Cardinal George Pell leaves Barwon prison on April 7
George Pell first heard that he was a free man when a shout rang through the high-security prison where he was being held, with his first reaction to the Supreme Court decision: “Well, that’s great.”
On Wednesday, Cardinal Pell wakes up for his first full day as a free man, leaving behind the destroyed convictions for child sexual abuse.
The Australian Supreme Court acquitted him on Tuesday and found that there was not enough evidence for the jury to convict him without a reasonable doubt, such as in December 2018.
The 78-year-old watched television just after 10 a.m. when the news broke.
“I was watching the television news in my cell when the news came through … I thought,” Well, that’s great. I’m very happy, “he said. The Daily Telegraph through the friend.
“Of course there was no one to talk about until my legal team arrived. However, I received great encouragement somewhere in prison and then the three other prisoners in my neighborhood cheered as well. ‘
When asked by a prison guard what he thought of the “miracle,” Cardinal Pell said there was no miracle, only “justice.”
Pell will leave the Victoria Supreme Court in Melbourne on Thursday, June 6, 2019 after his initial conviction
After more than 400 days in prison – first at the Metropolitan Remand Center in Melbourne and later in the Barwon Prison with maximum security – the cardinal was taken to the Carmelite monastery in the east of the city.
His first meal as a free man was steak and vegetables, which were cooked by nuns.
Cardinal Pell did not stop speaking when he left prison and instead made a statement saying that the serious injustice he had suffered had been rectified.
“I have no ill will with my accuser, I don’t want my acquittal to add to the pain and bitterness many feel; there is certainly enough pain and bitterness, “he said.
Cardinal Pell said his trial was not a referendum on the Catholic Church or how Australian Church authorities dealt with pedophilia.
“The point was whether I had committed these terrible crimes, and I didn’t,” he said.
A nun closes the gates of the Carmelite monastery in Kew, where George Pell is staying after his release HM Prison Barwon in Geelong
The Carmelite Convent in Kew, where George Pell resides after his release HM Prison Barwon in Geelong
Cardinal Pell was sued by Victoria police officers after a man came forward in 2014 who alleged that he and another choir boy had been sexually assaulted at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996.
That boy, now in his thirties, testified in court, revealing that he felt compelled to come forward after the other boy’s death.
A jury convicted Cardinal Pell in December 2018 on five charges after a previous jury failed to pass judgment.
Victoria’s court upheld the convictions last year.
With the corona virus sending Queensland into a lockdown, the forecourt and road outside Brisbane’s High Court were empty for the transfer of Tuesday’s decision.
Only three journalists were allowed into court when Chief Justice Susan Kiefel delivered the decision.
“There is a good chance that an innocent person has been convicted because the evidence has not proven that guilt has been established to the required standard of evidence,” the full jury of seven judges said in their verdict.
Contrary to the decision taken in Victoria’s Court of Appeal last year, the verdict was not streamed live.
Instead, the High Court posted the verdict online and tweeted the news to the world.
The father of the choir boy, who died in 2014, was shocked by the court’s decision and his lawyer Lisa Flynn said in a statement that he was heartbroken for the surviving boy.
“Our client says this man, according to the jury, is a genuine citizen who has nothing to gain by speaking out, except to protect other children from the pain and suffering he has to live with every day,” said Flynn.
The father continues a civil case against Cardinal Pell.
Lawyers for the surviving complainant are expected to speak on Wednesday.
The indictment against George Pell:
The surviving choirboy had claimed that Pell had caught him and his friend drinking altar wine and said something like “What are you doing here?” or “You’re in trouble.”
“There was a moment when we were all a little frozen and then he loosened his pants or belt, as if he was moving under his robe,” he said.
‘He pulled [the other boy] sideways and then he pulled out his penis and then grabbed it [the other boy’s] head. “
He said the other boy was struggling with Pell’s hands around his head and shoulders.
The surviving choirboy said that Pell then turned his attention to him and put his penis in his mouth.
Archbishop Pell stood. He stood upright and shoved it into my mouth. ‘
It was originally revealed that Pell had exposed himself and forced a boy to perform oral sex with him in the sacristy of Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral (photo). He always kept his innocence
As an archbishop, George Pell had to wear heavy robes that a retired priest told broadcaster Alan Jones would make it impossible for him to easily expose his genitals
An important argument in the Cardinal’s defense was that he had not been able to mistreat the boys in the robes he wore on the day of the major alleged crimes.
Cardinal Pell’s robes that day included an alb – a white tunic that reached to the feet and had two slits to access pockets, but no zippers or buttons.
The alb was tied tightly around the waist with a knotted rope tulle, which also fastened a stole hanging around his neck, and above the alb was a decorative heavy chasuble with no gaps or openings.
Only one of Cardinal Pell’s accusers testified against the man who came up to become the treasurer of the Vatican during the trial. The other alleged victim had died of a heroin overdose and had denied ever being abused.
Evidence of the living complainant was not provided publicly, but part of it was revealed from the bar table during the lawsuit against Pell’s County Court.
Cardinal George Pell has always maintained that it would have been physically impossible to expose himself to a few 13-year-old choirboys. His robes included an alb, chasuble, stole and tincture
How Cardinal Pell Pleaded for Freedom
The timing of the alleged attacks was impossible.
It was not possible for Pell to be alone in the sacristies just minutes after the end of Mass.
After the mass, Pell could not be robbed alone and in the priestly apostasy.
It was not possible for two choir boys to go unnoticed by Pell in the sacristy of the priests after Mass.
It was not possible for two clothed sopranos to leave an outer procession without being noticed.
The offenses attributed to Pell were physically impossible.
No one confirmed the second incident, although the complainant said it happened in the midst of a choir of 50 people.
Chief Court Judge Peter Kidd made a mistake by not allowing Pell’s defense to present a video in his closing arguments, and that there was a “fundamental irregularity” in the way Pell was charged in the trial.
Psychologist and former priest Terry Laidler went through almost the entire process, telling ABC’s Law Report that a set of robes had been produced and sent to the jury room.
Cardinal Pell’s lawyer Robert Richter QC described the complainant’s version as a “far-fetched fantasy.” He said his client’s unwieldy multi-layered robes would have obstructed access to his genitals.
The prosecution had alleged that Cardinal Pell was still able to expose his penis to the boys while dressing because of the alb crevices.
Sacristan Max Potter told County Court that Pell would never have worn the alb alone. Rather it would be under a chasuble and possibly a Dalmatian, another thick layer of liturgical clothing.
“The weight of those robes is not light,” said Mr. Potter. It would be “inhumanly possible” for Cardinal Pell to show himself through the robes.
Cardinal Pell’s former master of ceremonies, Monsignor Charles Portelli, also disagreed with the suggestion that the then Archbishop could have exposed himself through the secured alb.
“The whole point of the tincture is to keep the alb in place.”
The robes were so heavy that Cardinal Pell needed help robbing and dismantling, and Monsignor Portelli only remembered twice that the senior cleric hadn’t needed his help in five years.
Pope Francis exchanges Christmas greetings with Cardinal George Pell at Clementina Hall on December 22, 2014 in Vatican City
Pope Francis seemed to tackle the destruction of George Pell’s child sexual convictions on Tuesday
Pope Francis appears to be tackling the destruction of George Pell’s child sexual convictions days before Easter.
The head of the Catholic Church seemingly compared the cardinal to Jesus in a tweet on Tuesday.
“In these days of #Lent, we witnessed the persecution that Jesus suffered and how He was judged ferocious even though He was innocent,” wrote Pope Francis.
“Today, let’s #PrayTogether for all those who suffer as a result of an unjust punishment for having someone for it.”
Supporters of Cardinal Pell were pictured outside the Supreme Court in Canberra on March 11
Pope Francis also seemed to comment on Cardinal Pell during his Tuesday morning mass.
“I would like to pray today for all those people who receive unjust punishments as a result of intransigence (against them),” he said at the beginning of the procedure.
He compared the suffering of those who sent unjust sentences to Jesus who was persecuted with “stubbornness and anger, even though he was innocent.”
Pope Francis had previously focused his morning mass and prayers on the coronavirus pandemic.