I have posted twice previously about Cardinal George Pell.
As a boy raised in country NSW, I attended the Catholic Church every week. My local parish priest died in jail. My local school principal ended up in jail. Some of my teachers and some of the priests who later guided my children have ended up in jail.
I was lucky. I was never a victim. But victims of the Catholic Church were all around me.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Catholic Church. I regard it as one of the greatest forces of good on this planet.
But not when it abuses its power. Not when it protects itself above children, or above its followers. And not when it refuses to change on areas like priestly celibacy, the role of women in the church, or on protecting its own above the common good.
As a lawyer, I also support our justice system. Not only must the legal system do justice, it must be seen to be done. It is important that victims are believed, that juries are believed.
Like any human created system, the justice system sometimes gets it wrong.
But as the Federal Attorney General’s Department says:
“The rule of law underpins the way Australian society is governed. Everyone—including citizens and the government—is bound by and entitled to the benefit of laws.
Lawyers uphold the rule of law through our daily work to ensure:
- laws are clear, predictable and accessible
- laws are publicly made and the community is able to participate in the law-making process
- laws are publicly adjudicated in courts that are independent from the executive arm of governmen
- dispute settlement is fair and efficient where parties cannot resolve disputes themselves.”
Today was an important day for the victims, for our justice system, and for the Catholic Church. Undoubtedly, Cardinal George Pell will appeal, as is his right.
Again, I urge you to trust the victims, understand their pain, and trust the twelve men and women who listened to the evidence for weeks.
Do not trust the paedophile defenders like Andrew Bolt or News Ltd. who will now be out in force.
Justice has been done again.
To read the transcript of Cardinal Pell’s unsuccessful appeal, go to https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-21/george-pell-appeal-judgment-summary-transcript/11434304