At the National Catholic Register there is a piece about the exoneration of His Eminence George Card. Pell. He was falsely accused of sexual abuse and unjustly imprisoned for 400 days. Eventually, he was freed by the Australian High Court.
Fr. de Souza’s piece is good. He asks a good question:
Imagine a priest convicted of equally impossible charges, but without the resources to appeal the case to the High Court. If a canonical investigation concluded that the wrongfully convicted priest was innocent, would the Church have the courage to make that finding, with its attendant consequences?
The Vatican avoided the nightmare scenario, which would have come to pass had the High Court refused to take Cardinal Pell’s appeal, or ruled against him. A canonical investigation would have certainly found him innocent, uncorrupted as it would have been by fevered anti-clericalism. Would the Vatican have had the courage to defy the judgment of the Australian criminal justice system?
During the whole matter, almost all Vatican press statements expressed their “respect” for Australian criminal justice. Why? It manifestly failed in Cardinal Pell’s case at least, as it ought not require a High Court appeal to free an innocent man from 400 days of incarceration in solitary confinement.
It is a good thing for clerics to think about, especially in light of the fact that the CDF recently rejected the FALSE case brought against Fr. Perrone in Detroit. HERE
I’ve been slowly reading through Card. Pell’s
PRISON JOURNAL – Vol. 1 – Ignatius Press