Cardinal George Pell committed to stand trial

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Cardinal George Pell is going to trial.  According to media reports, he will face multiple charges from multiple complainants.  Some of the more serious charges have been dropped,  but those were charges which were based on allegations from one complainant who died recently, and another complainant who is medically unfit to testify.  Here is the news as it comes from the courtcase, followed by a report from CNN.  The Guardian reports are as it happens and, at this time,  the most up-to-date:


Cardinal George Pell to stand trial over historical sexual offence charges – live

Australia’s most senior Catholic faces multiple charges. Follow all the developments live …

The Guardian

LIVE Updated



Pell to stand trial after significant day in court

Pell leaves court

There’s still a crowd outside the Melbourne magistrates court, comprising media, police, and protesters.

They are all still waiting for Pell to emerge from the court. We can expect more chaotic scenes when he does.

Melissa Davey

A woman is now screaming outside of the court “NO MORE SILENCE”.

While we take a breath, it’s worth re-reading this summary of the four-week committal hearing. Much of the evidence was heard in closed court, preventing media access, but the parts that were open were illuminating. Melissa Davey writes:

Pell sat each day in courtroom 22 on level five of Melbourne magistrates court in the same seat, head bowed, sometimes taking notes, always dressed in the same outfit; black pants, black shirt and a beige jacket. His friend and director of communications for the Archdiocese of Sydney, Katrina Lee, sat in the court with him most days, one row behind him, one seat to his left. Occasionally, Pell looked up at the witnesses. Apart from being softly asked the occasional question by Richter – who is a progressive atheist – or accepting well wishes from supporters before court began each day, Pell was largely silent.

Melissa Davey @MelissaLDavey

Pell very clearly stated he will plead “not guilty” to those charges he will stand trial on. Half of the charges have been thrown out including the most serious charges (the nature of which I can not report for legal reasons).


The committal hearing is now closed and court attendees broke into applause once Magistrate Belinda Wallington dismissed the court. He has been committed on multiple charges. More than half were thrown out.

The trial will first be heard on 2 May at 9am for a first directions hearing, which is purely to go over administrative matters. His plea has been entered as not guilty. The trial will go for many months.


Pell’s bail is being set and the court has heard he has agreed he will not leave the country. But Richter told Wallington “there may be an overseas visitor who comes and arrives who the cardinal may see”.



Robert Richter, QC, has told the court he wants it known that the most serious charges against Pell have been thrown out.

He has also indicated he may push for separate trials against Pell, given the nature of the remaining charges.




Magistrate concludes committal judgment

Pell again says he is ‘not guilty’









Pell will stand trial on multiple alleged offences

This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Bishops, Cardinal Pell, Scandal, Trials, Vatican and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Cardinal George Pell committed to stand trial

  1. Sylvia says:

    I’ve updated the Guardian live blog. The word now is that half the charges were thrown out, including the most serious of the charges. The latter are allegedly those of the deceased complainant and of the complainant who is medically unfit to testify.

    At this time, the number of the charges initially filed, and the number on which he is going to trial are unknown.

    As you see, he is back in court tomorrow “for a directions hearing on the remaining charges.” And, according the Guardian blog “directions hearings are generally administrative in nature. “

  2. Sylvia says:

    Here are two good articles to bring us up-to-date on what is happening:

    01 May 2018: “Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell faces historical sexual offences trial” & related article

    A number of charges have been tossed, one because of dates, and another, sadly, because, according to the judge, the complainant had “cavalier attitude” towards the court.

    There are, however, a number of charges going forward to trial.

    As I said elsewhere, please keep the complainants in your prayers.

  3. Amy McSween says:

    Well, I think this confirms that only men with psychosexual issues are allowed to advance in the hierarchy.

    I know now when I see an older priest in a small parish that he was passed over because there was no dirt to hold over him and he was very likely heterosexual, virile, and chaste in his early years and remains so.

    • Bob LeDrew says:

      Just to be clear: there is no link between homosexuality and pedophilia, and a man who abuses a male child is not a homosexual; he is a pedophile engaging in male-male sexual abuse. This site is helpful:

      • Sylvia says:

        You’d best be cautious in Canada in legal settings in the use of the word “paedophile.” Victims testifying at the Cornwall Public Inquiry were frequently castigated: if they said homosexual they were chastised because they should have said paedophile, and if they said paedophile they were chastised for not saying homosexual. On top of that in the past 30 years or so there has been a proliferation of “experts” with countless definitions (ie ephebophile, hebophile, pederast) which are often at odds with each other.

        Many many years ago I decided, for a variety of reasons, to refer to all those who sexually abuse children and youth as molesters.

        There are also, as we have seen, cases in which the molester is also engaging in same-sex relationships with adults, and cases in which the molester self-identifies as homosexual, and cases in which “experts” at treatment centres identify the molester as homosexual, and of course, cases in which Roman Catholic priests are engaging in homosexual relationships but are not molesting.

      • Amy McSween says:

        Actually, the term is sodomy, if you want to be specific. The term “homosexual” is a post enlightenment term, coined around the mid 1800s.
        The issue is always sin, and any use of the sexual function outside of marriage and not at least ordered to procreation, is sinful.
        We can go back to St. Peter Damian and St. Catherine of Sienna for the Church and our Lord’s opinion on the subject. We can also look at St Alphonsus to know that there is no venial sin when it comes to the sixth commandment.
        To deny that men and women religious, singles and the married cannot be chaste, is to deny that God provides grace…

        • Jean-Louis says:


          You quickly refer to this case as “confirmation” that priests with “psychosexual issues” advance in the hierarchy. Then you describe “normal” as “very likely heterosexual, virile, and chaste” (the ones who get passed over for promotions)…

          I take offense to your comments. I’m not sure where you’re from, but here in Canada, sexual orientation has been protected under the Canadian Human Rights Acts since 1996.

          As was clearly stated above by Sylvia and by Bob, the POINT is the difference between a CHILD MOLESTER and a homosexual man. A sex offender CAN be homosexual, but is not necessarily. Whether a child molester “identifies” as homo or heterosexual is irrelevant … sexually abusing a child is NOT a sexual orientation – it is a CRIME. No one talks about a rapist’s heterosexuality when a man rapes a woman – the issue is CONSENT, not the sexual orientation of the offender.

          Personally, I don’t care what the church says about sodomites, homosexuality, or graces. I just ask that you try not to distort the facts with red herrings like sexual orientation, chastity, or virility… since ALL are irrelevant to a molester.

          • Sylvia says:

            Sad to say Jean-Louis, the move has been afoot for many years to classify paedophilia as a sexual orientation. I have been trying to get people to pay heed to this fact for a number of years.

            Twelve years ago, just as the Cornwall Public Inquiry was getting off the ground, I blogged the following: “Paedophilia is a sexual orientation?”
            and : ” Pederasts are tuned in to Cornwall.

            Then, after hearing the testimony of Det. Sgt. Jeff Carroll, I blogged “Has it started already?” Carroll testified that he thought notorious Cornwall molester and ex priest Richard Hickerson was a pederast, not a paedophile, and that Hickerson had a a “particular sexual preference” and “sexual orientation”!!! The pederast vs paedophile business is getting into all of the hair-splitting over definitions and classifications, but, we’re back to this notion that sexually abusing children and youth is a sexual orientation.

            Then, in 2011, “I’m serious” . Unfortunately there are several articles referenced in the latter blog which have not yet been re-posted on, but I think there is enough info to get the idea of what is happening in the disturbing push to have paedophilia identified as a sexual orientation.

  4. Larry Green says:

    In”historic” sexual abuse cases, the use of the term”historic” is designed to obscure public perception of the real and present suffering to victims of this accused living pedophile by playing into a prevalent and cynical attitude (especially among Catholics) toward victims with regard to their motive and ability to recount truthfully or accurately details of these events. Very cunning and the deficiency in virtue from which the Catholic church has been conducting itself over the past number of decades is positively poisoning the entire world.

  5. Baspuits says:

    Goes to prouve how one moves up the ladder………..not how many kids you helped, it’s how many kids you hid from Justice!!!

  6. Larry Green says:

    The lawyers, over the course of decades defending paedophiles (especially Catholic priests) have crafted a method in which to increase public tolerance for behaviour that society has been conditioned to sense as abhorrent and repulsive, stimulating a reaction of rejection and intolerance. They attempt to achieve this benefit for their clients , not with an overt expression that paedophilia should be viewed by society with more tolerance simply on the grounds that they say so, but in a much more insidious manner they imply underhandedly, that society should be more tolerant based on societies present acceptance for a diversity of sexual “orientation.” They deliberately conflate the ‘reported’ definition of “orientation” with the “conceptual” definition of the same term. It is in fact, in the ‘reported’ sense of the term a sexual orientation. Any adult oriented toward a sexual attraction and erotic appetite for children/a child (Paedophile) is an abnormal and a potentially dangerous one. Any individual who’s sexual and erotic attraction is oriented toward dead bodies (necrophilia) is abnormal and potentially dangerous. When society, collectively, expresses through general public opinion and through legislation in accordance with the same, that sexual orientation is an equally acceptable, morally and legally, preference, it is not by virtue of “orientation” that a mode of behaviour is tolerated/accepted as normal. It is rather by virtue of an ethical and moral evaluation of conduct that determine a particular orientation tolerated/accepted as normal.

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