Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Discerning the Spirits in Australia

August 22nd, 2019, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Discerning the Spirits in Australia

We are not supposed to “judge;” that would mean acting in a role for which we hold no authority. God is the ultimate judge, with limited delegation to others to whom the office of judge has been validly entrusted.  But that does not make ordinary judges exempt from criticism. Their very performance, viewed against logic and truth, begs the need for discernment. Such is the case now, following the judicial rejection of Cardinal Pell’s appeal. Such was also the case following SCOTUS’ historic error in legalizing abortion. Judges make mistakes for all kinds of reasons. Their mistakes are also ignored for all kinds of reasons.

First, here is a disclaimer. I have not read any of the thousands of pages of trial transcripts, or the careful analysis of any lawyers and barristers and scholars of the law, who are fully independent of the British judicial system. Over the coming weeks, there should be plenty of such opportunities to read the analyses, including the arguments of the minority position. Rather, I take the approach that there are enough unanswered questions, odd disconnects and down-home defiance of logic to point out discrepancies in the handling of the entire process by the Australian Courts, not only about what we know but also about what we’ve been deliberately kept from knowing.

Therefore, and strictly as a matter of lay opinion and not of accusation, I go out on a limb to take the position that I find it difficult to believe Cardinal Pell is guilty as charged. Here are 7 reasons for my personal opinion:

  1. We don’t often speak of pedophilia (and many other sexual sins) as addictions; but they are addictions indeed. As in other addictions, like drugs and alcohol, the perpetrators seek more and more satisfaction and begin to take risks of detection as their ‘need’ increases. The description of the offense, were it to really have happened, would have been extremely risky, but there is no track record of prior abuse, no allegations of people trying to create a destructive character reference by claiming to have seen or encountered any such prior, more secret, but relevant behavior. If there were such genuine witnesses, surely they would have testified at trial. Hearsay testimony of a dead “victim’ (and one who had ‘withdrawn’ his claims to his own family member) is outrageous. How does one cross examine a dead witness? This antic impugns the entire Australian Judicial System.
  2. The mistrial which occurred in the trial prior to the trial under Judge Kidd, which set the conviction and sentence, should have been a warning sign, but it seems more likely it was a dry run to make sure that a conviction would be obtained in the Kidd trial.
  3. Cardinal Pell could not have been forced to return to Australia to face trial. He could have done a Cardinal Law type move to Vatican City and enjoyed a comfortable retirement.  His return to Australia makes no sense unless he is innocent and was confident there could be no conviction of something he’d never done. With that kind of mindset, one has to wonder “Was Cardinal Pell fully able to cooperate in his own defense?” Or is he saying: “Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?” John 18:11
  4. Trial attorneys know that the final summation is an important time to bring together the entire defense, but Cardinal Pell’s legal team was prevented from illustrating the impossibility of having everything happen to which the complainants testified. It isn’t clear if this was an error by the legal team (it was rejected as new information) or whether it was Judge Kidd’s personal thumb on the scales of justice. But it seems contradictory to seeking the truth. It is somewhat disturbing that comments from some other clerics mention their respecting the decision of the court; perhaps they are confused and think that infallibility extends to the Australian Judicial System?
  5. There were serious shenanigans during the trial under Kidd with his gag order. What it assured was that the media would focus on people in the streets with an axe to grind against the Catholic Church, rather than reporting which would hold up the legal machinations to full view. Secrecy is a bad omen for fairness and real justice. What was Judge Kidd so afraid would happen if the media reported on the trial? That Catholics might “defend” their Church or prelate? That public opinion would object to Kidd’s high-handed tactics? The live stream showed focus on the mob scene and placards; good Catholics seemed to be dramatically absent from giving response. What actually seemed to have happened is that the pedophilia and abuse in the Church was what was on trial. And following the “Cardinal” McCarrick decision, it became fair game for the most prestigious Cardinal in Australia to be the sacrifice.
  6. Pope Francis seemed almost to cooperate to the detriment of Cardinal Pell. One wonders where an ecclesiastical trial, if actually carried out, would end up? There has been some innuendo that Cardinal Pell’s position trying to clean up Vatican finances almost ensured he’d be removed from the Pope’s “Cabinet,” conveying the illusion of pre-judgment on some insider information, and making it harder for Cardinal Pell to get a fair trial. 
  7. Judge Kidd made a vile comment after the guilty verdict was rendered in the trial over which he presided. He alluded to the fact that because of the length of sentence, and because of Cardinal Pell’s age, that he might very well die in prison. Much has been made of his 23 hours per day in solitary confinement, and that will likely change for the rest of his sentence, which of course will make him accessible to those with a hatred for the Catholic Church, and hatred for clerics guilty or not. There is a hint here of his not being protected in the coming months and years. And, sadly, I would not be surprised if he is a martyr to the sins of priests and bishops, and a martyr to a society and judicial system that doesn’t know God.


We should each be innocent until proven guilty under any fair judicial system. I’m out here on this limb with my opinion and of course I hope I’m not wrong; but I’d rather be defending the guilty than convicting the innocent. God will do the rest.


7 Responses to “Discerning the Spirits in Australia”

  1. militia says:

    Strange. I don’t remember Archbishop Vigano registering concern about Cardinal Pell.

  2. christian says:

    Diane-I am not claiming Cardinal Pell is innocent or guilty. From what I have read, it raises questions about interactions between Cardinal Pell and his accusers, and also questions about the judicial system and trial regarding Cardinal Pell.
    God is the ultimate judge and He is the one who knows the truth and what is in the hearts of all men.

    I agree with your point, that there can be a connection between a person deemed guilty of a crime, in connection with the horrific attributes of the crime itself. And a person can be automatically deemed guilty with regard to his association of a known organization which has been found to have a significant population of its rank guilty of the same crime and sin.

    Especially in regard to the crimes of rape and sexual abuse, there are people who have a knee jerk reaction and immediately deem the person in question to be guilty. I personally think this happened in the case of Brett Kavanaugh prior to his approval of Supreme Court Justice.

    It is a fine line between taking an alleged victim seriously and giving credence to their alleged sexual abuse, and taking an alleged perpetrator seriously and giving credence to their innocence, dismissing all allegations against them.

    Even when it comes to a person’s sexual morality, there has often been a knee jerk reaction among some Christians with strong moral convictions, especially in times past, and although both men and women were the subject of speculation, I believe women were more of a target. When hearing a report or gossip about a woman’s alleged incidence of sexual immorality or promiscuity, the woman would automatically be judged to be a woman of ill repute without knowing if the information was true.

    I too, am not privy to the pages of court documents in Cardinal Pell’s case. I think there should be a concern and appropriate action taken to keep Cardinal Pell safe in prison, especially in view of some people’s hatred of the Catholic Church from either their own personal bad experience, or the known bad experience of others. (I actually think all prisoners should be kept safe). I think Cardinal Pell should be granted access to the sacraments of the Church and spiritual guidance. (I also think all prisoners should be granted spiritual guidance and sacraments of the Church).

  3. christian says:

    It is certainly both shocking and ironic when one thinks of the decades of known sexual abuse perpetrated by Marcial Macial and there was no trial, conviction, and prison sentence, and he was allowed to continue for many years before he was prohibited from public ministry, and he was never defrocked. Then compare that with Cardinal George Pell.

  4. Diane Harris says:

    A horrible thought came to me this morning. I think it needs to be said, as a possibility. If this were a plot by powerful people against Cardinal Pell, perhaps at first the idea of two boys as corroborative witnesses seemed like a good plan. However, when it began to fall apart, as one boy told a family member it hadn’t happened (his mother I think) then the two would have become a liability to the plan. Conveniently, the one died of a drug overdose. Or was he killed by a drug overdose because he put a plot, if there had been one, at risk? Have we heard anything about a suicide note implicating Cardinal Pell?

    Sound too strange? Anyone familiar with the story of Susanna in the Book of Daniel would recognize the scenario. Daniel had the two lying witnesses separated and through public testimony showed the contradiction in their testimonies. Susanna was saved. The witnesses received the death sentence intended for her. Simple questioning such as identifying the exact place in the sacristy where the alleged actions were said to have taken place would have revealed potential contradictions. But, alas, the “other witness” is dead.

    Why was all news coverage blocked by Judge Kidd in the first trial (after the mistrial) –perhaps in fear that potential contradiction would sink the government case? Or point to a crime involving the death of the witness who didn’t live to get to the trial?

  5. raymondfrice says:

    From what i can gather, Cardinal Pell does not have much money and Father Macial had control of millions; this may ultimately be a factor at some point in the whole case..

  6. Diane Harris says:

    Phil Lawler (LifeSite News) has got it right. He links to the dreadful Dreyfus affair and lists some of the defense which the courts had hoped to keep from general public awareness.

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