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

Comment…

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.


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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…

 

Transgenderism: Catholic Journalist Facing Prison For Telling the Truth 

From CitizenGo:

CitizenGO’s Campaign Director for the UK and Ireland, Caroline Farrow, could find herself in prison for nothing more than telling the truth about male and female!

Earlier this year Caroline found herself under investigation by her local police force after she described the sex-reassignment surgery performed on a sixteen-year old boy as ‘castration’, ‘a form of child abuse’ and ‘mutilation’.

Following a media backlash, Susie Green, director of the transgender lobby group Mermaids decided to drop the charges. However, another activist, Stephanie Hayden, decided to pick up where Mrs Green had left off and ensure that Caroline was punished.

Stephanie Hayden, who was born as Anthony George Steven Halliday, has a concerning criminal record which includes the following:

Violent affray with a golf club

Several offences of dishonesty
Sexual assault

He began targeting Caroline over social media in a relentless campaign of abuse, including attacking her Catholic faith and made several threats, supposedly in the form of a joke, to come and play golf at her house.

Caroline, who is a mother of 5 young children, was understandably very frightened, especially as her family had already been receiving a number of threats from activists who had found out where they lived and so she stood up to and highlighted his abuse on her Twitter account.  Read and sign petition here

Comment:

Caroline is a Catholic journalist who was interviewed on breakfast TV with Susie Green, Director of the transgender lobby group, Mermaids   You can see the original interview on Good Morning Britain here

Is this really the sort of thing that should be brought before the courts?

Your thoughts welcome – but don’t forget to sign the petition!  

Should “Robin Hood” Cardinal Face Jail For His Criminal Activity? 

Below, extracts from a report on the Rorate Caeli blog

On May 12th, Cardinal Konrad Krajevski, Pope Francis’s Almoner, reactivated the electricity in an illegally occupied building on Via Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, in the centre of Rome. In order to do this, he had to break the seals put there by the Public Electricity Corporation (ACEA) which had disconnected the electricity because of the occupants’ unpaid bills (more than 300.00 Euros) over the last five years, .

The responsibility of this non-payment, along with the illegal occupation of the building, belongs to the Action-Diritti in movimento association, a social centre, headed by an extreme-leftwing militant, Andrea Alzetta, known as “Tarzan”, repeatedly denounced for trespassing, building devastation and resisting a public official. Pope Bergoglio’s representative, committed an act graver than we might imagine. In Italy, Article 349 of the Penal Code, punishes whoever violates seals affixed by the authorities with a 6-month to 3-year prison sentence. Furthermore, the connection being illegal, the action of the Papal Almoner consists in the crime of stealing electric energy.

Cardinal Krajevski, then, has transgressed the law and boasts of it publically, declaring, in a challenging tone, that he is ready to take responsibility for it. But apart from the penal aspect, we find ourselves faced with the canonization of the idea whereby it is licit to violate the rule of law in one’s own interests or in that of social groups. In short, it is the idea of “proletariat expropriation”, practiced by the Tupamaros, the Red Brigade and the No-Global.

The certainty of the law and respect of it are the only barriers that protect civil society from anarchy and violence. But what Cardinal Krajevski   (hailed by La Repubblica as a new Robin Hood) the former-Mayor of Riace, Mimmo Lucano (welcomed like a star at the La Sapienza University), or the leader of the “disobedients” Luca Casarini (recently under investigation for favoring illegal immigration) have in common, is disdain for State laws, in the name of a political ethic which has little or nothing to with the Christian ethic.     

On Saturday May 18th the ninth edition of the March for Life will take place in Rome to renew the protest against law 194 of May 22nd 1978, which has claimed six million victims in forty years. This law negates a commandment of the Divine Law, which forbids killing the innocent. The response of the abortionists is that 194 is a law of the State, and as such, should be fully respected. If to save a baby from abortion even the slightest illegality is committed, there would be no justification whatsoever for the offender. For militant pro-lifers it is even forbidden to try to desist women from abortion, as is happening in Canada, where Mary Wagner has totaled five years of imprisonment simply because she tried to bring red roses, information and prayers into the abortion clinics.

To justify the illegal act of the Pope’s Almoner, Art. 54 of the Penal Code was invoked whereby “those who have committed an act having been constricted out of necessity to save themselves or others from actual danger of grave harm to the themselves or others are not punishable.”

No cardinal or bishop however, calls for disobedience against Law 194, which enforces State murder. Yet taking the life of innocent human beings is very much graver than disconnecting the electricity for a week to the residents of an illegally occupied building.

Comments invited…  

Morality: Cohen Plea – What SHOULD Trump Do Now? 

Comment: 

Well, the knives are out for The Donald, no question about it – at least, judging by the reporting of the Michael Cohen guilty plea here in the UK, with reporters and presenters hardly able to conceal their delight at the possibility that President Trump will find himself either impeached in the near future, or in prison after he has left office. You could almost hear the champagne corks popping in the TV news studios today…

I may be wide of the mark here, and for goodness sake don’t take what I’m about to say as justification for either extra-marital affairs or ‘hush’ payments, but I can imagine a businessman like Trump thinking nothing of paying off some female blackmailers for the sake of avoiding the predictable publicity their stories, true or false, would bring – a distraction, to put it mildly, during a campaign to win the presidential election. After all, his reputation was not exactly squeaky clean, was it?  So, assuming the payments were made from his personal bank account, I’m not sure they’re as significant as his enemies are implying. But then, I could be wrong. Bound to happen some day.  What do you think – is Donald Trump implicated in criminal activity as a result of the Cohen guilty plea, and if so, what is the right thing, the moral thing, for him to do now – resign? Apologise and move on? What, then?