The boiling frog never marks that first millisecond, when the water in his pot becomes just a half-degree warmer. And so, Catholics living in America circa 2019 couldn’t possibly appreciate the magnitude of what happened this week in Australia. Yet I have no doubt my grandsons will.
Here are the facts. In December of 2018, Cardinal George Pell, the former Archbishop of Melbourne and Prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, was found guilty of sexually abusing two choir boys in the 1990s. He appealed his conviction; on August 21st, a panel of judges voted 2 to 1 to uphold the sentence.
Beyond any shadow of a doubt, His Eminence is innocent. I mean, it is literally impossible that Cardinal Pell is guilty of the crime he’s accused of committing. The acts of abuse described by the prosecution are not only ridiculous: they’re physically impossible for any man to perform. There were no third-party witnesses to the assault, and not a shred of forensic evidence to prove his guilt. Every priest, altar boy, and chorister at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne testified that Pell was celebrating Mass at the time of the alleged attack.
But don’t take my word for it. Read the court documents. Read contemporary news reports. Hell: read any of the hundreds of anti-Pell screeds published over the last few years. Start with Louise Milligan’s book-length hitjob Cardinal. Notice how quickly you realize that things you’re reading just don’t seem to add up. You’ll find yourself going over the same paragraphs twice, three times. Your brain will start to itch. “I’m missing something,” you’ll say to yourself; “This doesn’t make any sense.”
In fact, you’re not missing anything. It doesn’t make sense. And that’s because Cardinal Pell is innocent. The allegations are bogus. Yet the Australian justice system, the Australian press, and most of the Australian public refuse to admit it. An innocent man—a holy, gentle, honest, compassionate man—will spend the next six years in prison. Then, he’ll spend the rest of his days on earth known as a violent pedophile.
Every fair-minded American, whatever their creed, should be outraged at the gross injustice that transpired in our sister-nation across the Pacific.
[Read more at Crisis.]