SYDNEY (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Catholic Weekly – Archdiocese of Sydney
April 22, 2020
By Monica Doumit
High Court decision was vital to more than one person
In light of the quashing of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell by a unanimous decision of the High Court of Australia, I was approached by a certain national broadcaster for an interview. They wanted me to provide some commentary on what the decision meant for Catholics in Australia.
The interview didn’t end up going ahead, but I still had the opportunity to reflect on the question. Without wanting to be rude, the conclusion I came to is that the final ruling of the High Court wasn’t nearly as significant for Catholics as I had expected.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Cardinal Pell. I am thrilled that the High Court saw what so many others did: that the allegations against him were simply implausible given the ample unchallenged evidence in his favour, that the judges wrote a decisive, joint decision that confirmed that a jury – acting rationally – ought to have doubted his guilt, and that they ordered his immediate release. And I am grateful he is now free.
But as I reflected on what the decision meant for Catholics in Australia, I don’t think it meant that much at all. Whatever the outcome of the case, the position of Catholics in Australia was always going to remain the same.
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