True Import of the Pell Case

By Monica Doumit
Catholic Weekly - Archdiocese of Sydney
April 22, 2020

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 didnít 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 wasnít nearly as significant for Catholics as I had expected.

Donít 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 Ė acting rationally Ė 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 donít 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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