Cardinal George Pell guilty child sexual abuse catholic church
(Image: AAP/David Crosling)

As the shock-waves of the George Pell trial continue to be felt throughout Australia, Crikey readers took to the comments section in droves to discuss Pell’s conviction and its implications. Some agreed with Guy Rundle’s point that there are dangers in blindly celebrating the justice system (as many progressives seem to be doing for the sake of seeing Pell’s fall), while others maintained their faith that justice had been served.

On the trial of George Pell

Joe Black writes: In the absence of CCTV or a confession, we don’t have 100% proof on pretty much anything that ever happened. In this case, as I understand, we had Pell’s defence trying to unravel any and every link in the chain of the victim’s testimony and they could not find one broken link. After 20 years that’s a pretty polished performance if the victim made the whole thing up.

Richard Cobden writes: John Howard says that he has always found George Pell to be “lacking hypocrisy and cant”. Surely this judgement should be accepted, coming as it does from an expert on both topics.

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Ian Farquhar writes: One can’t help but draw the comparison to a similarly polarising situation: Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s 1991 perjury trial and jury foreman Luke Shaw’s role in preventing a unanimous verdict. In a group of 12 people randomly chosen, the idea that one may be a rusted-on Catholic who daily reads The Australian and believes this to be some massive left-wing conspiracy against the church is hardly a stretch. So I contest that we can’t take any concern from the original hung jury in Pell’s case, and commend the prosecutors in seeking a retrial. Pity they didn’t do so with Joh.

Marion Williams writes: Pell had the best defence that money can buy. He took his time consenting to appear. He waited until it suited him to face his accusers. He was treated with the utmost respect throughout. He was treated as if he were innocent of child abuse. The jury listened to the evidence and found him guilty. The jury is satisfied, so am I.

Marcus Hicks writes: There are a few key differences between Pell and the African-Australians you mention, such as: Pell had the best defence lawyers money could buy; there was a media blackout for the bulk of Pell’s trial, whereas African-Australians are subjected to trial by media; regardless of what is decided on appeal, Pell is already guilty of shielding paedophiles from justice, whilst allowing them to continue their crimes in new parishes.

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Peter Fray
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