The Cardinal, The Church and Legal Theatre: Historic Procedure in Melbourne Magistrates Court

Center for Research on Globalization

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark
Global Research, July 29, 2017

“The world is watching.” – Cathy Kezelman, Blue Knot Foundation president, The Washington Post, Jul 25, 2017

The show on Wednesday was grim, busy, crowded. Cardinal George Pell, the highest Vatican official thus far to be brought within the legal fold of accusation and accountability for historical crimes of sex abuse, fronted for the briefest of shows at a lowly Magistrates Court in Melbourne.

There was much chatter prior to his arrival on Wednesday morning as to what would happen. For one, a taster was provided that the number of police was simply not enough to contain matters. Ringed by the boys and girls in blue, he seemed in a floating daze, though officially committed to the task at hand.

The other point was that the media outlets seemed indifferent to the linguistic differences of “historic” and “historical” in terms of designating the alleged crimes. Would historical sex abuse charges become historic in due course?

A bigger court room, one that would have enabled more spectators to sit, was not in the offing. An ordinary magistrates setting seating up to 80 was going to supply distinct shock treatment, a cold shower of immensity far from the plushness of the Vatican setting. Some journalists grumbled that a more expansive setting should have been provided.

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