The Case Against Cardinal George Pell’s Guilt
Peter Onesta, Johannesburg – I was sent an article written by Phil Lawler called “The Pell Case: Australia’s Dreyfus Affair?” (from Catholic Culture).
In view of the correspondence on this matter, readers may be interested to hear of Mr Lawler’s article.
He says that Cardinal Pell became a favourite target of the media because he was “unapologetically orthodox” in a country where such courage is a rarity.
Mr Lawler quotes US law professor Gerard Bradley, of Notre Dame University, saying that, when weighing the evidence, it was unreasonable to credit the accusation.
These are Prof Bradley’s points:
- The accuser said he was one of two choirboys molested by then-Archbishop Pell. The other boy, now deceased, denied that he had ever been molested.
- The accuser said he was molested in the cathedral on two occasions, but on one of those occasions he and his alleged comrade had to leave the procession of choristers, but no one noticed that they were missing and choir directors said it was highly unlikely anyone could slip away unnoticed.
- The accuser said he was in the sacristy sipping sacramental wine, but the wine was locked away. He said the wine was red. It was not.
- The accuser said the archbishop came upon him alone in the sacristy. But multiple witnesses said the archbishop was never alone in the sacristy: a room in which the door was always open, a room buzzing with priests and acolytes and other archdiocesan functionaries.
- The accuser said that the archbishop parted his vestments to expose himself. But an archbishop’s vestments do not allow that action.
As Mr Lawler says: “Beware of empty accusations and convenient victims.”