TE DEUM! Card. Pell is a FREE MAN! Australia’s High Court unanimously OVERTURNED his conviction.

UPDATE 7 April:

Barrister Neil Addison analyzes the Pell verdict at the Catholic Herald.  HERE

And this video has a good summary of how absurd the charges against Pell were and how the entire establishment went for him with knives, to their lasting shame.

___ Originally Published on: Apr 6, 2020 at 21:19

NEXT: How does he regain his reputation?

Nevertheless, this is good news in the midst of hard times.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Praise the Lord! Every now and then you win one, and we desperately needed some good news these days.

  2. Suburbanbanshee says:

    God is very good, and reveals the truth. Maybe we will see great graces this Easter.

    Also, a good job from Australia’s high court!

  3. Fr Jackson says:

    Excellent news indeed. That trial was a travesty from the start, for anyone who cared to look.

  4. Ave Maria says:

    Best news in a month. Never believed he was guilty but certainly had thoughts who was behind his ‘convictions’.

  5. Gab says:

    There is some justice in Australia even though the state of Victoria is devoid of it.

    Praise God!

    The Cardinal has been released from prison and media helicopters are following the car containing Cdl Pell. No doubt he will be continually harrassed. Please now pray for his safety.

  6. JTH says:

    Yes! Thanks be to God.

  7. JabbaPapa says:

    Cardinal Pell is coming out from his Lent in prison into another Lent of pandemic confinement at Lent, but what a joyful sign of resurrection for him nonetheless.

    God Bless Cardinal Pell, and what a fantastic Easter he can have now !!

  8. Gab says:

    Beautiful statement from Cardinal Pell who was exonerated today 7-0 by the Highest Court in my land:

    I have consistently maintained my innocence while suffering from a serious injustice.

    This has been remedied today with the High Court’s unanimous decision.

    I look forward to reading the Judgment and reasons for the decision in detail.

    I hold no ill will to my accuser. I do not want my acquittal to add to the hurt and bitterness so many feel; there is certainly hurt and bitterness enough.

    However my trial was not a referendum on the Catholic Church; nor a referendum on how Church authorities in Australia dealt with the crime of paedophilia in the Church.

    The point was whether I had committed these awful crimes, and I did not.

    The only basis for long term healing is truth and the only basis for justice is truth, because justice means truth for all.

    A special thanks for all the prayers and thousands of letters of support.

    I want to thank in particular my family for their love and support and what they had to go through; my small team of advisors; those who spoke up for me and suffered as a result; and all my friends and supporters here and overseas.

    Also my deepest thanks and gratitude to my entire legal team for their unwavering resolve to see justice prevail, to throw light on manufactured obscurity and to reveal the truth.

    Finally, I am aware of the current health crisis. I am praying for all those affected and our medical frontline personnel.

    Cardinal George Pell

  9. pannw says:

    I never believed the charges against him either. I am so thankful he will be released. Deo gratias!

  10. JustaSinner says:

    He gets his reputation back the same way he made it: with piety, humility, selflessness and dignity. Great men accomplish great things, even outlasting adversity.

  11. Fr. Kelly says:

    Deo gratias

  12. APX says:

    I can only imagine the great joy he’ll experience when he finally gets to offer Mass again since being incarcerated. :)

    He still needs prayers, though. It’s not easy to come out of prison, especially solitary confinement.

  13. Antonin says:

    The standard of reasonable doubt and guilt beyond a reasonable doubt can and must be a high threshold that the court needs to maintain. So I understand.

    Putting aside, this specific instance, criminal justice and even the courts, in general are not the best places to address the sexual abuse of clergy. This is and remains a serious issue. As a victim, I stand in solidarity with other victims and some terrific priests and religious who support victims and work for genuine reform.

    I only ask that those of you supporting Pell ALSO remember the pain of those of us who suffered and the years of secrecy, shame, and guilt many of us so unnecessarily carried around.

    Pell has suffered, victims of abuse have suffered and this is a wound in the Church,

    Please don’t turn this into an “us” and “them” and remember the victims many of whom are faithful and quiet attenders at mass who carry their crosses.

  14. grateful says:

    Truly a miracle.
    Oh Most Holy Trinity, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
    please perform another miracle in regards to Fr Gordon MacRae.

  15. hwriggles4 says:

    This is good news. It brightened my day.

    For what it is worth I also keep in my prayer intentions Fr. Eduardo Perrone from the Archdiocese of Detroit. I pray that Fr. Perrone (I only know him by reputation – I have not met him) will be vindicated and return to public ministry.

    I did notice the AP wire picked up the story. Good for them. Oftentimes when a Catholic priest is vindicated, secular newspapers either ignore the story or bury it on page 25 in the Tuesday morning edition.

  16. Benedict Joseph says:

    We can take heart that vindication should come about in Holy Week, it magnifies its significance.
    God reward the Justices who were willing to, in effect, pass judgement on a justice system which went off the rails. Undoubtedly they will be getting some throw back.
    Cardinal Pell’s demonstrated indomitable faith and fortitude throughout this horror story bespeaks the nature of the man whom so many of us had come to appreciate and admire over the years. God provide him abundant healing and consolation and preserve him from all further persecution.
    Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for answering our prayer for Cardinal Pell’s exoneration!

  17. JWDenver says:

    Cardinal Pell’s ordeal illustrates the power of what evil one lie can accomplish. That is because try as he might George Pell will never get his reputation and good name back completely. Pray for priests! Good ones and bad ones.

  18. Charles E Flynn says:

    The full text of the High Court’s judgement is online:
    Judgment of the High Court of Australia: PELL v THE QUEEN [2020] HCA 12

    In the upper right corner of the scrolling window, click the Pop-out icon. Then, when the pdf file opens in your browser, follow the usual steps to download the pdf to the Downloads folder. The filename is: 12.pdf

  19. ajf1984 says:

    Te Deum laudamus, indeed! A clear and present sign that God continues to work wonders and answer prayers. I had the privilege of meeting His Eminence at Ave Maria University many moons ago, and have been praying for his release for some time. Praise God!

  20. BeautifulSavior says:

    Praised be God now and forever! I’ve been praying for him daily in my morning offering for his release. The Lord has compassion for his servant. Now a song of pure joy be raised to Him for His favor! In the middle of all our miseries He shows us that He is Emmanuel!

  21. Josephus Corvus says:

    Praise be to God!

    I can just imagine this conversation as he is set free: “You are finally free from solitary confinement in prison, Your Eminence. Now please go to your apartment by yourself and only come out once a week to get your essential food supplies”

  22. adriennep says:

    Yes, out of the prison and now into public confinement. We can imitate his example of what to do while in prison: comfort the afflicted and spread the Gospel. That is what he did there, along with confessions. He was using suffering for the glory of God.

  23. bobbird says:

    To answer Fr. Z’s question about Pell’s reputation, let us take out a proverb: “Reputation is what Man thinks of you, Character is what God thinks of you.”

    Abp. Lefebrve, Jeanette La Pucelle and Savanarola would certainly agree.

  24. TonyO says:

    Without having any claim to omniscience, I never thought I “knew” he was innocent. But when I looked at the charges and the claims behind them, it sure did seem like awfully thin evidence and awfully implausible claims on which to put a man away for years. Praise God that he has been vindicated.

    @Antonin: you are right – the vindication of Cardinal Pell is not in any sense a vindication of all of the accused priests, nor any sort of erasure of the horrific suffering of the victims of priestly abuse. Truth about one does not address the truth about other cases. In ALL of the cases, truth and justice should be done.

    I am strongly in favor of fully prosecuting priestly abuse when the evidence for it can be fairly collected and sifted. For decades, the old-boys-club of priestly abusers helped each other out of being pursued by making it hard on victims to provide good evidence of the crimes (and other things). I hope we can say, at some point, that we have broken the back of that club, but I doubt it has come yet. I believe it will not come until bishops (probably, retired or retiring bishops) have a qualm of conscience and start naming names in public about what THEY know of who is hiding information for others. I don’t know what canon law says about keeping such evidence confidential, but it seems unlikely (to me) that ALL of the evidence they have on wrongdoing is evidence they came to solely through means that is secured under a seal of confidentiality.

    On the other hand, I know priests who were accused wrongly, and I feel greatly for the injustice done to them also. These injustices are first to be laid at the door of the unjust accusers, but indirectly ALSO at the door of the unjust bishops (and other Church authorities) who allowed a culture of silence and protection of abuse to grow without check, which climate now assists unjust accusers of abuse. I don’t think the Church as figured out yet the right solution to the problem. She needs to make some changes.

  25. veritas vincit says:

    Praise be to God for this news!

    Prayers in thanksgiving for Cardinal Pell’s exoneration and release, prayers for his adjustment back into society in the midst of the pandemic, and prayers for all victims of abuse (as requested by Antonin).

  26. Semper Gumby says:

    Deo gratias. God bless Cardinal Pell.

  27. Baritone says:

    Deo gratias. An answered prayer.

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