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BarbaraTherese

Cardinal Pell convicted/Jail

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BarbaraTherese

Cardinal Pell has been convicted of child abuse in the 1990's.  The judge has stated he will be given a custodial sentence meaning jail time and Cardinal Pell should be in jail from tomorrow night.  The verdict has only been made public today due to a court suppression. We should know the sentence sometime tomorrow, Wednesday 27th February 2019.

This is a terrible time for Australian Catholics and The Church generally.  It is a dreadful shock, but those who are guilty must face the justice of the state, no matter rank in The Church and/or society.    This is a terrible shock and, Dear Lord, so hard to believe.  How could a priest sexually abuse children after celebrating Sunday Mass !!!  Although I think Cardinal Pell at the time was Archbishop of Melbourne......I think.  Edit - Yes, he was Archbishop of Melbourne.

Prayer for victims, families and friends, and for all those affected.  Prayer for Cardinal Pell.

 

How can anyone, man or woman at any time anywhere, let alone a priest, abuse a child.   I cannot get my head around it, it is horrendous in the extreme.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese

We are living through a terrible time in The Catholic Church.  It makes it overwhelmingly difficult for any sort of evangelisation.  I had a worker call today who will be taking me 2 hrs every fortnight for whatever I would like to do.  I am receiving weekly Holy Communion at home as I cannot get to Mass due to severe disability in the main.  I asked her about taking me to weekday Mass now and then and she could not disguise her look of, well -  distaste putting it mildly.  Perhaps like surprised shock.  After that point, our relationship was a bit strained.  I am hoping and praying she will get over it with her fortnightly visits and taking me out.  I am not going to ask her to take me to Mass if she has very real hangups about The Church.  I would not do that to her, rightly or wrongly.  I respect her feelings.   I think I can be sufficiently sensitive to know if and when the time is right to ask her to take me to Mass.  Certainly her organization for which she works said it would be ok for a worker to take me to Mass.  But this conviction of Cardinal Pell has added a lot of fuel to the already burning fire.  If my worker can find me sufficiently pleasant, a good sort of person, I hope her attitude might change.  Adding more fuel to the fire is what is being viewed as a lame result of the meeting of Pope Francis with our bishops on abuse crisis.  It seems to be generally viewed as a weak and inadequate result.

My thoughts are that our celibate clergy rather often do not grasp, perhaps cannot grasp, the terrible affect that sexual abuse can have on a child.  It can destroy the whole life of a child. They seem to have the words at times but disconnected from emotional content.  They just don't get it.  And I can't get it why they don't get it!

Here in Australia in my environment, being Catholic is likely to be met with some kind of negativity.  There seems to be little, if any, understanding that there are excellent priests, nuns and laypeople remaining Catholic during this terrible time.  I have even had one person comment "How can you stay Catholic?"

All one can do is the best one can with prayer and live as best one can just for today - and know and embrace that God is in the driver's seat, not oneself.

If our hierarchy is critical of the laity and evangelisation, I think that the buck stops at their doorstep.  They have to realise that we are labouring in an extremely hostile environment very often and not of our creation.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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chrysostom

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/why-the-case-against-cardinal-george-pell-doesnt-stand-up/

"During the retrial, the defense demonstrated that, in order to sustain the charge that Pell had accosted and sexually abused two choirboys after Mass one Sunday, ten improbable things would have had to have happened and all within ten minutes:

• Archbishop Pell abandoned his decades-long practice of greeting congregants outside the cathedral after Mass.

• Pell, who was typically accompanied by a master of ceremonies or sacristan when he was vested for Mass, entered the carefully controlled space of the vesting sacristy alone.

• The master of ceremonies, charged with helping the archbishop disrobe while removing his own liturgical vestments, had disappeared.

• The sacristan, charged with the care of the locked sacristy, had also disappeared.

• The sacristan did not go back and forth between the sacristy and the cathedral sanctuary, removing missals and Mass vessels, as was his responsibility and consistent practice.

• The altar servers, like the sacristan, simply disappeared, rather than helping the sacristan clear the sanctuary by bringing liturgical vessels and books back to the sacristy.

• The priests who concelebrated the Mass with Pell were not in the sacristy disrobing after the ceremony.

• At least 40 people did not notice that two choirboys left the post-Mass procession.

• Two choirboys entered the sacristy, started gulping altar wine, and were accosted and abused by Archbishop Pell — while the sacristy door was open and the archbishop was in full liturgical vestments.

• The abused choirboys then entered the choir room, through two locked doors, without anyone noticing, and participated in a post-Mass rehearsal; no one asked why they had been missing for ten minutes.

Before the trial, one of the complainants died, having told his mother that he had never been assaulted. During the trial, there was no corroboration of the surviving complainant’s charges. Other choirboys (now, of course, grown), as well as the choir director and his assistant, the adult members of the choir, the master of ceremonies, and the sacristan all testified, and from their testimony we learn the following: that no one recalled any choirboys bolting from the procession after Mass; that none of those in the immediate vicinity of the alleged abuse noticed anything; that indeed nothing could have happened in a secured space without someone noticing; and that there was neither gossip nor rumor about any such dramatic and vile incident afterward."

Edited by chrysostom

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cruciatacara

https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/why-the-complainant-in-george-pells-trial-was-so-compelling/news-story/c2737320de6619d82f101973eb02e96f 

 

‘THEY MUST HAVE BELIEVED HIM’

However, Pell’s complainant was cross-examined for more than a day by defence barrister Robert Richter QC, who is known for being one of the best in the business. He’s defended Melbourne gangland figure Mick Gatto and Hoddle Street massacre shooter Julian Knight.

If there were holes in the complainant’s story Richter would have found them and attacked them vigorously.

The public have not been allowed to see the complainant’s testimony but it was the key piece of evidence that decided the case.

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Josh

During the hearing, Pell’s defence lawyer Robert Richter described his client’s crimes as “no more than plain, vanilla, sexual acts with a child who is not consenting”. The comment sparked backlash on social media but when later asked outside by a reporter if he regretted saying it, Mr Richter replied: “I don’t know what you’re talking about”

https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/george-pell-returns-to-court-in-last-bid-for-freedom/news-

Edited by Josh

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cruciatacara

The emphasis below is mine but it's appalling that his solicitor should try to blame the 'naughty boys' and to say that Pell should get a 'slap on the wrist' because the abuse lasted less than six minutes and he didn't ejaculate or use an 'implement'.

Excuse me??? Is Pell's own solicitor admitting that Pell did it but suggesting that he shouldn't be punished for it? I thought he claimed to be innocent.

Where is the repentance? The remorse? It may have only lasted six minutes for Pell but it has been a lifetime sentence for those boys and one of them was destroyed by it. 

I live in Melbourne and have known Pell for a long time. His arrogance is astounding. He has been found guilty in a court of law. He has the right to an appeal, but if that is rejected, then the Church needs to step up and defrock him. And he needs to apologise for what he has done, not only to the boys, but also to the Church and all of those who have believed in her and trusted her. Forgiveness comes after repentance.

 

https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/courts-law/george-pells-lawyer-robert-richter-qc-tells-court-sex-crimes-against-children-were-vanilla/news-story/20e0459998f5eb9c458c498002c8225f 

Robert Richter is softly spoken but his words have echoed around Australia.

He is loved by his clients but loathed by members of the public for defending those deemed by some to be indefensible.

The Melbourne-based lawyer representing disgraced former cardinal George Pell today stood inside a packed Victorian County Court metres from his ageing client and dug his heels in.

Dressed in a black robe with matching black glasses, he called Pell’s 13-year-old victims “naughty boys” for drinking church wine before they were attacked.

He argued that Pell’s crimes — which include sexual penetration of a child under 16 — were “plain” and “vanilla”.

He suggested the Vatican’s third most senior catholic should get a slap on the wrist because his sex crimes against two boys lasted “less than six minutes”, there was “no ejaculation” and “no use of any implement”.

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BarbaraTherese

 

Quote

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-28/george-pell-lawyer-robert-richter-vanilla-comment-sparks-outrage/10855272

Professor Gans, an expert on criminal appeals, said he was not at all surprised at the language used by Robert Richter.

He called it a "bog standard plea discussion".

"One of the terrible tasks that everyone has to do in sentencing is to rank the crime against every other possible crime that someone is charged with," he said.

"So if someone is charged with sexual penetration, you have to consider of all of the possible ways a child could be sexually penetrated and think — how does this rank in terms of seriousness.

"So that's what the vanilla comment is."

Professor Gans said he was not defending the comment, saying he could have chosen a better word.

 

 

It is really getting difficult to weed out the responsible journalism, sound sources.  Be that as it may the vanilla comment is truly shocking and distressing.  I was stupefied to read it.   A sexual abuse offence against a child could never ever be termed as "vanilla".  It was a shocking use of a noun in the context.  If Cardinal Pell's lawyer is going to minimise, or attempt to minimise, what Cardinal Pell is accused of doing, it really illustrates that I really do think they just do not get it and in fact are adding fuel to an already blazing fire.

 

_____________________

ANALYSIS

What George Pell's guilty verdict will mean for Australian Catholics https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-27/pell-guilty-verdict-what-will-it-mean-for-australian-catholics/10853218

My comment: If we were faced with a crisis in The Church, this just might be flashpoint and ignition.  It is an impasse in The Church and the only way to deal with an impasse is to walk right through it, because you cannot go over or under, nor around.   We have no choice as faithful Catholics to Jesus and His Church but to walk through this time, these terrible events, with our hands in His Leadership of His Church, our determined trust in Him and that is going to take The Gift of Faith under conflict, stress and hostility perhaps often.  

This just might be the beginning of what Pope Benedict XVI (when Cardinal Ratzinger) foretold:

Quote

 

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. "The church will become small." from Faith and the Future (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2009). https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/spiritual-life/the-church-will-become-small.html

"The Church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members....

It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man's home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

 

 

What sort of leapt out at me in the above was the use of the plural i.e. "upheavals".  

 

 

The furore over Cardinal McCarrick in the USA was dreadful shock to me - and now the furore and terrible shock is right on my doorstep here in Australia.  I do realise that apparently many knew something was amiss with Cardinal McCarrick.  The conviction and jailing of Cardinal Pell is, to me, just shock, shock and more shock.  I don't think I am alone.

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Ash Wednesday

Yeah, I can't really get my head around what Pell's lawyer said, either. I honestly haven't had a lot of time to read up on this trial. I was under the impression that he maintained his innocence. Which was why I found the lawyer's comment really unsettling and I don't know what to make of it. There's nothing vanilla about whatever allegedly happened. I thought he was maintaining his innocence in that he insisted that he didn't do ANYTHING that he's been accused of. But claiming innocence because it was just a few minutes of "vanilla" just doesn't cut it.

I'm going to have to leave the situation in the hands of God. I always appreciated Pell in the past. But just because I liked him and often agreed with his views doesn't mean I should give him a pass.  If he is guilty, then I pray he repents and makes reparation for it. If he is innocent, I pray that he has the strength to endure living as an unjustly convicted innocent man. But at the moment I'm pretty confused about the whole thing in light of what his lawyer said.

I suppose we will have to wait and see about his appeal. If he's appealing his conviction then it wouldn't be prudent to discuss defrocking him while that process takes place.

The Vatican is also conducting their own investigation so that would certainly weigh in on that decision as well.

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