Cardinal George Pell, convicted paedophile

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
The media suppression order on the trial of George Pell was lifted today, allowing the Australian media to finally report his conviction on December 11 last year on five counts of child sexual abuse - one count of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16, and four counts of committing an indecent act with, or in the presence of, a child - after a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

https://abc.net.au/news/2019-02-26/george-pell-guilty-child-sexual-abuse-court-trial/10837564

So, if the third most senior Roman Catholic is guilty, how high does it go?

No doubt Lion IRC will be along in a minute to claim (as usual) that Pell must have been an atheist, masquerading as a Cardinal. I wonder if there are in fact any members of the RC hierarchy who are theists? Perhaps the pope is an atheist? Maybe Jesus, Joseph and Mary were atheists too?

The RC church has been rotten from the top down since it's inception. Perhaps it's time for governments to stop granting special privileges to the Holy See, and to treat it like the very lucrative and corrupt organisation that it is. Even Al Capone wasn't allowed to get away with not paying taxes.

DBT

Contributor
There were rumors about his behaviour going back decades. Justice has at last caught up with him.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
Not an atheist.
Not a fair trial.
Not guilty.
Church haters gonna hate.

They have their scapegoat scalp and it wouldn't matter what defence Pell's legal team put up.

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Not an atheist.
Not a fair trial.
Not guilty.
Church haters gonna hate.

They have their scapegoat scalp and it wouldn't matter what defence Pell's legal team put up.

Ah, I see. You know something that the jury weren't told that completely exonerates Pell, but you failed to come forward with your evidence.

Or you are full of shit, and will blindly defend your team even when they are rotting in jail for their vile crimes.

Either way, it doesn't reflect at all well on you.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
There's quite a lot known about what was and wasn't presented to the jury.

And Pell"s lawyers weren't obligated to present evidence that "completely exonerated" him.

All they had to do was introduce reasonable doubt, as against the prosecution's hurdle to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he was guilty. (The assumption being that these jurors were all 'reasonable' and free from prejudice. By the way, we're did phands go? Maybe he has jury duty somewhere)

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
No doubt bilby will be along in a minute to claim that two different juries presented with the same facts will always reach the same verdict. And that no judges ever disagree.

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
There's quite a lot known about what was and wasn't presented to the jury.

And Pell"s lawyers weren't obligated to present evidence that "completely exonerated" him.

All they had to do was introduce reasonable doubt, as against the prosecution's hurdle to prove beyond all reasonable doubt. (The assumption being that these jurors were all 'reasonable' and free from prejudice.)

Yes indeed. And after considering all of the evidence, the jury found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The verdict was unanimous.

If you have any evidence that would have cast doubt on the conviction, you failed in your duty to come forward.

If you don't, then the only grounds you have for rejecting the verdict is the belief that the entire jury was biased - and if you have evidence of that, you have a duty to bring that evidence to the authorities. And if you don't, then your rejection of the verdict is unreasonable, could be in contempt of court if published, and marks you down as full of shit.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
bilby seems ignorant of the fact that the first iteration of this trial resulted in a hung jury. No verdict could be reached.

Witnesses for the prosecution contradicted one another. The mother of one alleged victim (who didn't testify against Pell because he is deceased) told the court that her son repeatedly denied ever having been molested. But because dead men tell no tales, the deceased person was able to be used as an alleged victim of uncorroborated events alleged by Pell's sole accuser.

Does this scenario ring a bell? Contradictory accounts. Uncorroborated claims. No other eye witnesses to verify the earlier claims of one single supposed witness. Belated recollections - decades after the event, but coincidentally well-timed considering that the Catholic Church is now dishing out $50k$75k $100k to sufficiently motivated victims. bilby Fair dinkum thinkum bilby seems ignorant of the fact that the first iteration of this trial resulted in a hung jury. No verdict could be reached. Witnesses for the prosecution contradicted one another. The mother of one alleged victim (who didn't testify against Pell because he is deceased) told the court that her son repeatedly denied ever having been molested. But because dead men tell no tales, the deceased person was able to be used as an alleged victim of uncorroborated events alleged by Pell's sole accuser. Does this scenario ring a bell? Contradictory accounts. Uncorroborated claims. No other eye witnesses to verify the earlier claims of one single supposed witness. Belated recollections - decades after the event, but coincidentally well-timed considering that the Catholic Church is now dishing out$50k $75k$100k to sufficiently motivated victims.

And yet a new jury, given access to the entire body of evidence, unanimously reached a guilty verdict.

The justice system is, by design, hugely favourable to defendants. Yet Pell's legal team couldn't persuade a single juror in the new trial that there was reasonable doubt of his guilt. Mor could they persuade the jury in his first trial of that.

If he wasn't a cardinal, or even a catholic, you would have no doubt whatsoever of his guilt on the basis of this verdict. You have not previously argued that the courts fail to exonerate non-catholics accused of similar crimes, with similar evidence; It's totally nonsensical for you to reject the verdict in this case, other than as a result of your unsupported bias in favour of the church hierarchy.

Cardinals, bishops and popes are no more moral, and no less likely to commit crimes than anyone else.

Pell is guilty, according to the law. I hope he dies in jail for these despicable crimes.

Your slanderous suggestion that the victim was motivated by greed is a vile and shameful thing, even by your low standards. The main drivers of the timing of this case was Pell's attempt to escape justice by hiding in the Vatican; And a series of Prime Ministers pandering to the church by not calling a Royal Commission. Well done to Julia Gillard for finally putting justice ahead of sycophancy to the Christian lobby.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
This is a good step. I'm glad that the upper echelons of the Church are being held accountable and I look forward to further such trials in the future. Since the Church itself is going to fail so damn miserably in one of the basic functions of decency and humanity, it's nice that others are stepping up to fill the gap.

T.G.G. Moogly

I've had my share of discussions with catholics on this issue. My contention has always been that this behavior was widely known about but that no one did anything about it. What we are finding out is that I am absolutely correct. Interestingly, the many catholics I speak with agree wholeheartedly with me. Many blame the devil, which is pretty funny and sad. Only one person I've spoken with out of dozens has the reaction of Lion that this is just a conspiracy.

What is intriguing is that many of these catholics remain loyal to their "faith." Not all certainly, many do not associate themselves anymore, but the ones that do are able to compartmentalize somehow, separating the pious fraud from piety generally. It's interesting to observe, to say the least, particularly when you know that the predatory behavior is continuing just as it had been for thousands of years.

And this will always be the case when people are taught to be obedient to authority and that the authority has a connection to magical powers with invisible spirit creatures. Ignorance is bliss I always say, and quite a lucrative business for those willing to exploit it.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
I've had my share of discussions with catholics on this issue. My contention has always been that this behavior was widely known about but that no one did anything about it. What we are finding out is that I am absolutely correct. Interestingly, the many catholics I speak with agree wholeheartedly with me. Many blame the devil, which is pretty funny and sad. Only one person I've spoken with out of dozens has the reaction of Lion that this is just a conspiracy.

What is intriguing is that many of these catholics remain loyal to their "faith." Not all certainly, many do not associate themselves anymore, but the ones that do are able to compartmentalize somehow, separating the pious fraud from piety generally. It's interesting to observe, to say the least, particularly when you know that the predatory behavior is continuing just as it had been for thousands of years.

And this will always be the case when people are taught to be obedient to authority and that the authority has a connection to magical powers with invisible spirit creatures. Ignorance is bliss I always say, and quite a lucrative business for those willing to exploit it.

Well, it's not just religion or something about submission to authority. Up here in Canada, over the past twenty years, an average of ten coaches and other officials involved in minor league hockey have been convicted to molesting kids each year. Every time one of those cases has made national news, it was considered a shock and a wake up call by the hockey organizations to make serious changes to avoid it happening again. Then the next one was also a shock and a wake up call which meant that they were going to make serious changes. Then the one after that was a shock and a wake up call and it totally meant that serious changes needed to be made. Everyone is waiting with baited breath to see what the reaction to the next one will be.

People just don't like admitting that the organization which they are a part of is being used to help abuse children, so they look at the instances of those as anomalies as opposed to something which the organization is actually set up to allow, so they apply band-aids and forget about it instead of going through all the trouble of scheduling major reconstructive surgery.

Treedbear

Veteran Member
...
Well, it's not just religion or something about submission to authority. Up here in Canada, over the past twenty years, an average of ten coaches and other officials involved in minor league hockey have been convicted to molesting kids each year. ...

Isn't hockey like Canada's national religion?

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
...
Well, it's not just religion or something about submission to authority. Up here in Canada, over the past twenty years, an average of ten coaches and other officials involved in minor league hockey have been convicted to molesting kids each year. ...

Isn't hockey like Canada's national religion?

That would explain why I send 10% of my salary to Wayne Gretzky every pay day.

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
If you were trying to set up a power structure such that people would be sexually abused, it would be difficult to come up with a better design than the Roman Catholic Church.

Define a group of men as beyond reproach; Prohibit them from all forms of sexual release; Allow them to confess their transgressions with impunity, to another man in the same hierarchy; Avoid all external regulation, monitoring, or investigation, allowing only internal and confidential investigations by the organisation itself; Tell them that their only legitimate recourse if tempted to commit a crime is to ask an imaginary entity for assistance and guidance. Then place them in a position of authority over people who have been conditioned since birth to obey and trust them.

You really couldn't design things to be any worse.

That anyone is surprised or shocked that priests, bishops and cardinals commit rapes against any vulnerable people they have charge over, including children, is a sad indictment of the groundless trust that is placed in these men and the institution that they represent.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
Only one person I've spoken with out of dozens has the reaction of Lion that this is just a conspiracy...

Really?
There was a lot of 'real catholics' vox pops in the media yesterday and today expressing the view that the jury got it wrong.

Pell was convicted
…more two decades after the alleged event,
…on the uncorroborated evidence
…of one single witness,
…without any forensic evidence,
…without a pattern of behaviour,
…without a confession.

It is rare to even run a serious case like this on the word of one witness - let alone gain a conviction.

Pell certainly does not fit the usual pattern of paedophile clergy abusers who typically;
...identify vulnerable potential victims,
...groom them
...isolate them,
...commit the offences in private
...pressure the victims into silence.
...admit their (born-that-way) sexual preference for minors

Historically, the vast majority of (successful) prosecutions have involved multiple individual victims who all (on their own behalf) testify to similar pattern of offending.

Pell had access to hundreds of boys over his career from among whom he could have easily groomed the vulnerable.

…perpetrated a one off, opportunistic attack
…on two unknown boys
…whom he unexpectedly found in the sacristy
…immediately after High Mass at Australia’s largest cathedral
…on the busiest day of the Church week
…when the Cathedral precinct was teeming with several hundred church goers and dozens of diocesan officials.
…in broad daylight in an unsecured, unlocked public area.
…where the risk of being caught in the act was unfathomably high for the sort of crimes paedophiles commit.

In the words of one crime reporter, he had no idea whether one of these nameless boys was the son of the Chief Police Commissioner, the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice who were waiting outside to collect them.

Pell could not have known if one of them would scream for help or walk straight out and blow the whistle on him - and with two kids (two witnesses) in the room he would have been sunk. These are not the actions of a cunning, experienced paedophile who usually turns out to be a serial offender.

Yet no-one has alleged Pell had a history of this type of crime.

Consider also the public record of Pell's behaviour leading up to the alleged events.

16th July 1996 Pell takes up appointment as Archbishop of Melb

Thereupon, Archbishop Pell almost immediately instructs the respected law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Corrs), solicitors for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, to put together a new scheme for responding to claims of child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese. (Remember, lawyers are officers of the court - this isn't Better Call Saul.)

30 October 1996, Archbishop Pell announced the Melbourne Response and appoints independent Commissioners to inquire into allegations of sexual abuse, with an explicit, and transparent public accountability mandate that they must;
...immediately inform any/every complainant that they have an unfettered and continuing right to take their complaint to the police
...And that they must encourage the exercise of that right
...And that they must not act in any way that would prevent or hinder any police investigation in respect of allegations of sexual abuse by Church personnel.

November 1996, less than one month after the Melbourne Response was announced, Pell along with the Bishops Conference approves the Towards Healing protocol – confidential payments to victims who wish to remain anonymous and explicitly don’t want exercise their rights to take the matter to police.

A month later December 2016….

Archbishop Pell allegedly returns to the cathedral sacristy after having just presided over the 11am Mass, and allegedly discovers the highly unusual presence of an unidentified 13 year old choir boy (who should not have been there at the time) sneaking a sip or two of altar wine in the company of another boy - also a choir boy (of course.)
Pell apparently forgets that he himself has just authorised the most unprecedented level of scrutiny and no-holds-barred investigation into the scourge of clergy paedophilia in the history of RCC in this country. And, despite the lack of locks, on the open doors, and the regular passers by, he allegedly decides to molest both boys - one after the other.

Surely all the atheist skeptics here at TFF can appreciate my skepticism. And these alleged events aren't even 2000 years old yet.

Last edited:

DrZoidberg

Contributor
Not an atheist.
Not a fair trial.
Not guilty.
Church haters gonna hate.

They have their scapegoat scalp and it wouldn't matter what defence Pell's legal team put up.

WTF?!? Didn't expect that answer. You really are blindly supporting the Catholic church. I don't think it matters to you what members of that church does. I think you'll just filter it in your brain to make it ok somehow. It's a bizarre behaviour on your part.

DrZoidberg

Contributor
Only one person I've spoken with out of dozens has the reaction of Lion that this is just a conspiracy...

Really?
There was a lot of 'real catholics' vox pops in the media yesterday and today expressing the view that the jury got it wrong.

Pell was convicted
…more two decades after the alleged event,
…on the uncorroborated evidence
…of one single witness,
…without any forensic evidence,
…without a pattern of behaviour,
…without a confession.

It is rare to even run a serious case like this on the word of one witness - let alone gain a conviction.

Pell certainly does not fit the usual pattern of paedophile clergy abusers who typically;
...identify vulnerable potential victims,
...groom them
...isolate them,
...commit the offences in private
...pressure the victims into silence.
...admit their (born-that-way) sexual preference for minors

Historically, the vast majority of (successful) prosecutions have involved multiple individual victims who all (on their own behalf) testify to similar pattern of offending.

Pell had access to hundreds of boys over his career from among whom he could have easily groomed the vulnerable.

…perpetrated a one off, opportunistic attack
…on two unknown boys
…whom he unexpectedly found in the sacristy
…immediately after High Mass at Australia’s largest cathedral
…on the busiest day of the Church week
…when the Cathedral precinct was teeming with several hundred church goers and dozens of diocesan officials.
…in broad daylight in an unsecured, unlocked public area.
…where the risk of being caught in the act was unfathomably high for the sort of crimes paedophiles commit.

Psychopaths/sociopaths often engage in high risk behaviour, because it's risky. Religious organisations are magnets for psychopaths, because of the high internal trust given. People who rise in an organisation are often psychopaths.

There's a lot here that does fit the bill. Add to the fact that he is specifically a Catholic priest, which further adds to the degree of suspicion.

In the words of one crime reporter, he had no idea whether one of these nameless boys was the son of the Chief Police Commissioner, the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice who were waiting outside to collect them.

Pell could not have known if one of them would scream for help or walk straight out and blow the whistle on him - and with two kids (two witnesses) in the room he would have been sunk. These are not the actions of a cunning, experienced paedophile who usually turns out to be a serial offender.

Yet no-one has alleged Pell had a history of this type of crime.

Consider also the public record of Pell's behaviour leading up to the alleged events.

16th July 1996 Pell takes up appointment as Archbishop of Melb

Thereupon, Archbishop Pell almost immediately instructs the respected law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Corrs), solicitors for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, to put together a new scheme for responding to claims of child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese. (Remember, lawyers are officers of the court - this isn't Better Call Saul.)

30 October 1996, Archbishop Pell announced the Melbourne Response and appoints independent Commissioners to inquire into allegations of sexual abuse, with an explicit, and transparent public accountability mandate that they must;
...immediately inform any/every complainant that they have an unfettered and continuing right to take their complaint to the police
...And that they must encourage the exercise of that right
...And that they must not act in any way that would prevent or hinder any police investigation in respect of allegations of sexual abuse by Church personnel.

November 1996, less than one month after the Melbourne Response was announced, Pell along with the Bishops Conference approves the Towards Healing protocol – confidential payments to victims who wish to remain anonymous and explicitly don’t want exercise their rights to take the matter to police.

A month later December 2016….

Archbishop Pell allegedly returns to the cathedral sacristy after having just presided over the 11am Mass, and allegedly discovers the highly unusual presence of an unidentified 13 year old choir boy (who should not have been there at the time) sneaking a sip or two of altar wine in the company of another boy - also a choir boy (of course.)
Pell apparently forgets that he himself has just authorised the most unprecedented level of scrutiny and no-holds-barred investigation into the scourge of clergy paedophilia in the history of RCC in this country. And, despite the lack of locks, on the open doors, and the regular passers by, he allegedly decides to molest both boys - one after the other.

Surely all the atheist skeptics here at TFF can appreciate my skepticism. And these alleged events aren't even 2000 years old yet.

How doesn't this make him look more guilty? A common tactic on covering up ones own crimes is to try to seem like one is very aggressively combating just that type of crime. Innocent people don't usually have the crime at the top of their mind.

ruby sparks

Contributor
As far as I am aware, this case was only one of several that the Police and magistrates felt had enough evidence to have been prosecuted. There were also other allegations, but some were deemed to have insufficient evidence.

DrZoidberg

Contributor
As far as I am aware, this case was only one of several that the Police and magistrates felt had enough evidence to have been prosecuted. There were also other allegations, but some were deemed to have insufficient evidence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pell#Accusations_and_charges_regarding_sexual_abuse

Yes, there's apparently a long list of accusations. But this type of crime is notoriously hard to convict for. He'd never been convicted if it wasn't for the volume of accusations.

ruby sparks

Contributor
Yet no-one has alleged Pell had a history of this type of crime.

50 people gave witness testimonies against him in earlier hearings.

bigfield

the baby-eater
Pell's own lawyer has tried to minimise the rape as a “plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating”.

So the defence lawyer has agreed that Pell really did put his penis in a child.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
Yes, that is bizarre.
But once the jury has convicted, the accused's lawyer has to proceed on that basis and argue for sentencing leniency in recognition of that verdict.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes, that is bizarre.
But once the jury has convicted, the accused's lawyer has to proceed on that basis and argue for sentencing leniency in recognition of that verdict.

So, you’re saying that because of the guilty verdict, the lawyer was legally forced to perjure himself and provide false details of an assault which never happened?

Australian laws are weird. They also apparently forbid people from dressing up as Batman and Robin.

T.G.G. Moogly

Yes, that is bizarre.
But once the jury has convicted, the accused's lawyer has to proceed on that basis and argue for sentencing leniency in recognition of that verdict.

So, you’re saying that because of the guilty verdict, the lawyer was legally forced to perjure himself and provide false details of an assault which never happened?

Australian laws are weird. They also apparently forbid people from dressing up as Batman and Robin.

But apparently not as Jesus.

atrib

Veteran Member
Yes, that is bizarre.
But once the jury has convicted, the accused's lawyer has to proceed on that basis and argue for sentencing leniency in recognition of that verdict.

Quoting DailyBeast:

Cardinal George Pell was taken into custody Wednesday after his lawyer argued that one of his offenses was a “plain vanilla sexual penetration case where the child is not actively participating.”

Lawyer Robert Richter made the claim while pushing for a lower sentence in a Melbourne court on Wednesday morning, asserting that the 77-year-old former Vatican treasurer had “no aggravating circumstances” and was likely “seized by some irresistible impulse,” The Guardian reports.

Pell's defense clearly lawyer believes that his client is guilty of the charges. If Richter was simply pleading for a lesser sentence based on the argument that the crime did not involve aggravating circumstances, he would not have added "seized by some irresistible impulse" to his statement. That part only makes sense if Richter knows/believes Pell committed the act.

It is Richter's job and ethical obligation to defend his client. But why someone like you would feel compelled to defend a convicted pedophile is beyond me.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
Convicted doesn't mean he did it. If he had been acquitted I'm sure there would be tons of people arguing that the jury got it wrong.

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
Convicted doesn't mean he did it. If he had been acquitted I'm sure there would be tons of people arguing that the jury got it wrong.

He wasn't acquitted, so your speculation is baseless.

As is your belief in his innocence.

atrib

Veteran Member
Convicted doesn't mean he did it. If he had been acquitted I'm sure there would be tons of people arguing that the jury got it wrong.

You skipped over the part of my post where I establish that Pell's lawyer thinks Pell did it. That Pell was seized by an irresistible impulse upon seeing the boy and penetrated the boy's anus in a somewhat unremarkable manner. You can't understand why everyone is making such a fuss about it; the boy had clearly been placed there by the devil to tempt Pell, and deserved to be taught a lesson.

Here we have a Cardinal of the Roman Church, a member of an elite group of God's own representatives on Earth, anointed in holy oils and dressed up in holy robes. Buggering young boys entrusted to his care. Pell's conviction is a start but there are thousands more like him. Going about their lives, hiding in plain sight, secure in the knowledge that the Church will never turn them in. And who can blame the priests when their lord and master does the same thing - stand by and do nothing, or heap violence and death on innocent children.

steve_bank

Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Historicaly the RCC was a power system focused on polical power. acquisition of wealth, and personal power. There can be no dispute over that.

There was no real celibacy. Morality was imposed on ignorant masses as a control mechanism.

From what I read welthy clerics had erotic art collections, I'd have to look up the name, there was the pope that went aroung wicking the penis on statues and adding fig leaves on paintings.

I went to RCC schools 1-12. In grammar school in the 50s boys were subjected to recruitment by religious orders. Films and literature.

Take a Catholic kid who may never had any kind of female relationship at all, post high school put him in a 4 year seminary isolated from normal sexual socialization, and then put him in the world with no experience.

We are genetically programed to mate. I suppose when they get a hard on the traditional response is a little self flagellation, promoted by old Augustine.

What he hell does the RCC expect?

There was a scandal in the Vatican in the 90s about a priest who along with his priestly duties in Rome had a regular sex life.

There have been Vatican sex scandals we have known about, who knows what goes on in the Vatican.

An ex nun wrote a tell all about how common sex is between priests and nuns.

It is a twisted isolated archaic culture. Sex is a holy sacrament? Give me a break.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
Convicted doesn't mean he did it. If he had been acquitted I'm sure there would be tons of people arguing that the jury got it wrong.

You skipped over the part of my post where I establish that Pell's lawyer thinks Pell did it. That Pell was seized by an irresistible impulse upon seeing the boy and penetrated the boy's anus in a somewhat unremarkable manner. You can't understand why everyone is making such a fuss about it; the boy had clearly been placed there by the devil to tempt Pell, and deserved to be taught a lesson.

Here we have a Cardinal of the Roman Church, a member of an elite group of God's own representatives on Earth, anointed in holy oils and dressed up in holy robes. Buggering young boys entrusted to his care. Pell's conviction is a start but there are thousands more like him. Going about their lives, hiding in plain sight, secure in the knowledge that the Church will never turn them in. And who can blame the priests when their lord and master does the same thing - stand by and do nothing, or heap violence and death on innocent children.

Richter uses mitigating 'arguendo' pleas solely to reduce the penalty. It is standard practice.
If he had asked for sentencing leniency on the grounds that Pell was (still) innocent, guess what the Judge would have said.

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Yes, that is bizarre.
But once the jury has convicted, the accused's lawyer has to proceed on that basis and argue for sentencing leniency in recognition of that verdict.

He doesn't have to if his client chooses otherwise, in order to defend his reputation. That would have made sense, and would have been in line with his persistent denial. The defense as described does not (also, because it is ridiculously bad; see, for example, this article).

- - - Updated - - -

Convicted doesn't mean he did it. If he had been acquitted I'm sure there would be tons of people arguing that the jury got it wrong.

You skipped over the part of my post where I establish that Pell's lawyer thinks Pell did it. That Pell was seized by an irresistible impulse upon seeing the boy and penetrated the boy's anus in a somewhat unremarkable manner. You can't understand why everyone is making such a fuss about it; the boy had clearly been placed there by the devil to tempt Pell, and deserved to be taught a lesson.

Here we have a Cardinal of the Roman Church, a member of an elite group of God's own representatives on Earth, anointed in holy oils and dressed up in holy robes. Buggering young boys entrusted to his care. Pell's conviction is a start but there are thousands more like him. Going about their lives, hiding in plain sight, secure in the knowledge that the Church will never turn them in. And who can blame the priests when their lord and master does the same thing - stand by and do nothing, or heap violence and death on innocent children.

Richter uses mitigating 'arguendo' pleas solely to reduce the penalty. It is standard practice.
If he had asked for sentencing leniency on the grounds that Pell was (still) innocent, guess what the Judge would have said.

Maybe, though that is not what people commenting on that - even law experts - are saying. Still, without access to the transcript, I'm not sure. And neither should you be.

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Not an atheist.
Not a fair trial.
Not guilty.
Church haters gonna hate.

They have their scapegoat scalp and it wouldn't matter what defence Pell's legal team put up.

How do you know he is not guilty? Assuming the trial was unfair, there is no conclusive evidence of guilt, but there surely isn't conclusive or even good evidence of a lack of guilt.

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
It is as open to me to believe Pell's credibility as it is for someone, like phands, sitting in the jury, to believe the accuser instead.

DBT

Contributor
What motive would all these accusers have for lying? Why would they do it?

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
Richter's pre-sentencing argument wasn't the first time he had pointed out that only a madman suddenly "seized by some irresistible impulse" would do what Pell was being accused of.

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
It is as open to me to believe Pell's credibility as it is for someone, like phands, sitting in the jury, to believe the accuser instead.
Hmm...it is not open to me. Based on what I read (which I do choose), I find myself not believing either side (that I do not choose), due to insufficient information.
But anyway, I was asking how you know he is not guilty, not about the similarities you think exist between you and phands. Do you have some links in support of your position?

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
What motive would all these accusers have for lying? Why would they do it?

There was only one accuser. It was his word versus Pell's

Lion IRC

Veteran Member
It is as open to me to believe Pell's credibility as it is for someone, like phands, sitting in the jury, to believe the accuser instead.
Hmm...it is not open to me. Based on what I read (which I do choose), I find myself not believing either side (that I do not choose), due to insufficient information.
But anyway, I was asking how you know he is not guilty, not about the similarities you think exist between you and phands. Do you have some links in support of your position?

I already said why I think he is innocent.

Only one person I've spoken with out of dozens has the reaction of Lion that this is just a conspiracy...

Really?
There was a lot of 'real catholics' vox pops in the media yesterday and today expressing the view that the jury got it wrong.

Pell was convicted
…more two decades after the alleged event,
…on the uncorroborated evidence
…of one single witness,
…without any forensic evidence,
…without a pattern of behaviour,
…without a confession.

It is rare to even run a serious case like this on the word of one witness - let alone gain a conviction.

Pell certainly does not fit the usual pattern of paedophile clergy abusers who typically;
...identify vulnerable potential victims,
...groom them
...isolate them,
...commit the offences in private
...pressure the victims into silence.
...admit their (born-that-way) sexual preference for minors

Historically, the vast majority of (successful) prosecutions have involved multiple individual victims who all (on their own behalf) testify to similar pattern of offending.

Pell had access to hundreds of boys over his career from among whom he could have easily groomed the vulnerable.

…perpetrated a one off, opportunistic attack
…on two unknown boys
…whom he unexpectedly found in the sacristy
…immediately after High Mass at Australia’s largest cathedral
…on the busiest day of the Church week
…when the Cathedral precinct was teeming with several hundred church goers and dozens of diocesan officials.
…in broad daylight in an unsecured, unlocked public area.
…where the risk of being caught in the act was unfathomably high for the sort of crimes paedophiles commit.

In the words of one crime reporter, he had no idea whether one of these nameless boys was the son of the Chief Police Commissioner, the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice who were waiting outside to collect them.

Pell could not have known if one of them would scream for help or walk straight out and blow the whistle on him - and with two kids (two witnesses) in the room he would have been sunk. These are not the actions of a cunning, experienced paedophile who usually turns out to be a serial offender.

Yet no-one has alleged Pell had a history of this type of crime.

Consider also the public record of Pell's behaviour leading up to the alleged events.

16th July 1996 Pell takes up appointment as Archbishop of Melb

Thereupon, Archbishop Pell almost immediately instructs the respected law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Corrs), solicitors for the Archdiocese of Melbourne, to put together a new scheme for responding to claims of child sexual abuse within the Archdiocese. (Remember, lawyers are officers of the court - this isn't Better Call Saul.)

30 October 1996, Archbishop Pell announced the Melbourne Response and appoints independent Commissioners to inquire into allegations of sexual abuse, with an explicit, and transparent public accountability mandate that they must;
...immediately inform any/every complainant that they have an unfettered and continuing right to take their complaint to the police
...And that they must encourage the exercise of that right
...And that they must not act in any way that would prevent or hinder any police investigation in respect of allegations of sexual abuse by Church personnel.

November 1996, less than one month after the Melbourne Response was announced, Pell along with the Bishops Conference approves the Towards Healing protocol – confidential payments to victims who wish to remain anonymous and explicitly don’t want exercise their rights to take the matter to police.

A month later December 2016….

Archbishop Pell allegedly returns to the cathedral sacristy after having just presided over the 11am Mass, and allegedly discovers the highly unusual presence of an unidentified 13 year old choir boy (who should not have been there at the time) sneaking a sip or two of altar wine in the company of another boy - also a choir boy (of course.)
Pell apparently forgets that he himself has just authorised the most unprecedented level of scrutiny and no-holds-barred investigation into the scourge of clergy paedophilia in the history of RCC in this country. And, despite the lack of locks, on the open doors, and the regular passers by, he allegedly decides to molest both boys - one after the other.

Surely all the atheist skeptics here at TFF can appreciate my skepticism. And these alleged events aren't even 2000 years old yet.

atrib

Veteran Member
Convicted doesn't mean he did it. If he had been acquitted I'm sure there would be tons of people arguing that the jury got it wrong.

You skipped over the part of my post where I establish that Pell's lawyer thinks Pell did it. That Pell was seized by an irresistible impulse upon seeing the boy and penetrated the boy's anus in a somewhat unremarkable manner. You can't understand why everyone is making such a fuss about it; the boy had clearly been placed there by the devil to tempt Pell, and deserved to be taught a lesson.

Here we have a Cardinal of the Roman Church, a member of an elite group of God's own representatives on Earth, anointed in holy oils and dressed up in holy robes. Buggering young boys entrusted to his care. Pell's conviction is a start but there are thousands more like him. Going about their lives, hiding in plain sight, secure in the knowledge that the Church will never turn them in. And who can blame the priests when their lord and master does the same thing - stand by and do nothing, or heap violence and death on innocent children.

Richter uses mitigating 'arguendo' pleas solely to reduce the penalty. It is standard practice.
If he had asked for sentencing leniency on the grounds that Pell was (still) innocent, guess what the Judge would have said.

The mitigating argument being that Pell has always been attracted to young boys, and that on the day in question he was overcome by lust and his desire to stick his engorged penis into said boy's anus, and he proceeded to do just that? Are you fucking kidding me? You plead for leniency by arguing that Pell had devoted his life to the service of the church and the community, by parading in witnesses to testify to his character and good works, and so on. Pell confessed to the crime after he had been convicted; no innocent man in his position would confess to being a pedophile, ruining whatever remained of their dignity and legacy, just to get their prison sentence reduced by a few years. They would die in prison proclaiming their innocence to the last breath. Pell is not just a convicted criminal, he is also a pussy, lacking integrity and loyalty to his employer, his family and the community he claimed to have served, willing to sell out his church, and bring shame on everyone associated with him by confessing his guilt just to get a lighter sentence.

I am certain you understand why your statements are absurd. If Pell had been captured on video in the act of planting his penis into the boy's anus, you would still be proclaiming his innocence, making up some equally absurd claim about how the boy had tempted and seduced Pell just to make the Roman Church look bad.

DBT

Contributor
What motive would all these accusers have for lying? Why would they do it?

There was only one accuser. It was his word versus Pell's

In relation to the trial. Apparently there were more victims who made accusations of sexual abuse, that for various reasons didn't go to trial. There was talk about his proclivities dating back to his time in Ballarat.

Again, what would be the motive for these accusations?

Angra Mainyu

Veteran Member
Lion IRC said:
Really?
There was a lot of 'real catholics' vox pops in the media yesterday and today expressing the view that the jury got it wrong.

Pell was convicted
…more two decades after the alleged event,
…on the uncorroborated evidence
…of one single witness,
…without any forensic evidence,
…without a pattern of behaviour,
…without a confession.

It is rare to even run a serious case like this on the word of one witness - let alone gain a conviction.
That raises serious doubts about the correctness of the conviction assuming the description is correct, but it does not provide good evidence of innocence - and, by the way, there are allegations that he committed other crimes like that, so it seems unclear whether there is a pattern.

Lion IRC said:
Pell certainly does not fit the usual pattern of paedophile clergy abusers who typically;
...identify vulnerable potential victims,
...groom them
...isolate them,
...commit the offences in private
...pressure the victims into silence.
...admit their (born-that-way) sexual preference for minors
Actually, a common pattern seems to be denial rather than admitting a preference for minors, at least in many cases.
But that aside, as far as I know there were other accusations, and even charges - then dropped, but that would have resulted from clearly insufficient evidence, even without good evidence of innocence.

Lion IRC said:
Historically, the vast majority of (successful) prosecutions have involved multiple individual victims who all (on their own behalf) testify to similar pattern of offending.
True, and that raises serious doubts about the trial, though it's not nowhere enough.

Lion IRC said:
Pell had access to hundreds of boys over his career from among whom he could have easily groomed the vulnerable.

…perpetrated a one off, opportunistic attack
…on two unknown boys
…whom he unexpectedly found in the sacristy
…immediately after High Mass at Australia’s largest cathedral
…on the busiest day of the Church week
…when the Cathedral precinct was teeming with several hundred church goers and dozens of diocesan officials.
…in broad daylight in an unsecured, unlocked public area.
…where the risk of being caught in the act was unfathomably high for the sort of crimes paedophiles commit.

In the words of one crime reporter, he had no idea whether one of these nameless boys was the son of the Chief Police Commissioner, the Prime Minister or the Chief Justice who were waiting outside to collect them.

Pell could not have known if one of them would scream for help or walk straight out and blow the whistle on him - and with two kids (two witnesses) in the room he would have been sunk. These are not the actions of a cunning, experienced paedophile who usually turns out to be a serial offender.
It does seem pretty improbable on the basis of that description. Yet, the jury convicted him, which increases the probability that he did do it. Without access to the actual transcripts, I do not know for sure what happened in the trial, but the descriptions I have read now make innocence more probable than guilt at this point, though not certain.

steve_bank

Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Jesus was commentary of eunuchs.

Perhaps part of being a Catholic priest should be castration.

DrZoidberg

Contributor
Convicted doesn't mean he did it. If he had been acquitted I'm sure there would be tons of people arguing that the jury got it wrong.

No. But it makes it damn unlikely that he didn't. Convictions being overturned is rare, and is newsworthy because it's so rare. Believing somebody is innocent after being convicted makes you delusional.

DrZoidberg

Contributor
Jesus was commentary of eunuchs.

Perhaps part of being a Catholic priest should be castration.

You don't need a penis to rape. And sexual urges don't disappear because you don't have the "bits". Without balls your testosterone levels drop. But they don't disappear.

I think a better solution is to let them have normal relationships, and lift the ban on homosexuality. The Catholic church has a long tradition or urging homosexuals join the clergy. The priests can then fuck each other. Problem solved.

There's no mystery why it's specifically Catholic priests who are raping boys left and right. Any sexologist can explain how that works. Sexuality is a very powerful instinct. If we simply deny ourselves any sexual outlet our psyche will start desiring anyone or anything we have access to. Especially things we have power over, and those who are in our care. Since Catholic priests spend a lot of time around choir boys their sexual urges will eventually likely be directed towards them. This is basic human psychology. Buddhist countries have the same problem with their monks. The Catholic church is in no way unique.

If the Catholic church insists on having their clergy be abstinent of sex, they should at the very least be placed under surveillance and treated like potential threats. And absolutely NOT put in positions of power and influence. That's so dumb. That's just asking for trouble.

Tom Sawyer

Super Moderator
Staff member
Convicted doesn't mean he did it. If he had been acquitted I'm sure there would be tons of people arguing that the jury got it wrong.

You skipped over the part of my post where I establish that Pell's lawyer thinks Pell did it. That Pell was seized by an irresistible impulse upon seeing the boy and penetrated the boy's anus in a somewhat unremarkable manner. You can't understand why everyone is making such a fuss about it; the boy had clearly been placed there by the devil to tempt Pell, and deserved to be taught a lesson.

Here we have a Cardinal of the Roman Church, a member of an elite group of God's own representatives on Earth, anointed in holy oils and dressed up in holy robes. Buggering young boys entrusted to his care. Pell's conviction is a start but there are thousands more like him. Going about their lives, hiding in plain sight, secure in the knowledge that the Church will never turn them in. And who can blame the priests when their lord and master does the same thing - stand by and do nothing, or heap violence and death on innocent children.

Richter uses mitigating 'arguendo' pleas solely to reduce the penalty. It is standard practice.
If he had asked for sentencing leniency on the grounds that Pell was (still) innocent, guess what the Judge would have said.

So, his strategy was to enter into the court's record the specific admission of the crime he was convicted of in order to set up the appeal of the conviction because he didn't commit the crime?

This lawyer is playing 3D chess while the rest of us are sitting in the sandbox eating play-doh.

ruby sparks

Contributor
It does seem pretty improbable on the basis of that description. Yet, the jury convicted him, which increases the probability that he did do it. Without access to the actual transcripts, I do not know for sure what happened in the trial, but the descriptions I have read now make innocence more probable than guilt at this point, though not certain.

Let's face it, none of us here know. Personally, going by what I have read and heard (which as for you is very incomplete) I am inclined to suspend judgement at this time.

bilby

Fair dinkum thinkum
It does seem pretty improbable on the basis of that description. Yet, the jury convicted him, which increases the probability that he did do it. Without access to the actual transcripts, I do not know for sure what happened in the trial, but the descriptions I have read now make innocence more probable than guilt at this point, though not certain.

Let's face it, none of us here know. Personally, going by what I have read and heard (which as for you is very incomplete) I am inclined to suspend judgement at this time.

I am inclined to leave it to the jury to decide. They have access to the evidence.

False convictions do happen, but they are pretty rare, and there seems to be no reason to think that one has happened in this case - other than the desperate need by some people to believe that their heroes are incorruptible and noble in all things.