April 21, 2020
By Joe Fletcher
A Furness cleric said he had been ‘proved right’ after senior Australian Catholic Cardinal George Pell had his conviction for sexually abusing two boys overturned by the High Court.
Rev Nick Donnelly, deacon of the Our Lady of Furness parish, which incorporates St Mary’s Church on Duke Street, Barrow, received hate mail and even a death threat over the issue.
“Twitter can be a hateful place,” said Rev Donnelly. “It was somebody posting in Ballarat (Victoria, Australia), who basically said if I showed my face in Ballarat I’d get my noggin smashed in.”
However, Rev Donnelly, who lives in Barrow, believes his support has been vindicated by the release of Cardinal Pell after more than 400 days in prison, with a bench of seven judges unanimously ruling in the cleric’s favour.
The cardinal’s original appeal, it was determined, had ‘failed to engage with the question of whether there remained a reasonable possibility that the offending had not taken place.’
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