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Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

Vatican still stands behind George Pell

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The Vatican has released a statement after yesterday’s decision, handed down by Anne Ferguson, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, to dismiss his appeal against a jury’s verdict that George Pell is a pedophile.

After the decision on George Pell’s appeal was delivered Wednesday morning in Australia, the Holy See Press Office published the following statement:

‘While reiterating its respect for the Australian judicial system, as stated on 26 February after the first instance verdict was announced, the Holy See (the jurisdiction of the Pope) acknowledges the court’s decision to dismiss Cardinal Pell’s appeal.

‘As the proceedings continue to develop, the Holy See recalls that the Cardinal has always maintained his innocence throughout the judicial process and that it is his right to appeal to the High Court.

‘At this time, together with the Church in Australia, the Holy See confirms its closeness to the victims of sexual abuse and its commitment to pursue, through the competent ecclesiastical authorities, those members of the clergy who commit such abuse.’

The High Court is the final option for the 78-year-old to appeal his conviction for the rape of a 13-year-old choirboy and sexual assault of another at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996. He remains in gaol after Victoria’s highest court upheld five child sex abuse convictions in a 2-1 majority ruling.

Details of the appeal are yet to be announced.

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  1. It is purhaps significant that we have heard nothing from the “the competent ecclesiastical authorities”condeming this notorious criminal paedophile, and only that the ‘holy’ see is determined to continue to support this monster.

  2. As a trivial side issue to a very serious story, was bemused by the spelling of “gaol” as it was for may years in this country before becoming the Americanised “jail” however now is commonly and frequently referred to as “behind bars”. No issue, just saying, that’s all.

  3. Seems as though The Byron Echo stands behind the stance of the Vatican ,in much the same way the Vatican stands behind this notororious paedophile,in the way George stands behind choir boys !

  4. He’s only getting 3 and a bit years before he can go for parole. This guy apart from these assaults (and lets not kid ourselves, theres likely others in his ling career and ready access to kids), he hid other pedophile priests all over the country thus enabling them to continue decades of abuse. What a circus!

    • Balls, Rhonda. The accuser’s story is completely fake and absurd.
      (I am not a church supporter. But I did not need to be brought up as a 7th Day Adventist to know that the accusations against Chamberlain were nothing but lies by the NT government and the media).

  5. This is very wrong of the Vatican and gives a totally misleading impression of the truth to Catholics. George Pell was convicted by a jury of twelve according to the Australian legal standard which is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That is a very high standard to meet, and the prosecution’s case was successful in meeting it in the minds of all twelve jurors. Furthermore, the conviction was upheld by the Victorian Court of Appeal, which dismissed all thirteen grounds of appeal put forward by George Pell’s legal team.

    Let there be no obfuscation: George Pell is a convicted paedophile. While individuals are, of course, free to disagree with the decisions of the courts, the Catholic Church is doing significant harm to the fabric of our society by not acting to defrock George Pell, just as the Australian Government is mischievous in not acting swiftly to withdraw his Companionship of the Order of Australia, one of the highest Australian Honours. In the unlikely event that George Pell is acquitted by the High Court next year, his position in the Church and his civilian honour could easily be restored if those actions were deemed appropriate.

    The Catholic Church and the Australian Government are more interested in fighting some kind of imagined “culture war” with what they see as the ungodly forces of the Left than in doing the right thing for the Rule of Law and for the victims of priestly paedophilia.

  6. Hugh Campbell. “Let there be no obfuscation: George Pell is a convicted paedophile”. Hugh, perhaps a closet gangster rapper, feels free to trash talk against Pell. He is protected by law to so do. It does not mean for a moment that what Hugh is saying is true, any more than what the accuser said is true. The accuser is a liar who has received intensive psychological coaching to believe his own lies. It is not surprising that there is a chorus of journalists, lawyers, and politicians speaking against Pell. This is what they do for a living – telling lies.
    Richard Mullins [email protected]


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