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The Vatican underscored Cardinal George Pell’s right to appeal a Melbourne court’s guilty verdict for historical sexual offenses Tuesday, while also declaring its “utmost respect for the Australian judicial authorities.”
In what has been described by some as an “unfair, anti-Catholic conviction,” the court ruled in December that Cardinal Pell, who is widely disliked for his conservative views, sexually abused two choristers in the sacristy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the late 1990s.
Verdict - Mistrial - Jury - Favor
The verdict followed an earlier mistrial in which a jury was deadlocked at 10-2 in favor of declaring the cardinal “not guilty.”
The court has now lifted a media gag order it had imposed on the Pell trial, while announcing that a second trial against him has now been dropped for lack of evidence.
Breitbert - News - Pell - Innocence - Charges
As Breitbert News has reported, Pell has steadfastly maintained his innocence of all charges and his lawyer, Robert Richter, has said there is “voluminous” evidence to show that “what was alleged is impossible.”
Australian journalist Gerard Henderson wrote that Pell has been the victim of a “modern-day witch hunt,” while highlighting biased coverage of Pell by the Australian media, which he attributed to journalistic hostility to “Pell’s conservatism.”
Point - Fact - Pell - Sex - Abuse
In point of fact, Pell was already investigated and exonerated from sex abuse charges in 2002. In July of that year, Pell was accused of sexually abusing an altar boy more than 40 years earlier. Pell vigorously denied the claims, but immediately offered to step down from his position until his name could be cleared.
“The allegations against me are lies and I deny them totally and utterly,”...
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