach Jerusalem at last and, like Hilton’s pilgrim, know the joy of being with Christ.


9 thoughts on “Cardinal Pell’s Conviction”

  1. Thank you for your measured and considered reply and indeed the focus on our Lenten journey.

    In regards the original point I am concerned that a judge threw out the first 10-2 Acquittal verdict and declared a retrial during which I understand no one gave evidence and where the fresh jury only viewed film of the first trial. Bizarre.

    I hope Cardinal Pell is not carrying the burden of the sins of others. I hold him in my prayers as I do the victims of clerical abuse.

  2. It is all the little people praying their rosaries and doing their daily duty that will keep our beautiful church in tact. No matter what the gates of hell throws at us.

    • No need to withdraw your comment. I had already read the sentencing transcriptt, plus a number of objections made by various people in defence of the cardinal. As I said, if the cardinal is guilty, that is terrible; if there has been any failure on the part of the legal system, that is terrible also. I’m definitely not in a position to judge.

  3. We have let people down, and we have much to be ashamed of, but I often pray, like you, that the world also sees the quiet service of so many church goers…providing shelter for the homeless, drop-ins for the lonely, lunch clubs for the elderly, play groups for the children, and doing all they can to build up communities. All that, sad to say, is not newsworthy. All we can do, is to move on, with robust safeguarding procedures, and continue our journey of discipleship. This was a brave post. God bless all who are hurting.

  4. I believe that this was a miscarriage of justice. This sort of despicable crime does not happen in isolation. Despite the police advertising for other victims to come forward I don’t believe any have. While not impossible, to assault two teenage boys, while wearing the type of vestments worn for a solemn Mass and in the sacristy just after Mass, would be difficult and a huge risk. I can find no evidence that Cardinal Pell has taken part in risk taking behaviour at this level before.

    The scandal of historic child abuse in the Church has made it almost impossible for anyone accused of it to refute it. Sadly too many people are not only prepared to believe the worst about Catholic priests, but are willing to do so, even without good evidence. This case relied on the word of one person.

    Cardinal Pell has many enemies, both inside and outside the Church. What a convenient way to dispose of him.

    • As I said, if the cardinal is guilty, that is terrible; if there has been any failure on the part of the Australian legal system, that is terrible also. I’m definitely not in a position to judge nor, I think, are any of us who were not present at the trial. We must wait and see what the appeal brings. In the meantime, we must pray.

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