THE SAD, SAD STORIES OF GEORGE PELL’S VICTIMS

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This is the story of two teenage boys sent on scholarships from what were then Melbourne’s inner suburbs to a Catholic boys’ school – St Kevin’s College. St Kevin’s is in Toorak, Melbourne’s most exclusive precinct.
The school is wedged between the Kooyong Tennis Club and the Yarra River, and closed behind grand iron gates with gilded lettering. The boys wear boater hats and navy blazers, candy-striped with emerald and gold. While the area the boys came from has now gentrified, in the 1990s it might as well have been a different planet.
I’m not at liberty to name the boys – complainants of sexual assault and their families have a legal right to anonymity and it has been requested here. I’ve called them The Kid and The Choirboy.
The boys got their ticket to St Kevin’s because they could sing. The choirmaster from St Patrick’s Cathedral had sent scouts to the Catholic primary schools around Melbourne’s suburbs to find boys on the cusp of puberty who had the voices of angels. In return for their vocal skills, the boys received choral scholarships to St Kevin’s.
When The Kid remembers it, he has tears in his eyes.

“It was a dream of my mum and I, that I could go to this incredible private school that we could never afford, she was so proud,” he says.
The Choirboy’s mum, whom I’ll call Mary, had no idea her boy had this talent.
“But it was good, you know?” Mary says, smiling at the memory. “A nice scholarship for a good education.”
It was to be a big commitment for the families but the boys were very enthusiastic. The working parents carpooled to help with the commute. The Choirboy threw himself into his new role as he did everything in life.
“Oh my god, everything had to be done yesterday,” Mary laughs. “[He] would disappear from sun-up to sundown … He was just gung ho, you know?”
Weekends were filled with song. The choristers were expected to sing from the first day of term one to Christmas Day. The Choirboy loved it.
In 1997, the last year that The Choirboy and The Kid spent in the choir, the bluestone gothic pile known as The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of St Patrick, or simply, St Patrick’s Cathedral, was celebrating a centenary since its consecration.
Huge celebrations were planned and, in its honour, the boys were to perform Handel’s Messiah. The sounds of “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hal-le-lu-jah!” echoed around the sacristies and the nave. His Grace, Archbishop George Pell, was to say the mass.
Other boys, now men, who were in the choir at the time remember Archbishop Pell being a regular presence in their lives.
During May 2016, I called as many of the 50 choristers from the time as I could muster. I think I got to about 35. Of those left, the remainder were either adult or much older members, a couple of overseas visitors, a handful who could just not be found and one or two who chose not to answer my calls or messages. Several are now high-profile singers and musicians.
The boys would practise four days a week, and two of those sessions would be at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Pell would drop in to watch the singing from time to time. Some of the guys also remember him joining the annual camp they attended at Easter to prepare for the holy season’s masses. He would say mass for the boys at the camp.
The Choirboy’s older sister remembers a very amiable boy.
The boys would start their rehearsals an hour before school two days a week and also on Sundays before mass. They’d also have evening sessions at the cathedral once a week. The lead-up to Holy Week at Easter was terribly busy.
Mary’s son began to grumble about getting up to go. Mary just put it down to his teenage years. Then, one day, he snapped.
“Yeah, just out of the blue, ‘I don’t want to be in the choir any more,’” she remembers. “And we said, ‘Well, you do realise we can’t afford the school fees?’ And he said, ‘Yeah,’ and I said, ‘Well, think about it,’ I said, ‘We can’t do anything till the end of the year and you can’t really swap and change.’”
Mary was not pleased. She says for her family, the St Kevin’s school fees were “astronomical”, and it seemed a shame to miss out on the rest of the school experience just because her son was weary of choir. But the boy was immovable. The boy’s father, John (again not his real name), also remembers a meeting with the choirmaster where the parents were told that their son was disruptive in choir practice – coughing during the singing. The choirmaster was also upset that the boy was bending the corners of the music sheets. He also wanted the boy to leave.
The Choirboy’s father, who separated from his wife many years ago, said before his son was about 14, he had always been very well-behaved “and all of a sudden to change from being well-behaved to that was a bit of a mystery”.
The boy became disengaged and disruptive at school. His parents and school were so concerned that in September 1997 they brought him to see a psychiatrist at the Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne. The assessment, which John has kept, found the boy was of average intelligence and had been a good student. But his grades, had been slipping and, while a friendly enough boy, his answers now tended to the monosyllabic, his responses were “under-elaborated” and his working memory was affected.
At the end of the year, The Choirboy was to be a chorister no more – he was moved out of St Kevin’s to a more affordable local Catholic secondary.
“I just put it down to him being a teenager and deciding he’d had enough – that it was, you know, too tiring,” Mary says.
The Choirboy died in 2014. He was 30.
Mary told almost everyone she knew that he died in a car crash. But it wasn’t a car accident. It was a heroin overdose. She says she just didn’t want the shame and the pity. All that’s left of him now is a poorly tended Facebook page with a poorly taken profile picture. He’s not smiling.
Mary’s daughter kept her mum’s secret too. “I have never told anybody, only one of my closest friends ever knew,” she says. “I told everybody it was because of a car accident because I don’t want to have to explain to people that, you know, my brother lived half his life as a drug addict, and a heavy one at that.”
The funeral was on a Thursday in 2014. The sort of day when, all those years before, Mary would be packing her son off to St Pat’s to sing his little heart out in the cathedral.
Now she was preparing him to be buried.
I was floored. I’ve buried a son, I’ve lost a son due to a drug overdose … And then I get this into my life
Mary, The Choirboy’s mother

Although she had informed The Kid, she was still slightly surprised to see the young man respectfully take his place in a pew. In the following months, Mary would occasionally see The Kid when he came into the shop where she worked. They’d have a small chat. He was a well-brought-up boy, she thought. He’d always give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Months later, Mary was serving customers at work when she received a telephone call from a detective from Victoria police. Immediately she assumed they were trying to pin something on her son.
“I said, ‘You do realise [my son] passed away?’” And they said they did and they passed on their condolences. And the detective mentioned something about sexual assault.
“Well, I nearly fell over,” she says. “And I said, ‘You can hang a lot of things on my son, but that’s not one thing you can hang on my son’.”
Of course, the detective wasn’t referring to her son as a perpetrator. He wanted to know if her son had told her about anything that he’d borne witness to or experienced during his time at St Patrick’s or St Kevin’s.
Mary was shocked. “And I’ve gone, ‘Oh, I don’t know anything about that one, you know, I have no knowledge,’” she remembers.
Detectives from Taskforce SANO, established to investigate child sexual abuse in religious organisations, then came to take a statement from Mary. She was completely in the dark about what had happened. And in her confusion, a new trauma came flooding back.
“I was floored,” Mary says. “I’ve buried a son, I’ve lost a son due to a drug overdose –which is not a nice way to lose a child. And then I get this into my life.”
Scenes from the last 15 years of her son’s life began to flicker through her mind in fast motion. She was racked with questions and struggled to sleep.
After the police went to see Mary, they also visited her ex-husband.
“Nothing shocks me; I’ve seen a lot of stuff,” John explains. “But that did shock me. But then, when I mulled it over, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘That’s making sense.’”
The visit, which police only expected to take an hour, took five. John gave the police the medical reports and other documentation about his son and signed a statement.
One evening, some time after the detectives took Mary’s statement, The Kid happened to come by when Mary was on the late shift. The shop was empty. She decided to have the conversation with him that she suspected would upset her, but she needed to know.
“I just asked him if I could ask him what happened. If, you know, if it wasn’t going to upset him. Because I didn’t want to upset this person, um, because [my son’s] passed away. I didn’t want to bring back bad memories for him.”
But The Kid understood immediately. “He said,
‘No, no, ask me.’ I asked him if my son was a victim and he said, ‘Yes.’”
Her son was a victim, he was saying, of George Pell.
Mary was overcome with a hot rush of anger. Not at The Kid, but at her son, for not telling her. Because Mary had asked her son. Not just once. Something inside of her, some mother’s intuition perhaps, born in the shock after her boy went so quickly and spectacularly off the rails, had made her suspect that he had been a victim of abuse.
“I asked [him], I can’t remember the words I used, whether he was touched up, or played with, and [he] told me ‘no’.”
I would like to think that if [he] would have told me, I would have believed my son. I would have believed my son
Mary
The boy shrugged. She says shrugging was something her son would sometimes do when he didn’t want to talk about things. She still had a niggling feeling something was up.
“I never said anything to anybody,” she says. “And then, again, after a while, I asked him and again he told me ‘no’. And then I get this. And I was just so angry with [him],” she says, closing her eyes at the memory of it, “for not telling me. So angry. Sometimes I’m still very angry.”
The Kid gently told her what he says happened with the archbishop. “He told me that himself and [my son] used to play in the back of the church in the closed-off rooms,” she says.
In the cathedral? I ask her.
“In the cathedral, yep. And um, they got sprung by Archbishop Pell and he locked the door and he made them perform oral sex.”
The Kid still remembered the incident so clearly. Being picked up afterwards by his parents. Staring out the car window on the way home. Mary swallows and looks at me in disgust. Her daughter, who has tears in her eyes, keeps her gaze on her mother.
“What went through your mind, as a mother, when you heard that?” I ask quietly.
“Oh, angry,” she says, sighing and stiffening her back. “Angry, as I said, at [my son], for not telling me, but also angry at the Catholic church. I sent my child there – I sent both of my children there – for an education, to be safe. You send your kids to school to be safe. Not to have this done.”
“It’s devastating,” her daughter says, “because it helps to explain a lot of incidents in his life. And yeah, it’s devastating, it is, it’s devastating …
The daughter says she believes that her brother never spoke up about it because he was a very private person.
“And he didn’t like to share a lot of information and I think, as a young boy, you are embarrassed. You don’t want to tell people that another man, let alone a priest, has touched you in any way. You might not think that people believe you. People might judge you, people might say things about you. There could be so many reasons as to why he didn’t want to tell us.”
Mary shares this suspicion, but it breaks her heart. “I would like to think that if [he] would have told me, I would have believed my son. I would have believed my son.”
The Kid told Mary that her son’s funeral was the breaking point for him. It plunged him into despair and regret. His own mother was very concerned about his wellbeing. He had not been coping since his friend’s death.
He decided that he had to come forward, he had to say something. As The Kid told me at the Returned and Services League club the night I met him, his jaw set, his eyes aflame, insisting that this was “about me and it’s about him”. The Kid, with the support of his mum and a victim’s advocate, went to Taskforce SANO.
“He just couldn’t live with it any more – he had to say something,” Mary says.
She says she liked that he did it for her son. But now she and her daughter are left with so many questions, so much fury. She believes The Kid.
The Kid has not led a chequered life. He’s university-educated, he hasn’t had trouble with the law. He has a lovely young girlfriend, lots of friends, he’s a pillar of his community in a sort of understated, slightly ironic way and, in that part of his life, he is, he told me, very happy. He’s managed, just, to keep it together. He’s been able to compartmentalise. He’s the sort of complainant you’d want as a Victoria police detective alleging historic crime.
The strain of all of this, the enormity of it, means The Kid hangs on by a thread at times – and the thread that held him together enough to make a statement was that Taskforce SANO would arrest George Pell.
The Kid was never interested in going on television – he knows that as a sexual assault complainant, the law allows that he never needs to have his identity revealed. He complained because he just wanted justice.
Mary’s daughter believes The Kid had zero to gain from coming forward if he was not telling the truth.
My two older ones remember their uncle and every night they tell me they look out that window and they see his star
The Choirboy’s sister

“You would not put your family through that, you would not put a dead person’s name through that, you would not put yourself through that,” she says. “Because the emotional toll that would take on you for the rest of your life, knowing that people now know your circumstances, what’s happened to you in your personal life – you wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t true.
“I believe 100% in my heart what this young fella has come out and said, the allegations that he has made, I 100% support and believe that they are true, because the effects of coming out, they are devastating.”
Mary thinks it all falls into place – why her son so suddenly lost all interest in the singing he had loved. Why a cherubic choirboy turned into a taciturn drug user at the age of just 14. Why he never managed to kick the habit.
“These people,” she says, referring to abusive clergy, “destroy lives.”
Her daughter nods in agreement. “These people are supposedly someone you look up to. It’s not right, not right at all,” the daughter says.
Mary’s daughter says she is overwhelmed by the courage The Kid showed in complaining about such a powerful member of the church and society.
“It’s not going to bring my brother back,” she says, emotionally, “but it will help the many people that are out there suffering. Because it’s so brave – it’s a really brave thing to do.”
“And I like to think in my heart,” Mary says, “this is what [my son] would say too: ‘This was a friend of mine.’”
“Absolutely,” her daughter adds, “he would absolutely want to help.”
The Choirboy’s sister becomes tearful as she speaks of the impact that her brother’s life and his loss has had on her three young children.
“My youngest will never meet his uncle. The two older ones remember their uncle and every night they tell me that they look out that window and they see his star.”
Her mother swallows, her eyes filling, as the daughter continues.
“They should be able to hold him, and to hug him.”

“I shouldn’t have lost my son like that,” Mary says, “and nobody else should either. And it’s wrong.” Her lip quivers. “This is something I live with now. This is something that kills me a little bit every day. And it kills me.”
Epilogue

That very same year, his friend, The Kid, had also made the same firm decision to get out of the choir as soon as he possibly could. His behaviour at school also became a problem. His voice had broken and, no longer a soprano, his choir days were numbered. He too had gone to another Catholic school, and the families rarely saw each other. The boys drifted apart.
Mary’s daughter noticed a marked difference in her little brother from that point.
“Looking back, yeah, his whole personality, well, he changed. He did. He wasn’t the same person as what he was beforehand,” she says.
“His life spiralled,” Mary says. “It really did spiral.” Her daughter nods and presses her lips together.
Mary and her daughter are sitting on a sofa in Mary’s living room in her unit in a suburb of Melbourne. They are hospitable and decent women, unpretentious and plainly dressed. They have been searching for answers for what happened to their son and brother for years.
Mary lives alone – her daughter is bringing up a young family. Mary works in a shop and tries to make sense of life. But her sparse little unit is a house of grief. While she is stoic and does not make a fuss about the raw deal that the past few years have dealt her, her mouth betrays her. It’s permanently slightly drawn down at the corners. She’s a woman who has had a full-time job keeping a son together and now he’s gone. After it happened, she was left scratching her head, making meals for one and wondering how it all went so wrong. Until The Kid came along.
The year after he left the choir, The Choirboy got into drugs. In a big way. While at age 13 he had sung Handel’s Messiah, clad in a choirboy’s crimson and white robes, eyes cast up to heaven, by his 14th year he was already dabbling in heroin.
“It’s devastating to watch your child spiral like that,” Mary says, shaking her head at the memory of anger, frustration, heartbreak that she dealt with in equal parts.
John had worked as an honorary probation officer for many years and he saw the same behaviour in his son as in the juvenile justice kids he worked with, who were often victims of abuse. “I met a lot of young offenders of that age – and they are different. They behave differently, their mannerisms are different. That’s the way [my son] was going and yet there was no reason for why he should be that way.”
His sister watched her brother completely withdraw.
of view, he changed to a point where you know, he was in his own world,” she says.
The teenager changed friendship groups. He stopped talking.
“He just became very distant, very enclosed,” she says. “It was embarrassing for me because, looking back, I didn’t know why or what this stemmed from and how this was … ” She trails off. “It was embarrassing for me as a sister that I had a brother that was like this.”
For Mary, it was harrowing to watch her son constantly chasing heroin. Every now and then, he’d go to rehab and she’d have to drive him somewhere to help him score because you wouldn’t get in to a program if too much time had lapsed since your last hit. It was mind-boggling for a decent woman who thought she’d brought up two great kids, given them the best education she could.
From time to time, her son would report that he had bumped into The Kid somewhere when he was out socialising with his mates. He told his mum that The Kid was “struggling a bit”.
She asked her son was it drugs, too? But no, it wasn’t drugs, he answered. He was just “struggling”. Her son was a young man of few words and, at the time, The Kid’s struggles had no meaning for her, and so she didn’t inquire any further.
Her son’s heroin chase went on for about 15 years. The Choirboy never had a career, was never able to hold down much of a job. He was a devoted uncle to his small niece and nephew and Mary says he was, despite it all, a loving and good son. He lived with his mum and she was sometimes questioned about why she didn’t kick him out. But Mary knew she was all her son had.
“I care about my son, I love my son, that’s my son,” she says, speaking in the present tense of a mother who still struggles to come to terms with the fact that her youngest child is now a past-tense concept. “If I don’t care about him, no one else is going to care about him – simple as that.”
The Choirboy died in 2014. He was 30.
Mary told almost everyone she knew that he died in a car crash. But it wasn’t a car accident. It was a heroin overdose. She says she just didn’t want the shame and the pity. All that’s left of him now is a poorly tended Facebook page with a poorly taken profile picture. He’s not smiling.
Mary’s daughter kept her mum’s secret too. “I have never told anybody, only one of my closest friends ever knew,” she says. “I told everybody it was because of a car accident because I don’t want to have to explain to people that, you know, my brother lived half his life as a drug addict, and a heavy one at that.”
The funeral was on a Thursday in 2014. The sort of day when, all those years before, Mary would be packing her son off to St Pat’s to sing his little heart out in the cathedral.
Now she was preparing him to be buried.
I was floored. I’ve buried a son, I’ve lost a son due to a drug overdose … And then I get this into my life
Although she had informed The Kid, she was still slightly surprised to see the young man respectfully take his place in a pew. In the following months, Mary would occasionally see The Kid when he came into the shop where she worked. They’d have a small chat. He was a well-brought-up boy, she thought. He’d always give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Months later, Mary was serving customers at work when she received a telephone call from a detective from Victoria police. Immediately she assumed they were trying to pin something on her son.
“I said, ‘You do realise [my son] passed away?’” And they said they did and they passed on their condolences. And the detective mentioned something about sexual assault.
“Well, I nearly fell over,” she says. “And I said, ‘You can hang a lot of things on my son, but that’s not one thing you can hang on my son’.”
Of course, the detective wasn’t referring to her son as a perpetrator. He wanted to know if her son had told her about anything that he’d borne witness to or experienced during his time at St Patrick’s or St Kevin’s.
Mary was shocked. “And I’ve gone, ‘Oh, I don’t know anything about that one, you know, I have no knowledge,’” she remembers.
Detectives from Taskforce SANO, established to investigate child sexual abuse in religious organisations, then came to take a statement from Mary. She was completely in the dark about what had happened. And in her confusion, a new trauma came flooding back.
,” Mary says. “I’ve buried a son, I’ve lost a son due to a drug overdose –which is not a nice way to lose a child. And then I get this into my life.”
Scenes from the last 15 years of her son’s life began to flicker through her mind in fast motion. She was racked with questions and struggled to sleep.
After the police went to see Mary, they also visited her ex-husband.
“Nothing shocks me; I’ve seen a lot of stuff,” John explains. “But that did shock me. But then, when I mulled it over, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘That’s making sense.’”
The visit, which police only expected to take an hour, took five. John gave the police the medical reports and other documentation about his son and signed a statement.
One evening, some time after the detectives took Mary’s statement, The Kid happened to come by when Mary was on the late shift. The shop was empty. She decided to have the conversation with him that she suspected would upset her, but she needed to know.
“I just asked him if I could ask him what happened. If, you know, if it wasn’t going to upset him. Because I didn’t want to upset this person, um, because [my son’s] passed away. I didn’t want to bring back bad memories for him.”
But The Kid understood immediately. “He said, ‘No, no, ask me.’ I asked him if my son was a victim and he said, ‘Yes.’”
Her son was a victim, he was saying, of George Pell.
Mary was overcome with a hot rush of anger. Not at The Kid, but at her son, for not telling her. Because Mary had asked her son. Not just once. Something inside of her, some mother’s intuition perhaps, born in the shock after her boy went so quickly and spectacularly off the rails, had made her suspect that he had been a victim of abuse.
“I asked [him], I can’t remember the words I used, whether he was touched up, or played with, and [he] told me ‘no’.”
I would like to think that if [he] would have told me, I would have believed my son. I would have believed my son
Mary
The boy shrugged. She says shrugging was something her son would sometimes do when he didn’t want to talk about things. She still had a niggling feeling something was up.
“I never said anything to anybody,” she says. “And then, again, after a while, I asked him and again he told me ‘no’. And then I get this. And I was just so angry with [him],” she says, closing her eyes at the memory of it, “for not telling me. So angry. Sometimes I’m still very angry.”
The Kid gently told her what he says happened with the archbishop. “He told me that himself and [my son] used to play in the back of the church in the closed-off rooms,” she says.
In the cathedral? I ask her.
“In the cathedral, yep. And um, they got sprung by Archbishop Pell and he locked the door and he made them perform oral sex.”
The Kid still remembered the incident so clearly. Being picked up afterwards by his parents. Staring out the car window on the way home. Mary swallows and looks at me in disgust. Her daughter, who has tears in her eyes, keeps her gaze on her mother.
“What went through your mind, as a mother, when you heard that?” I ask quietly.
“Oh, angry,” she says, sighing and stiffening her back. “Angry, as I said, at [my son], for not telling me, but also angry at the Catholic church. I sent my child there – I sent both of my children there – for an education, to be safe. You send your kids to school to be safe. Not to have this done.”
“It’s devastating,” her daughter says, “because it helps to explain a lot of incidents in his life. And yeah, it’s devastating, it is, it’s devastating … ”
The daughter says she believes that her brother never spoke up about it because he was a very private person.
“And he didn’t like to share a lot of information and I think, as a young boy, you are embarrassed. You don’t want to tell people that another man, let alone a priest, has touched you in any way. You might not think that people believe you. People might judge you, people might say things about you. There could be so many reasons as to why he didn’t want to tell us.”
Mary shares this suspicion, but it breaks her heart. “I would like to think that if [he] would have told me, I would have believed my son. I would have believed my son.”
The Kid told Mary that her son’s funeral was the breaking point for him. It plunged him into despair and regret. His own mother was very concerned about his wellbeing. He had not been coping since his friend’s death.
He decided that he had to come forward, he had to say something. As The Kid told me at the Returned and Services League club the night I met him, his jaw set, his eyes aflame, insisting that this was “about me and it’s about him”. The Kid, with the support of his mum and a victim’s advocate, went to Taskforce SANO.
“He just couldn’t live with it any more – he had to say something,” Mary says.
She says she liked that he did it for her son. But now she and her daughter are left with so many questions, so much fury. She believes The Kid.
The Kid has not led a chequered life. He’s university-educated, he hasn’t had trouble with the law. He has a lovely young girlfriend, lots of friends, he’s a pillar of his community in a sort of understated, slightly ironic way and, in that part of his life, he is, he told me, very happy. He’s managed, just, to keep it together. He’s been able to compartmentalise. He’s the sort of complainant you’d want as a Victoria police detective alleging historic crime.
The strain of all of this, the enormity of it, means The Kid hangs on by a thread at times – and the thread that held him together enough to make a statement was that Taskforce SANO would arrest George Pell.
The Kid was never interested in going on television – he knows that as a sexual assault complainant, the law allows that he never needs to have his identity revealed. He complained because he just wanted justice.
Mary’s daughter believes The Kid had zero to gain from coming forward if he was not telling the truth.
My two older ones remember their uncle and every night they tell me they look out that window and they see his star
The Choirboy’s sister

“You would not put your family through that, you would not put a dead person’s name through that, you would not put yourself through that,” she says. “Because the emotional toll that would take on you for the rest of your life, knowing that people now know your circumstances, what’s happened to you in your personal life – you wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t true.
“I believe 100% in my heart what this young fella has come out and said, the allegations that he has made, I 100% support and believe that they are true, because the effects of coming out, they are devastating.”
Mary thinks it all falls into place – why her son so suddenly lost all interest in the singing he had loved. Why a cherubic choirboy turned into a taciturn drug user at the age of just 14. Why he never managed to kick the habit.
“These people,” she says, referring to abusive clergy, “destroy lives.”
Her daughter nods in agreement. “These people are supposedly someone you look up to. It’s not right, not right at all,” the daughter says.
Mary’s daughter says she is overwhelmed by the courage The Kid showed in complaining about such a powerful member of the church and society.
“It’s not going to bring my brother back,” she says, emotionally, “but it will help the many people that are out there suffering. Because it’s so brave – it’s a really brave thing to do.”
“And I like to think in my heart,” Mary says, “this is what [my son] would say too: ‘This was a friend of mine.’”
“Absolutely,” her daughter adds, “he would absolutely want to help.”
The Choirboy’s sister becomes tearful as she speaks of the impact that her brother’s life and his loss has had on her three young children.
“My youngest will never meet his uncle. The two older ones remember their uncle and every night they tell me that they look out that window and they see his star.”
Her mother swallows, her eyes filling, as the daughter continues.
“They should be able to hold him, and to hug him.”

“I shouldn’t have lost my son like that,” Mary says, “and nobody else should either. And it’s wrong.” Her lip quivers. “This is something I live with now. This is something that kills me a little bit every day. And it kills me.”
Epilogue
On the day this book was published, the Victorian office of public prosecutions sent the Pell brief back to Victoria police and said Taskforce SANO was free to charge Cardinal George Pell if it wished. Six weeks later, on 29 June 2017, Pell was charged with historical child sexual offences. On December 11 he was convicted on all five counts.
• This is an edited extract from Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell by Louise Milligan (Melbourne University Publishing, available as an ebook and in bookshops now)

PELL BEING INTERVIEWED BY AUSTRALIAN POLICE IN ROME.

173 thoughts on “THE SAD, SAD STORIES OF GEORGE PELL’S VICTIMS

  1. Sorry for their pain. But the Pell stuff is bollocks. All imagine, concocted, and politicized. He will be out of jail when his appeal is heard. There is nothing in this. All conflated, imagined, blown up.

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    1. The jury had heard evidence from 20 other prosecution witnesses.

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      1. Well, they couldn’t have been witnesses in this particular case, as there were no witnesses, rather plenty of people who confirm that there was no indication whatsoever that anything untoward had occurred in the sacristy.

        Like

      2. The jury, who heard all the facts, believed the story.

        Like

    2. Why are you sorry for their pain?
      According to you there was no pain!

      Like

    3. @ 11.04
      Why has the testimony of the one and only witness not been allowed to be printed? In Pat’s extract we hear from one dead boy’s mother and sister but we do not hear the one accuser’s story or court testimony. Why?
      Is it usual for choirboys to steal and drink communion wine? – which is what they were supposedly doing when caught by Cardinal Pell.

      Like

      1. It was probably all laid out for them…preplanned

        Like

      2. We don’t hear from them but from Louise Milligan, whose writing on Pell has been much criticized.

        Like

    4. 11:04
      Can you prove any of what you said? Even just one of your statements? For example, that the abuse was imagined?
      Hmm? Have you met Pell’s victim? Gotten inside his head?
      Or do you just have a big, fat, loose mouth that can’t help spouting sewage?
      Hmm?😆

      Like

    5. 11:04
      Your sorrow sounds deeply hollow with a mighty amount of insincerity. Sorrow, had to say it! 😢

      Like

    6. @ 11.04
      It would educate a few on here to read today’s Lifesite article setting out not a few glaring impropabilities which render this verdict ” unreasonable.”
      Inform yourselves before commenting.

      Like

      1. Educate yourself by reading from a number of sources other than just Lifesite.

        Like

  2. 10/12 jurors voted to acquit him

    Like

    1. @ 3.57
      I have. But have you?

      Like

  3. Has anyone realised yet that the two choirboys in question were actually Anglican!! What where they doing in a Catholic Cathedral? This stinks and I’m glad this is going to appeal because there is more to this that hasn’t even been reported about these two boys.

    Like

    1. The two choiristers attended a prestigious Catholic school, St Kevin’s. They gained admittance there as students because of their singing ability.
      So why wouldn’t they have been in the cathedral that day?
      THEY WERE CHOIRISTERS. (Duh!😩)

      Like

      1. Wrong, they were not choirsters, they were choristers.

        Like

    2. Mommie Dearest, as the poster @ 6:10 has kindly pointed out, you misspelled ‘chorister’.
      Dearest, you know I adore you, but even though you love to act as my secretary, that was the last time I’ll dictate my posts to you.😆

      Like

      1. Magna Carta's Mum 1st Mar 2019 — 6:52 pm

        Magna darling, don’t be silly. Anyway mummy has been looking into Anglicanism and I can tell you with authority that it’s quirister.

        Like

  4. As I made perfectly clear on a previous blog, it is my opinion that Pell is a predatory paedophile. The coward sexually abused defenceless little boys. And he should burn in Hell for it, since the fst, blubbery pervert has not admitted his guilt.

    Like

  5. The story as outlined is horrendous. Just horrendous. It is beyond comprehension that a man of Pell’s position could so boldly carry out these abuses. It is a hugely damaging blow to an already battered Church. Nothing I can say apart from condemning the crime and perpetrator, will do anything to undo the deep hurt inflicted on these men. It shames me greatly that another mighty one has fallen to the ground not for his service to God’s people but for the grave criminal act of abuse. I know Pell is to make an appeal, so the outcome of that will determine any further judgment..For now the story is not reading in favour of Pell. Ìt is a most regrettable crime, unforgivable almost and we can pray and hope vuctins/survivors receive justice, care, truth and support.

    Like

  6. Louise Milligan is not to be trusted.

    Like

    1. 3:11
      Why do you say so?

      Like

    2. 3:11

      Are you to be trusted?

      (Just askin’, like.😆)

      Like

  7. There are Amazon customer reviews of “Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell” if you scroll down the following link.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cardinal-Rise-Fall-George-Pell-ebook/dp/B071VRGJC4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1551426204&sr=8-1&keywords=Cardinal%3A+The+Rise+and+Fall+of+George+Pell

    Like

  8. Mary’s account sounds credible to me. She’s is absolutely right in saying, abusive clergy, ‘ destroy lives’. Cardinal Pell’s body language speaks for itself, ultra defensive and he has to resort to gaslighting ! ”What’s new,” eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @ 8.15
      Mary is genuinely telling of her son going off the rails.
      The reason for that we don’t really know.
      I’m sure this other man giving her a reason felt like an answer to her.

      Like

  9. Cardinal argues ‘irregularity’ in sexual abuse conviction. Sounds like he’s now trying to get off on a technicality, Bp Pat.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-47411100

    Like

  10. Ah sure don’t worry Pat Frank is going to sort all this out and make everything right. Isn’t he going to defrock all abusers and cut off financial aid to them, in addition he’s going to compensate the victims and their families and do a year in sackcloth and ashes in the slums of Buenos Aires in order to atone for the sins of his clerics.

    Like

    1. You can spot the ex Priests and Seminarians on this blog a mile away. Axes to grind and massive chips on their shoulders. Why do they make it so obvious?

      Like

      1. 9:33 Why do you try to defend the indefensible?

        Like

      2. 9:33
        Maybe you hold a bit of a chip of your own.
        Trying to deflect from today’s topic re Cardinal Pell is understandable. Another one bites the dust! 😭

        Like

      3. Fly on Th Wall 1st Mar 2019 — 8:11 pm

        9.33 Course ya can A leopard cant change spots or a zebra its stripes. Some folk in and out of the kooky kollar klub have more chips than Blackpool Pier on a warm summer day, hi. Suffering is the sad thing and it cant go on so

        Like

      4. MournemanMichael 2nd Mar 2019 — 1:58 am

        So what’s the problem? Maybe from their informed perspective they do have valid points to make. And I include myself, as an ex seminariam, among that cohort.
        MMM

        Like

    2. 9:33
      I had to balance the chip on my shoulder by placing another on the other shoulder. Otherwise I walked lopsidedly.😰 Kept turning in circles.😲
      Anyone seen my grinded axe?
      I’vea few heads to lop off here.😈
      😆

      Like

      1. Hello Fly, hi; the kooky kollar klub have bin the cause of a lot of the suffering fly, and begorra fly, I think yer on to sometin, fly,hi ; it can’t go on, hi fly, cos the kooky kollar klub are choking themselves fly.
        I’m out for a smoke.
        Bye fly. 👍😇 🌱

        Like

  11. The Church I now belong to is unthreading piece by piece. The result will be threadbare for all to see the institution for its abuse, corruption and malfeasance. There will be no hiding places for the secreting away of abuse or for those who covered up. The shepherds have lost their authority, shamed publicly and are like men in a very dry desert. Perhaps in this desert they and I will have the true metanoia which Jesus wants. It will require huge honesty, humility, transparency, a real sharing of ministries among all without exception. We as a Church – its leaders and personnel – must now let go of any semblance of “power status” and refind the true, life giving Spirit of Christ and begin anew. I know this struggle for my lufe now and it is in the present climate not a nice place to be. I am not in a self pity mode because I believe all survivors must take precedence over my concerns. I hope and pray we can do both together – be truly compassionate to survivors, whatever it takes and be truly renewed as clerics.

    Like

    1. Surel you mean be renewed as Christians and servants. The cleric thing is over.

      Like

      1. 9.37: If the cleric thing is over, why are you still dresding up like a medieval queen playing God?

        Like

      2. So says the bishop, lol.

        Like

    2. 9:35 That’s prophetic! Great post. Amen.

      Like

  12. An equal amount of people are coming forward to state that all the alleged abuse could not have happened the way it was reported to have happened! Most are ex-choir members and staff etc. It is a massive issue. I firmly believe that Pell got close to the truth of the Vatican Bank and all internationally associated with it. ‘They’ were glad to see him go down – destroy his credibility (make him criminal) – anything he says after this will be considered dubious, malicious and the word of a ‘sick man’! We are witnesses to a bigger thing happening right under our noses!

    Like

    1. @ 9.54
      Pell was doing too good a job. You are not supposed to clean up Vatican finances, you are supposed to PRETEND to. He didn’t get the memo.

      Like

      1. I wonder who is paying Pell’s legal fees? Who paid for his recent double knee replacement?

        Like

      2. 11:21 How do you know it’s not a case of and\both and not just either\or?

        Like

    2. You’re a self-convinced fool, 9:54.
      Even if there were such a conspiracy, Pell’s enemies didn’t nobble the jury. Have you forgotten that the first trial for these crimes collapsed because of a divided jury? (10 to 2…in favour of Pell)
      I wondered how long it would take for the conspiracy theorists to emerge.😨

      Like

  13. 9:54
    Tell us the trail from the Vatican bank to the young man dead? Come on , connect the dots, other than putting out the conspiracy theory.

    Like

    1. More like the other way round, from the dead young man to the Vatican bank, to avoid law catching up on him.

      Like

      1. @ 11.18
        What about the female accuser of Francis’s close Argentinian buddy, Vera, being found dead the other day in very suspicious circumstances just a fortnight before she was meant to give court evidence against Vera.
        Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

        Like

    2. @ 10.00
      The deceased in question NEVER claimed to have been assaulted by Cardinal Pell or anyone else. In fact, he specifically denied being abused to his mother on repeat occasions.
      No dots necessary in that case.

      Like

      1. 11:25
        Why would a Prince of the Church, of supposed impeccable integrity instruct his legal team or follow the instruction of his legal team and claim ‘vanilla sex’ only occurred? Does that make sense? 😴

        Like

      2. Can you think of another reason the man didn’t admit to his being abused by Pell? One that doesn’t fit your pet and prejudiced theory?
        HE WAS ASHAMED. BROKEN.

        Like

    3. Sherlock Holmes@ 9:54; tell us more!
      Wasn’t this old conspiracy theory put out about the death of Pope John Paul 1 in 1978, or am I mistaken?
      Tis ‘ a handy one to fall back on isn’t it. 😯

      Like

  14. Bp Pat, it is hard to imagine the police authorities in Australia releasing Pell’s first police interview over 1996 sexual abuse allegations unless they thought his recent conviction was safe.

    Like

    1. @ 11.11
      Have you read up on this case at all?
      Australian police specifically trawled for people to make accusations against Pell.
      Previous to that he was accused of all sorts of stuff including satanism.
      The one and only accuser had previously made allegations against another priest.
      This case is not mccarrick.

      Like

  15. To be honest I believe that the honest way forward for existing priests is for them to resign enmass.
    Stand up for us laity who have been supporting you all throughout our lifetimes.
    Come on…grow some!!!!!!!

    Like

    1. 11:20
      That would be such a prophetic challenging act, even the threat en masse in an newspaper article, signed by priests strong enough and brave enough and bold enough to do so. What kind of message would such a stance signal to everyone?

      Like

      1. You resign from your job on Monday first (if you have a job, though unlikely) and report back on the impact.

        Like

  16. 11.23: Very hypocritical of you Pat to ask such questions. Who pays for your house: You don’t. The Diocese of Down and Connor pays. Who pays for your medical bills? You do but only because you receive donations from your “congregation”. Who pays for your car, your food, your holidays? Do you have secret funds somewhere? You wouldn’t have any of your material benefits if you didn’t receive offerings – MONEY – from others!!! Would you be free of your illness if you couldn’t pay for treatment and doctor’s visits? Where is your moral integrity re: money? Just wondering as you are such a hypocrite. Double standards. Wrongdoing re: money is only a Catholic sin in your mindset? Look at your own standards and living. Look honestly. You don’t look hungry to me nor are you living in a caravan or on the side of the road. Hypocrite.

    Like

    1. 12:01
      And there’s the rub!
      Mone.. money… money …! Consider the lillies….☺

      Like

    2. I think 12:01 is Elsie, the mention of a caravan gives her away.

      Like

    3. In loyal Larne we have the NHS so don’t have medical bills and GP consultations are free. Ulster is British. #NoSurrender

      Like

      1. MournemanMichael 3rd Mar 2019 — 1:59 pm

        Smithy: I’m always willing to learn. So I’d be greatly obliged if you could explain how Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan are British. Thank you.
        MMM

        Like

    4. 10:23pm
      Moral cowards….

      Like

  17. 11.20: Grow what???? The great wisdom, vision, plan, renewal you envisage? You are an empty headed plonker. Grow a pair yourself…..

    Like

    1. 12: 41- Keep your hair on….

      Like

    2. Don’t we just wonder what clergy man would call out a parishioner ‘ empty headed plonker ‘
      Would you actually say that?
      I only type words that I could say to another person.

      Like

      1. 2:51
        Pity more weren’t like you.

        Like

    3. Btw 12.41
      I don’t want a renewal, not anymore.
      I prefer to live in gods guidance and my moral conscience.

      Like

      1. 12:41& 2:54
        Walk in the Spirit. There’s your daily source of renewal. 😇

        Like

  18. The article as presented for today is riddled with he said, she said, he said narrative. It’s very difficult to understand or to know where the truth is in this story. Very easy to make false allegations and miscarriages of justice do happen. We are all speculating, embellishing and distorting this story without the full facts. There are many improbables in this article.

    Like

    1. 12:44. The fact is Cardinal Pell was found guilty by a jury who heard all of the facts in the case.

      Like

      1. @ 2.39
        No. The one and only accuser did not personally testify.
        When he did previously it was 10/2 for Pell.
        Plus a great history of animosity whipped up against Pell and Catholic Church. Could an independent jury be found?

        Like

    2. 12:44
      And as many more possibilities.

      Like

  19. 11.29
    Who is Vera?

    Like

    1. 1:46
      Google Pope Francis Gustavo Vera . See Dr. Taylor Marshall video post.

      Like

  20. 11.23: Pat, what’s the relevance of your questions about who paid for Pell’s knee replacements? A very strange question. Who pays for your way of life? I’m sure the money isn’t free falling from heaven! I just can’t comprehend your hypocrisy. You have a blind spot on your own failings – very definitely.

    Like

    1. I am wondering what church monies Pell is getting.

      I pay for my life by receiving payments I receive for my services and in other work and activities I have.

      I am not covered by that Commandment of the chuch which obliges the “faithful” to support their bastors 😃

      Like

      1. A call went out to Catholics to help pay Pell’s legal costs. Catholics should be aware of this, that they are being asked to support a convicted paedophile.
        If you or I were in the dock for such crimes, would the Christ-betrayers ask Catholics to financially contribute to our legal bills? Like hell they would!
        This call to help Pell is another, glaring example of clericalism and of how these Christ-betrayers believe themselves to be special, above and beyond lay folk.😆

        Like

      2. 3.13: What work or services are you talking about, you bastor! Isn’t your work that of officiating spiritually at baptisms, weddings and funerals andcsayingnmasses at which your attendees give a donation… etc…..only God knows! What’s the difference between that and what other priests do in their lives? You just don’t get it, Pat! YOU ARE AS BEHOLDEN TO OTHERS LIKE YOUR CATHOLIC COLLEAGUES AND AS DEPENDENT ON THE KINDNESS OF OTHERS FOR YOUR LIVING. Let’s not be spinning a story to make you outcast some kind of heroic, virtuous man when you ARE AS materially dependent on others ( i.e. your Down and Conor House) as Catholic and other clergy are. What is the “other” work as distinct from “services”? Truth please.

        Like

      3. Pat at 2.13: We’re wondering what monies you are getting. I’m beginning to think you are being very economical with the truth about your finances. Does the Revenue know about your other work, as you describe it? Just asking……Your flock may not be obliged to support you but I bet you don’t refuse their donations. You are being very hypicritucal and dusingenuous, totally. And when you were in the Catholic presbyterate, you took everything materially and financially that was given. I have no problem with that but don’t becsuch a hypocrite about your present financial dependency in others. You’re both in a hayshed?

        Like

      4. For instance, I worked for the News of the World for 11 years and earned a salary on which I paid tax. I also worked for a large UK company and advised on personnel matters. How many other priests do that?

        Like

      5. The word is hypocritical.

        Like

      6. The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has been running ads in its news publication, the Catholic Weekly, seeking donations to fund Cardinal George Pell’s legal costs…
        https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/09/sydney-archdiocese-runs-ads-seeking-donations-for-cardinal-george-pells-legal-fees

        Like

    2. Yes, 4:40. And this fund is being advertised around the world.
      The involvement of Sydney archdiocese in the matter is not only shocking; it is morally obscene, and a clear signal to abuse victims that, even now, the institutional Roman Catholic Church is putting the interests of paedophile clerics, like Pell, above those of abused or endangered children.
      The lousy excuse given for this involvement by the archdiocese before Pell’s conviction was that he was entitled to a presumption of innocence. However, Pell is now a convicted paedophile, yet the archdiocese remains involved with this fund.
      People who cannot see clericalism expressed here in the disgraceful partiality of Sydney archdiocese are either stupid, or wilfully blind.
      As I asked earlier today, would these Christ-betrayers involve themselves in fund-raising for a lay Catholic if he faced such charges?

      Like

      1. Many commentators on other blogs and newspaper reports ludicrously maintain he is still “innocent until proven guilty,” with one even insisting he is a viable candidate to succeed Pope Francis.

        Like

      2. He probably is a good candidate for the RC papacy

        Like

  21. Pat I am Sad, Cafe Bum Bum has closed because of u.

    Like

    1. 3:42
      We…We…We’re wondering? The clerical composite of lolli Josie, Crack Bat, Kerry eye & co.;…et al!
      Mayenooth brigade or wha? 😜🔥😲 Just wonderin’like 😆

      Like

    2. 3:26
      Thank God.

      Like

    3. 7:57;
      What planet do they inhabit?

      Like

  22. 3.05: Up your a**e again Magna. You vile, hating creep.

    Like

    1. Why, thank ee!😅
      If I’m drawing opprobrium from the Christ-betrayers, then I know that the Light is behind me, and exposing you lot.😆

      Like

  23. Magna, you are a source of knowledge.
    Thank you.

    Like

    1. No. Thank you.☺

      Like

  24. Pope Francis had better be on his arthritic kness, day and daily, beseeching Heaven (if he as head Christ-betrayer can find the place) that Pell’s conviction may not be overturned on appeal.

    If it is, Francis will be obliged to welcome Pell back as innocent when very, very many (including me) believe Pell guilty as charged. If Francis does embrace this convicted pervert, his actions wil drivel a very big wedge in the Church, splitting it almost in two.

    Like

    1. Pell won’t be welcomed back even if his appeal is successful.
      In fact, the Church trial could conclude that the allegations against him (ALL of them – not just these Melbourne accusations) are credible, that they have the semblance of truth.
      In which case, he will be dismissed from the clerical state just like “Uncle Teddy” McCarrick.

      Like

      1. 5:22
        Whose next?

        Like

      2. A good point. But I think you are being unrealistic. A canonical court would naturally be swayed, in some degree or other, by the outcome of a civil appeal. How could it be any other way, since the outcome (whatever its substance) could not reasonably be ignored.
        If this outcome favours Pell, it would, at best, be impolitic and, at worst, downright unjust for a canonical court to ignore the finding, since it would constitute evidence that a civil court found no semblance of truth in the allegations.

        Like

      3. Many priests found innocent in a criminal court have later being found guilty in a church court.

        Like

    2. Have they?

      Like

  25. 3:27
    You’re a right little charmer,now,aren’t you! Are you a Priest? If so, you’re giving your colleagues a bad name.😡
    You’re pell-melled and have to resort to abuse.😊😈😇

    Like

    1. The disgruntled Magwa gobshite opens his (arse) sorry mouth again. It’s Magna in disguise. Different name but same aim – got kicked out the door of the Seminary – spoiled Seminarian with axe to grind. That big chip on the shoulder gets bigger each day – doesn’t it?

      Like

      1. 5:25
        Another cage rattled! Caged clerics, wha! Bet he’s ….👼Mayenooth ! 😆

        Like

      2. 5:25 & 5:46
        Another cage rattled….with a mighty dose of psychological projection….wha’
        Mayenooth brigade… or wha’ ? 👼Hey pals, unlike youse , I don’t do abuse! 🙏

        Like

    2. Magwa – 4.11: Glad you agree I’m a right little charmer. Just like you…Abuse is your middle name. You are a master class act of a clown. 🤗🤗🤗😆😆😆😁😁🥒🍆

      Like

  26. I did not read all the coverage yesterday but, apparently, his defence said he couldn’t do it because, for example, the wine is always locked in a cupboard, or it would be impossible for an erect penis to escape from his robes! It just sounds likes excuses to me.

    Like

  27. If there were a tear in the alb, Pell’s gorged member could have been exposed. That there was a tear in the alb, made deliberately or otherwise, is a distinct possibility. It would explain the remark by Pell’s victim that Pell had ‘parted’ his alb.
    I do not accept the defendant’s argument that the alb was impossible to part.
    And to argue that the communion wine is ‘always’ kept locked in a cupboard is not credible, since it doesn’t allow for the posdibility of human error: in this case, that someone simply forgot to lock the cupboard.

    Like

    1. But the alb was examined by the jury, I think.

      Like

  28. Magwa/Magna: 4.11: You are the same person. The reject. 3.27 is absolutely spot on. All the personae of Magwa/Magna are twisted, poisonous and vile. Abuse at its worse. Whoever you are, you are poisonous, odious creeps.

    Like

    1. 5:43
      Ah….ha..ha..ha…LoL 😂 Another rattled cage! They’re are a hoot! And legion. 👿

      Like

    2. No, 5:43. Magna and Magwa are not one person. I don’t know who Magwa is, and vice-versa.
      But if it suits your desperate imagination to think otherwise, indulge it.
      But you are wrrrrroooooong.😆

      Like

      1. 6:16
        MC, they just a luv to fantasize! 😴😆

        Like

      2. 6.16: Yes you are the one, Magna/Magwa – we await the third person, not of the Holy Trinity but of the uglionis! (The ugly ones!).

        Like

    3. 5:43pm

      3:27 was probably you! Wha’ 👍😎😇

      Like

      1. 9:06-
        Did you look in the mirror lately?

        Like

    4. 5:43:
      More group think and projection.😭

      Like

  29. Just Saying.... 1st Mar 2019 — 6:47 pm

    I think we will all be having to row back a bit when Pell’s appeal happens, and I believe will be granted. There is just so much about this case that is questionable. Media. Animosity to Pell. Other agendas. Conviction on testimony of one person without any corroborating evidence. The other deceased ‘victim’ saying on several occasions he had not been abused. All other accusations being thrown out or withdrawn because they just would not stand up to scrutiny. There is so much wrong with this cases. Yes, a jury has convicted him. But, that jury seems to have based its judgement on the testimony of one person, given persuasively. That is not ‘beyond reaonsable doubt’. That is being swayed by emotion. That’s not how the system of justice should work.
    So, I believe that we must let the process of justice take its course, and for this matter to go before appeal judges who will bring their experience, wisdom, objectivity and impartiality to the cases. And I believe they will come down on Pell’s side and he will be acquitted.
    In the meantime, I feel for the ‘victim’ and what he believes happened to him.
    I also feel for Pell who is now, at an advanced age in prison, for something, on balance, I do not believe he did.
    And, I know that many of you will scream and shout at me for taking this position. But, it seems to me that we cannot definitively close the door on this cases until it finally ends. And that will be the appeal judgement. Until then, be open to the fact that Pell may well – in my view is – innocent, and there has been a miscarriage of justice so far.

    Like

    1. If a conspiracy convicted him surely they will fix the appeal too????

      Like

      1. i didn’t say it was a conspiracy, just that there are too many aspect to it which don’t appear right. Including undue influence and other agendas being worked out in this case. I think appeal judges will cut through a lot of the emotion and media influencing, and get to the heart of the matter – the facts, of which there appear to be very little if any.

        Like

      2. 6.58: Pat, you are the cheerleader for the anti Catholic brigade and you will use any story, false or otherwise, to further your self righteous, nasty campaign against clerics. You just love to delight in the downfall of others. I suggest you carefully read the Gospel for this Sunday and allow it to challenge you. You have selectively chosen bits of this story to feed your vicious tirades against the Church. You don’t care about justice, just ugly, nasty soundbytes. There are so many aspects to this story that it begs honest questions. As of now there are miscarriages of ttruth.

        Like

    2. @ 6.47
      I agree. The Victoria police put ads in the newspapers asking people to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse at Melbourne Cathedral – before any allegations were made! Why? There was a long term sustained campaign against Catholicism and Cardinal Pell in Australia.
      When the sole accuser gave live testimony in the first trial it was 10/2 to Pell. In the second trial, where he was convicted, the accuser gave no evidence. The accuser was obviously less convincing in person.

      Like

      1. Just Saying... 1st Mar 2019 — 7:42 pm

        7:11

        It’s called ‘trawling’. Looking for complaints.

        I don’t go with the anti-catholicism theory. That’s the Church just being a bit too precious. I do go with the anti-Pell theory. He become a whipping boy for some reason.

        You are right. In the second trail, the ‘victim’ did not appear in person to give evidence. The evidence from his first trial was presented, in transcript form.

        Pell himself did not take the witness stand. That seems to have been a miscalculation.

        Just saying…

        Like

      2. 7:11
        There is nothing ‘obvious’ about the accuser’s demeanour at all. You are choosing to believe this (commonly called ‘prejudice’) precisely because it fits this bias.
        There could be many reasons for the divergence in outcomes of both trials, none of them even remotely concerned with Pell’s victim.

        Like

    3. 6:47

      You really don’t understand public consciousness on such matters as serious as this.

      I am absolutely convinced that George Pell sexually assualted those two boys, as well as others, though (as I’ve already stated here) I believe his conviction was legally unsafe (but not materially unreliable) because it depended too much on uncorroborated testimony. My position may seem convoluted, but, really, it isn’t, since day-to-day truth doesn’t normally depend on corroboration, but legally it must do so, to reduce as much as possible the risk of miscarriage of justice. The public does not require corroboration if it is persuaded of a person’s guilt by other factors. So even though the appeal court may grant Pell’s application on legal technicalities, it won’t alter the verdict in very many minds that Pell is, in fact, guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted. This matter, therefore, will not definitively end (certainly not for Pell), whatever the appeal court’s decision; and it would be extremely naive to think otherwise.

      Unless you were present at Pell’s trial, your statement that the jury (all twelve of them, no less) were swayed by emotion is implausible conjecture. And your statement that the victim only ‘believed’ that he was sexually assualted rather than his actually being sexually assualted is patronising to the point of utter disbelief and offensiveness.

      No one is ‘screaming and shouting’ at you for your points of view. But if this was an attempt by you to pre-empt criticism of those views, it was a rather short-sighted one.😆

      Like

      1. Magna at 8.05: You of all people cannit be trusted to give an objective assessment. Your hatred for the Church and its personnel gets in the way of TRUTH. You judge, condemn and convict all clerics on flimsy evidence. This particular case raises many serious questions: A hostile anti Church media, Pell’s adversaries, the lack of properly corroborated evidence. You, Magna, are just thrilled to witness someone like Pell be condemned. You don’t really care about justice for the abused. I believe we have much more TRUTH to hear before we can conclusively say that Pell is guilty. I do not believe on the many uncontested hearsay narratives that he is an abuser. You, Magna, should practice truth and justice.

        Like

      2. @ 8.05
        Because of cathedral renovations it was proven Pell only said Mass on 2 Sundays, both in December when there were Christmas practices for the choir immediately after Mass. On one of those two Sundays it is definite that he met with visitors immediately after Mass. That is without all the other factors making this alleged assault extremely improbable. The second attack was alleged to have taken place about a month later, and when it was obvious this wasn’t possible then they changed it to February. This assault was meant to have consisted of Pell lunging forward to the boy in the corridor with everyone else there and grabbing his privates. Yet no choirboy or adult saw anything.
        This person also made accusations against another priest.
        This is not mccarrick. Something not right here.

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      3. MournemanMichael 2nd Mar 2019 — 1:54 am

        Thanks Magna for a succinct analysis of key points.
        MMM

        Like

      4. So you admit the trial was legally unsafe but still follow your gut instinct that he must have abused. That’s the same level of prejudice that got the B’ham 6 in jail and the disgusting backslapping in the mutual admiration society you have formed with two other anonymuses stinks.

        Like

    4. 7:42

      ‘Trawling’ is a legitimate police exercise in cases of sexual abuse of minors, because abusers usually have a history of such crimes. If others come forward alleging abuse by the same person, it strengthens the possibility of a court conviction.

      Victoria police were absolutely correct to request that others allegedly abused by Pell come forward.

      Like

      1. 8:25 Spot on, Magna.

        Like

      2. @ 8.25
        And ONE came forward – with very, very dodgy testimony!
        The sort of risk taking behaviour that forces two boys to perform oral sex in an open doored room where the likelihood is that someone else WILL walk in would suggest this having been done more than once. Why did the trawl only throw up this ONE accuser ( who also has a history of allegations against another priest).

        Like

      3. Victoria police “trawled” but failed to find any other complainants. That should be a point in the accused’s favour.

        Like

    5. 8:25

      Your own ability to determine truth is not above question, since I have never declared hatred of the Church, but of the institutional Church. If you can’t distinquish between the two on your own, then there is little point in my trying to assist you.

      Every single Roman Catholic priest, upon his ordination, vowed to serve not Christ, but a mitred Christ-betrayer. This, for me, is sufficient evidence that none of these men is committed to Christ, however much and strongly he might protest otherwise. And this is borne out, for example in Ireland, at the troubling public silence by the vast majority of these priests on foot of, say, episcopal malfeasance.

      Like

      1. Magna Carta, you are one of the most doctrinaire demonizers of clergy I have ever come across. Maybe that is not “hatred of the church” as you piously protest, but it certainly undermines any objectivity in your attitude in the Pell affair (just as a doctrinaire anitsemite would have no credibility in the Dreyfus Affair, which has many parallels with this one).

        Like

    6. 8:57
      Thanks, KC.

      Like

    7. 8:09
      And what are your ‘honest questions’ about this case?

      Like

  30. Just Saying... 1st Mar 2019 — 7:00 pm

    God help any of us who are involved in professions, ministries, vocations, jobs, where the word of one person without any corroborating evidence is enough to get you convicted. Your word against the accusers. We are in the age of victimhood, and presenting oneself as a victim nowadays has sufficient value and credibility to overcome almost any other factor and is overwhelmingly persuasive. We will believe you, whatever you say, is what you hear the Church, politicians, society saying to victims. That is very dangerous, not just for victims who will not be getting justice if someone innocent is trashed, but more so for our legal rights and protections. It leaves pretty much anyone open to accusation and wrongful conviction.

    When I hear the Church say that an accusation has been found to be credible and therefore can be acted on, what I believe is being said in so many cases is that we believe what the victim is saying without any questions, simply because the victim has claimed it. I don’t think there is any proper investigation done in to the facts, which I recognise is difficult after the passage of years. But, on the basis of this willingness to believe victims come what may we are in danger of doing great harm to innocent people. All in order to appear to be on the side of the victim. Which we are, especially if they have truly been abused. But not at the cost of trashing natural justice. Surely ?

    Just saying the above, will I know, draw all sorts of indignation and abusive comments. I doubt if there will be a rational and objective debate about this. But that is the idiotic position we have got ourselves in. I’m sure I will be called an abuser or abuse facilitator simply by expressing a caution about the prevailing culture of victimhood.

    Like

    1. 7:00

      If my niece or nephew came to me, greatly distressed and claiming that he or she had just been raped, would I believe either, or would I insist on corroboration? You really do have a blind spot where determination of truth is concerned.

      Corroboration is not always necessary if other factors can verify the truth spoken. But certain minds can set the bar of truth determination counter-productively high. You remind me of the apostle Thomas, who woudn’t be convinced of the truth of Jesus’ ressurrection until…Well, you know the rest.

      Sometimes, the only barrier to revelation of truth is people’s wilful refusal to behold it.😕

      Like

      1. @ 8.19
        Wise up!
        Christine Blasey Ford and all the nonsense that went on with that!!!!

        Like

      2. MournemanMichael 2nd Mar 2019 — 2:45 am

        Apt analogy in the circumstances Magna. But then we get into the standards of “proof” required for a “beyond reasonable doubt” conviction of a criminal court.
        Begs the question of whether the level of evidence of a civil prosecution should suffice: ie, “on the balance of probability.”
        MMM

        Like

      3. If the person came with the complaint 20 years later you might not lend it such unconditional credulity, though.

        Like

    2. MournemanMichael 2nd Mar 2019 — 1:31 am

      Just S.
      I acknowledge your disquiet. But it’s not as straight forward as one’s word against anothers. There’s much more supportive evidential considerations. Can I suggest you read my most recent comment to +Pat’s blog on some of the issues and additional factors which a jury, properly informed by competent professionals will have to consider.
      MMM

      Like

      1. MMM you keep referring to alleged supportive evidence, but you give no idea of what it could have been. The journalists who sat in on the two trials do not mention it.

        Like

    3. Well said, “Just Saying…” at 7 pm. This is what is so terrifying about this witch hunt — when it spreads properly to schools it will become very difficult to find anyone who wants to be a teacher.

      Like

      1. 3:40 Silly, drama queen alarmist.

        Like

      2. the crackdown is now spreading from the ranks of the clergy and Hollywood to the Mother of Parliaments, just when you thought they couldn’t be further disgraced…
        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/westminster-child-sex-abuse-paedophile-ring-inquiry-cyril-smith-a8803936.html
        Why did the Guardian not run this story? A cover-up?

        Like

  31. 7.00: Just Saying, you make a very valuable and worthwhile comment. In discussion with teachers and other professionals recently at a seminar on child protection, this issue and question arose. I know of clerics and teachers who were completely exonerated by the courts but those in authority continued to believe “there must be something there” which is outrageous and a travesty of justice. The accusers were believed from the very beginning and the mantra that we must believe the accusers story without a hint of doubt has led to many in caring professions to be terrified at times. False accusations happen and we know that there are miscarriages of justice. Those who are horribly abused must be treated with respect, compassion and justice but we are now in a climate where anyone in a caring profession can be falsely accused. The damage to such people is horrendous. We need to be very balanced, careful, truthful and just in all accusations of abuse. You are right – we’ll be hung by the lynch mob led by Magna/ Magwa or whatever ‘it’ calls itself!

    Like

    1. Yes, false accusations do occur, but so do truthful ones.
      Sensible people can usually distinquish between the two.

      Like

      1. Magna Carta's Mum 1st Mar 2019 — 9:23 pm

        Magna darling, has mummy not told you, frequently and with clear examples, that sensible people are very rare in this world? Listen to mummy, darling, and you won’t be disappointed when people are not sensible.

        Like

    2. Yes, Mommie Dearest, you did.
      But didn’t you add that they were all among the clergy, and this explained the listng of Peter’s barque?😆

      Like

    3. 8:01
      Now, would I be part of a lynch mob? Never.😇 The ‘ there must be something there ‘, is the, ‘no smoke without fire mentality’ , part of human nature. That goes for anyone a false allegation is made against. What about the mantra
      ‘father couldn’t do’ ? Bishops covering up for deviant clerics is a major part of the’ kooky kollar klub’s mess. 😈
      Do you condone the abuse from your maynooth composite colleagues on this blog this evening? 😭🙏😯
      The word ‘it’ is to objectify, to dehumanise, and I, like you, am a person and not an object. 😡
      Its part of the problem, to forget, we’re all Gods children.😇

      Like

      1. 10.36: Magwa/Magna/It – change your language, then we might believe you are two distinct persons. The similarity of prose is not coincidental. It comes from the same mind. Indisputably.

        Like

    4. MournemanMichael 2nd Mar 2019 — 3:39 am

      There is sense and truth in what you say Anon @ 8:01.
      I say this having worked in child protection, initially in the early 1970’s investigating abuse allegations, but also with considerable involvement subsequently in obtaining care placements for children from abusive backgrounds before moving into supervision and management. This was back in the 1970’s/’80’s, when male social workers were every day involved in the caring, interviewing and transporting children of both sexes, some of which were very damaged by abusive parents/carers. I acknowledge, now, that some of those I earlier dealt with, if of a mind to and “prompted” [from financial considerations or just to hit back at me for some of the tough care decisions I had to make like removing children from incapable 15 yr olds] could now make all kinds of allegations in respect of the time when I was alone with them, eg moving them between foster parents or childrens homes.
      My own conscience is absolutely clear, but I well recognise the current precarious position of those involved in caring for abused children. It’s a minefield of conflicting personal, professional and resource determined demands. I would not wish to be back in the current care system, even for double the money.
      Frankly I’m glad I’m very long retired and ‘escaped’ from the multitude of pressures and contradictions of child protection in the resources starved public sector. You’re “damned if you do” and “damned if you don’t”, and whichever way, the Daily Mail informed public will always need a simplistic ‘fall guy’ to blame when things go wrong.

      Like

      1. 3:39am
        Great post, MMM!
        Well said.
        Says it all, man. 👍

        Like

      2. 12:22am
        Clerical infallibility or wha’ ?😆

        Like

  32. This is the same man who announced and launched the Melbourne Response – a scheme to handle claims of child sexual abuse. And yet the man who gives himself all the credit for launching the scheme is a pedophile.
    Another extreme example of hypocrisy in the Catholic Church.

    Like

    1. Yes, Pell, like some of those commenting here, would cynically set the bar of truth determination so high it was impossible to gain his cooperation. He wanted courtroom-standard evidence, which, of course, in very many cases of sexual assualt (especially of minors) is impossible to provide.

      Pell is a hypocrite and a liar. I suspect that he also has psychopathic or sociopathic tendencies, given his obvious and disturbing lack of remorse and the chronicity of his apparent sexual offending against minors.

      Like

  33. 7:00
    J.S ; Victimhood is part of a cultural marxist political agenda currently sweeping across the Western World. Social Justice Warriors promote ‘victimhood’ for broader politically motivated reasons. That said, all kind of abusiveness among professions and professionals occurs far more frequently than most people realise. While the impression given to the public may be perceived as ‘ we will believe you’ by politicans, church etc, the reality is very different in practice. In practice, genuine victims of child sexual abuse are frequently retraumatized by seeking justice, accountability and by telling their story. Thousands of children have been sexually abused by clergy, a profound betrayal of trust, with massively damaging psychological, emotional, social, spiritual, etc, consequences for life. There’s a massive power imbalance or differential between professionals and the public. It’s greater again when it involves professional fraternities such as priests and medical doctors. How the Church dealt with allegations in the past was, as we all know, to cover up or move on or ‘gaslight’ victims. How allegations are currently dealt with is another matter. Cardinal Pell is damaged goods, whether or which at this stage.

    Like

  34. MournemanMichael 1st Mar 2019 — 10:42 pm

    Some considerations which strike me on reading comments above on Pell’s conviction
    1: Given his high profile it is probable that highly experienced/trained investigators have been involved, as child sexual abuse requires specific skill sets.
    2: Their discoveries will have focussed not only on the alleged abusive incident, but also on subsequent behavioural changes to the victim and evidence of those from all relevant significant individuals. The withdrawal behaviour as related here in Pat’s blog is compelling and fits a now professionally well recognised pattern: one that could not have been “manufactured ” by the young 13/14 year old complainant to then “sit on” for 20 years before disclosure.
    3: The jury of 12 were selected from 200+ summoned for service to ensure completely unbiased consideration of the evidence. Pell’s lawyers made no objection to those selected.
    4: Before going to trial, all evidence will have been subjected to scrutiny by police, and then the independent prosecution service as to whether in their view it sufficed as reasonable for conviction.
    5: I understand the victim’s evidence in court has not been reported as the press were excluded at that point in recognition of the extra stresses this can impose on victim. (Thankfully court’s are beginning to recognise potential trauma in a victim being forced to “relive” the abuse and often over obtrusive cross examination by defence barristers.
    6. The jury heard all relevant evidence and cross examination. Pell chose not to give evidence I understand, so couldn’t be questioned. I’m not impressed by this, or his demeanour before the police.
    So, for what it’s worth: in my opinion he’s guilty as charged.
    Some excellent points made already by Magna and especially by Kool Kat.
    This case highlights difficulties in the disparity of power and privilege between clerical abusers and victims and difficulties in prosecution of secretive abusive behaviour by a powerful elite.
    MMM

    Like

    1. 10:42
      MMM, succinct analysis. Spot on Man.

      Like

      1. I’m not impressed by that analysis at all.

        Like

    2. Thanks, MMM, for that professional analysis.
      From other posts by you I know that you worked in this area, so an authoratative perspective on this matter is greatly appreciated.

      Like

      1. 3:18
        Why not?

        Like

    3. @ 10.42
      Are you basing this on U.K.?
      The accuser did NOT give evidence AT ALL in the second trial.
      When he did in the first trial it was 10/2 to Pell.
      The pattern of the boy who died is not reliable as he DENIED being assaulted.
      In contrast, the man who accused Pell did not live a disturbed life in that way.
      Your comments on the strength of the evidence speaks for you!!

      Like

      1. MournemanMichael 3rd Mar 2019 — 1:50 am

        Anon@ 3:18: I can understand you not being impressed by “that analysis”.
        While others refer to it as an analysis, my comment referred to it as “some considerations.” So I do not analyse as I have no access to all relevant material. My intention was to indicate some considerations of which I’m aware from a relevant former professional perspective, albeit I fully recognise that to be now 20+ years out of date. Professional understanding in the interactional psychosomatic human dynamic inevitably moves on, while legislative considerations and public understanding plays catch-up.
        It’s unfortunately the present reality that too many of us are over influenced by regarding complex human issues as a 2+2=4 simplistic matter. That’s a denigration of complex issues into instant impact soundbite simplistic analysis.
        MMM

        Like

    4. As so often previously, MMM comments with sensible and reasonable observations.

      Like

      1. “Interactional psychosomatic human dynamic” — I call BS! Just witch-hunt fodder. And it generates simplistic schemas of its own, immediately converted into sound-bytes for the witch-hunters to chant.

        Like

  35. satan rules in this place!

    Like

    1. 11:03am
      What place?

      Like

  36. MournemanMichael 2nd Mar 2019 — 2:37 pm

    Writing today in the Belfast Telegraph, (available online in ‘Home. Opinion section), eminent lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC highlights some key abusive factors. The article’s title, which I paraphrase here, is telling:
    “Clerical Abuse is a Crime against Humanity by any Definition.”
    Robertson writes authoritatively as a former UN Appeals Court judge.
    If I was sufficiently computer savvy I would provide the link.
    MMM

    Like

    1. MMM, Robertson brought out a book in 2010 titled ‘ The Case of the Pope’ , a devastating indictment of the way the Vatican has run a secret legal system that shields paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world.Can be purchased on Amazon kindle for 6.99 pounds.

      Like

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