George Pell guilty verdict rocks Catholic Church


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‘Prosecutors drop second trial towards Cardinal George Pell’, ran its headline.

The present Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter A. Comensoli, mentioned in a press release that he “joined many individuals who’ve been shocked and shaken” by the result of the trial.

“I totally respect the continued judicial course of, noting that Cardinal Pell continues to protest his innocence,” he mentioned.

An enchantment towards the decision has been lodged. It is vital that we now await the result of this enchantment, respectful of the continued authorized proceedings…

“My ideas and prayers are with all victims who’ve been abused by clergy, non secular and lay folks within the Archdiocese of Melbourne at this difficult time, and I renew my private dedication to do all I can to make sure victims of such abuse in Melbourne obtain justice and therapeutic.”

The Australian Catholic Archbishops Convention mentioned information of Pell’s conviction had “shocked many throughout Australia and all over the world, together with the Catholic Bishops of Australia”.

Father Kevin Dillon has long criticised the church for its handling if child sex abuse cases, and has acted as an advocate for victims of such abuse.

Father Kevin Dillon has lengthy criticised the church for its dealing with if baby intercourse abuse circumstances, and has acted as an advocate for victims of such abuse.Credit score:Angela Wylie

“The bishops agree that everybody must be equal underneath the legislation, and we respect the Australian authorized system. The identical authorized system that delivered the decision will contemplate the enchantment that the Cardinal’s
authorized workforce has lodged,” they mentioned in a press release 90 minutes after the decision was introduced.

“Our hope, always, is that by this course of, justice shall be served. Within the meantime, we pray for all those that have been abused and their family members, and we commit ourselves anew to doing every little thing attainable to make sure that the Church is a protected place for all, particularly the younger and the susceptible.”


Father Kevin Dillon, a parish priest at Rowville in Melbourne’s south-east, mentioned information of Pell’s conviction would rock the church and its followers.

“I believe [there] shall be an unlimited sense of devastation for [local Catholics], notably as the fees relate to the time as archbishop of Melbourne and I believe that carries with it a fair better weight,” Fr Dillon mentioned.

Fr Dillon has lengthy criticised the church’s dealing with of kid sexual abuse circumstances involving clergy, and acted as an advocate for victims of such abuse.

“I believe the typical Catholic particular person has been, and continues to be, simply rocked by these kind of offences being dedicated by so many individuals in any respect ranges of the church hierarchy,” he mentioned.

Francis Sullivan, the previous head of the Reality, Justice and Therapeutic Council arrange by the Catholic Church in response to the Royal Fee into Institutional Responses to Youngster Intercourse Abuse,  mentioned he thought parishioners could be “extremely shocked and devastated” on the responsible verdict towards Pell.

“One, they’d be completely confounded that Cardinal George Pell as a person has been convicted for this,” Mr Sullivan mentioned.

Francis Sullivan, who headed the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, said parishioners would be confounded and shocked at the conviction of Cardinal George Pell.

Francis Sullivan, who headed the Reality, Justice and Therapeutic Council, mentioned parishioners could be confounded and shocked on the conviction of Cardinal George Pell.Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen / Fairfax Media

“On the different degree, they’ll be devastated as a result of evidently the entire clerical intercourse abuse scandal continues to confront and demoralise the Catholic neighborhood.

“It’s a surprising day. It is come proper out of the blue for folks.”

Mr Sullivan mentioned the conviction would depart folks “dumbfounded,” because the Cardinal had been a “loud and robust voice towards clerical intercourse abuse” and “on the forefront of improvements round baby safety within the church”.


He mentioned Pell’s conviction could be demoralising for folks throughout the church, its followers, and people who are employed by the establishment.

“That is one other huge hit to the morale.

“It’s additionally devastating [to] how folks establish as Catholics, at many ranges – individuals who attend, individuals who practise, individuals who establish as Catholic, individuals who affiliate with Catholic establishments as staff and so forth may have reactions from the visceral to the depressed.”

Catholic priest, lawyer and tutorial Frank Brennan mentioned he was “very shocked” and “devastated” by the decision.

“My solely conclusion is that the jury should have disregarded lots of the criticisms so tellingly made by [Pell’s lawyer Robert] Richter of the complainant’s proof,” Father Brennan wrote on the web site of Jesuit publication Eureka Avenue concerning the verdict.

“… Ought to the enchantment fail, I hope and pray that Cardinal Pell, heading for jail, just isn’t the unwitting sufferer of a wounded nation in quest of a scapegoat. Ought to the enchantment succeed, the Victoria Police ought to overview the adequacy of the police investigation of those severe legal expenses.”

When you or anybody you realize wants assist, you may contact the Nationwide Sexual Assault, Home and Household Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or beyondblue 1300 224 636.

Debbie Cuthbertson is a senior author and Saturday chief of workers at The Age.

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