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A Line by Line Refutation of George Pell’s Statement

By James Shanahan, 24 February 2016

The following article contains a reproduction of George Pell’s Statement which was published by the Herald-Sun and accompanied their article about the police investigation into his behaviour in Ballarat in the 1970’s and at the Cathedral in Melbourne during his years as Archbishop there (1996-2001).

I will reproduce the statement in full first so you can reread it as it was written and re-familiarise yourself with it and without comment from me. Let the mellifluous words flow over you.

Then I’ll reprint the statement with its wording italicised and my interspersed comments in normal print.

Though the statement was probably not written personally by George Pell, he would have had to have agreed with every word and the sentiments and implications behind each word before it was released. George Pell is a seasoned bureaucrat in the oldest bureaucracy in the world. He chooses (and approves) his words carefully. So it is reasonable to hold Pell responsible for every word as if he wrote it.

There is a link to the original article which includes the statement at the foot of this article.

Happy reading.

STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission in just over one week.

The timing of these leaks is clearly designed to do maximum damage to the Cardinal and the Catholic Church and undermines the work of the Royal Commission.

The allegations are without foundation and utterly false.

It is outrageous that these allegations have been brought to the Cardinal’s attention through a media leak. These undetailed allegations have not been raised with the Cardinal by the police and the false claims investigated by Justice Southwell have been ignored by the police for over 15 years, despite the very transparent way they were dealt with by the Cardinal and the Catholic Church.

The Cardinal has called for a public inquiry into the leaking of these spurious claims by elements in the Victorian Police in a manner clearly designed to embarrass the Cardinal, in a case study where the historical failures of the Victorian Police have been the subject of substantial evidence. These types of unfair attacks diminish the work of those good officers of the police who are diligently working to bring justice to victims.

The Phillip Island allegations have been on the public record for nearly 15 years. The Southwell Report which exonerated Cardinal Pell has been in the public domain since 2002.

The Victorian police have taken no steps in all of that time to pursue the false allegations made, however the Cardinal certainly has no objection to them reviewing the materials that led Justice Southwell to exonerate him. The Cardinal is certain that the police will quickly reach the conclusion that the allegations are false.

The Victorian Police have never sought to interview him in relation to any allegations of child sexual abuse and apart from the false allegations investigated by Justice Southwell, the Cardinal knows of no claims or incidents which relate to him.

He strongly denies any wrongdoing. If the police wish to question him he will co-operate, as he has with each and every public inquiry.

In the meantime, the Cardinal understands that several media outlets have received confidential information leaked by someone within the Victorian Police. For elements of the police to publicly attack a witness in the same case study that has exposed serious police inaction and wrongdoing is outrageous and should be seen for what it is.

Given the serious nature of this conduct, the Cardinal has called for a public inquiry to be conducted in relation to the actions of those elements of the Victorian Police who are undermining the Royal Commission’s work. .

The Cardinal calls on the Premier and the Police Minister to immediately investigate the leaking of these baseless allegations.

Looking for another sheep (2)

Looking for my sheep.

Now, lets have a closer look at this statement to see what is really being said. But before we do, though, it might be helpful to briefly revisit the so-called “Southwell Inquiry” that is mentioned in Pell’s statement and identify what it was.

The Southwell Inquiry was initiated in 2001 and run by the Catholic Church (headed by George Pell) to inquire into the allegations against George Pell of sexual offences against a minor at a holiday camp at Phillip Island, Victoria, in 1961. The inquiry had no legal standing and had very tight terms of reference imposed on it by the church and presumably at Pell’s agreement, if not insistence.

This inquiry was not referred to in the breaking story and is not the subject of the current police investigation according to the police involved. In short, it has nothing to do with the current fracas yet it is continually being interjected into the narrative by the author(s) of the Statement From The Office of Cardinal Pell and certainly with the agreement of George Pell.

The subject of the media release and the police investigation that prompted it, was Pell’s time spent in Ballarat and in Melbourne. You will not find any referrence to either location in Pell’s statement. He obviously does not want to talk about those places . . . . and probably for very good reasons.

Now, onto the statement and its line by line analysis-

STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF CARDINAL GEORGE PELL

Cardinal Pell is due to give evidence to the Royal Commission in just over one week.

Yes he is, But will he?

The timing of these leaks is clearly designed to do maximum damage to the Cardinal and the Catholic Church and undermines the work of the Royal Commission.

As I wrote in the previous article (https://pedophilesdownunder.com/2016/02/21/cardinal-pell-whats-wrong-with-this-picture/), it is clear that Pell’s lawyers allowed the breaking of the story in the press to happen. They did not try to obtain a court injunction on the story. So it obviously suited Pell for the story to come out and to come out when it did. So it is not true to say it was timed to do maximum damage to Pell because Pell had the control of the timing to a large extent.

This is a gambit. In chess, it is common to sacrifice a minor piece to gain a positional and tactical advantage that will more than repay the initial loss. A gambit is a series of moves that start with a minor sacrifice but ends with a major gain. This is what is in play here.

That it undermines the work of the Royal Commission is doubtful at the moment. This can be seen as soon as you ask the obvious but unstated question, “How does it hurt the work of the Commission?” But when Pell pulls out of testifying altogether before the Commission (and more on that below) it will definitely undermine the work of the Royal Commission. But it will be Pell’s doing not whomever leaked the story. Remember that Pell could have stopped the story in its tracks by seeking an injunction when he was first approached for comment and that would have been days, at least, before the publication of the story.

The allegations are without foundation and utterly false.

Yes, of course they are, George. That is why up to a dozen police officers have been investigating you for a year.

It is outrageous that these allegations have been brought to the Cardinal’s attention through a media leak.

No, the story was brought to Pell’s attention long before it was published by the media because Pell’s office had time to compose this statement which was released with the media story. So he knew about it before it was published and probably by some days if not longer and during which time he could have sought an injunction. Sorry if this is getting a little ‘broken record-ish’ but this point is crucial to understand that we are not being told the truth; shocking though that might be to you, dear gentle reader!

These undetailed allegations have not been raised with the Cardinal by the police

Of course not. Does Pell expect to be kept abreast of developments in an investigation into himself?

and the false claims investigated by Justice Southwell have been ignored by the police for over 15 years, despite the very transparent way they were dealt with by the Cardinal and the Catholic Church.

Enter the non-relevant “Southwell Inquiry”. Justice Southwell did not determine that the claims were false and there was nothing transparent about the way the Church set up that inquiry into itself. The charges, and the inquiry they brought about, have nothing to do with the leaked media article nor the police investigation. Pell, himself, has introduced these matters and this constitutes a classic ‘red herring’ with which he is trying to beat over the heads of the police as a distraction from the central point of the investigation – his behaviour in Ballarat and in Melbourne. This is a clever piece of artful dodging.

The Cardinal has called for a public inquiry into the leaking of these spurious claims by elements in the Victorian Police in a manner clearly designed to embarrass the Cardinal, in a case study where the historical failures of the Victorian Police have been the subject of substantial evidence.

Has anyone ever seen George Pell embarrassed? Or displaying even a modicum of shame? . . . . Crickets?

“The spurious claims” are being made by survivors to the police. The police themselves are claiming nothing at this stage. The only one claiming anything in public is Herald-Sun journalist, Lucie Morris Marr who goes unmentioned in Pell’s statement. And where is the “substantial evidence,” George, to back up the claim of “historical failures” by the police. We know there have been failures by the police stretching back decades but these failures almost always benefit members of the clergy accused of wrong doing. Don’t they George? How does that work?

These types of unfair attacks diminish the work of those good officers of the police who are diligently working to bring justice to victims.

A few bad apples, eh? A favourite but tired canard of the Church’s.

The Phillip Island allegations have been on the public record for nearly 15 years. The Southwell Report which exonerated Cardinal Pell has been in the public domain since 2002.

Again, this is a red herring because it has no relevence to the leaked story. It was not mentioned in the original article. The periods noted in the Herald-Sun article, as the periods of time the police are interested in, are his time in Ballarat in the 70’s and his time as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 90’s. The Phillip Island incident was long before that in 1961 and the ‘inquiry’ into it was held in 2001-2. It is being introduced here by Pell again to distract people and to paint the (false) picture of Pell as victim.

In any case, the Southwell Report into the Phillip Island allegation did not exonerate Pell, at all. The facts are that the Church (run by Pell) set up it’s own Mickey Mouse inquiry and tried to give it official legal trappings by paying for a retired judge to preside over it, Justice Southwell. It had NO legal status, at all.

It was announced at the beginning under the Terms of Reference that the ‘inquiry’ would be run under Criminal Justice Rules. This meant that the subsequent finding was a foregone conclusion. Under Criminal Justice only two verdicts are possible – “guilty as charged” or “not guilty”. Not guilty means, and only means, that the charges were no established beyond reasonable doubt. There was no way the survivor was going to have conclusive proof against Pell after forty years. So the charges were not sufficiently proven, which is a whole different meaning to being “exonerated”.

In fact, it is impossible to be exonerated under criminal justice rules. Every lawyer should know this. The plaintiff’s own lawyer should have known this! I knew it at the time and I have no legal training. Yet Pell’s claim to have been exonerated has never been challenged in public, to my knowledge, in all these years. Why not, all you lawyers out there?

The Victorian police have taken no steps in all of that time to pursue the false allegations made,

As if the police are raising these allegations now after 15 years and are part of the ‘leaked’ story. But that is false on both counts. The police are not raising them now. Pell is! Pell is implying that the police are unjustifiably raising the Phillip Island allegations now and attacking the police for doing so now when they could have looked at them any time in the last 15 years.

In any case, again, it has not been established that the allegations made in 2001 were false. Pell has no legal basis for claiming that.

He is also contradicting himself here. He claims further up that the police are re-raising these old charges and now here he is attacking them for NOT looking into them. Confused yet? This is what happens when the truth becomes a “movable feast”! Welcome to the pretzel logic of church officials!

however the Cardinal certainly has no objection to them reviewing the materials that led Justice Southwell to exonerate him.

How gracious of him to have no objections to the police doing their job. But we have already established that he was not exonerated by Southwell or anybody else, for that matter. Do you get the feeling that someone is trying to batter a falsehood into your head?

The Cardinal is certain that the police will quickly reach the conclusion that the allegations are false.

Well, Justice Southwell did not find them false, as I have said, so how would the police come to a different conclusion from reviewing the same materials available to Southwell? It’s a puzzle to be sure. Can you explain that for us, George? And if you can do that, i’d like to ask you next about “Transubstantiation”.

The Victorian Police have never sought to interview him in relation to any allegations of child sexual abuse and apart from the false allegations investigated by Justice Southwell, the Cardinal knows of no claims or incidents which relate to him.

Really, George? Anyway, it is not for George to determine when the police will interview him nor keep him abreast of the latest allegations from survivors against him. Now that is arrogance! Again he keeps beating the false drum about that bogus inquiry and its bogus finding which he still manages to misrepresent. It’s like diving into a barrel of eels.

He strongly denies any wrongdoing. If the police wish to question him he will co-operate, as he has with each and every public inquiry.

Of course he denies it. In the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies, “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?”

So far he has co-operated with every public inquiry in terms of showing up but there is considerable doubt as to how much he has co-operated in terms of providing full and adequate answers. He has a faulty memory, don’t you know? But a guy that cannot remember things does not get to run the finances of the largest institution/corporation in the world. Does he?

This is a contradiction. Therefore, one of the propositions is wrong as there are no contradictions in reality. Either he does have a faulty memory and which would make him unfit to run the finances of the world’s biggest organisation (in which case he should Come Home to us as we miss him so) or he can, indeed, run probably the most complex and labrynthine financial enterprise in the world and his memory and mental acuity is just fine, thank you very much.

In the meantime, the Cardinal understands that several media outlets have received confidential information leaked by someone within the Victorian Police.

The other papers simply reprinted the wording of the Herald-Sun article and citing all their sources. So I guess you could say that, “several media outlets have received confidential information leaked by someone within the Victorian Police” is technically true because they read it in the Herald-Sun!

You only need to leak this sort of stuff once. The more you leak the story, the more risk of exposure you run, anyway. So multiple leaks didn’t happen, George. Once was enough. But I’m guessing that expression doesn’t mean much to you.

And we are also back to attacking the police for not acting on an investigation that Pell has said has no merit. Say again?

For elements of the police to publicly attack a witness in the same case study that has exposed serious police inaction and wrongdoing is outrageous and should be seen for what it is.

Did you catch that? He is now described as a witness rather than a suspect in an investigation which is the point of the whole shebang. Some rather deft footwork there. But back to the story.

Given the serious nature of this conduct, the Cardinal has called for a public inquiry to be conducted in relation to the actions of those elements of the Victorian Police who are undermining the Royal Commission’s work.

So, we are back where we started at the beginning of this article and the beginning of the Statement. I’d like to remind readers again that Pell’s lawyers had the opportunity to legally apply to have the story squashed by seeking a court injunction against its publication. But they chose not to. Therefore, they wanted it to be made public. But why did Pell want this story ‘leaked’ to the public? This is the gambit.

The leaking of the story and the orchestrated nature of the public figures arguing for and against Pell’s interests have had the effect of not only creating the whole controversy but also creating the perception that there are two sides to this story and both have merit. This gives Pell the patina of victimhood here when it is thoroughly unwarranted. This is the set up for what a friend of mine has suggested will follow and I agree.

Pell’s lawyers will move by the end of the week (perhaps just after the survivors board their plane to Rome) for Pell to be excused from offering any testimony to the Royal Commission because his legal rights have been compromised by the ‘leak’ and the resulting public controversy. He will also claim that due to the fact that he is under police investigation, any testimony from him may further compromise his future defence should he be charged with any crimes.

So he allows the knowledge of him being investigated for sexual offences to enter the public realm which is damaging to him (the minor sacrifice) but wins more by gaining the opportunity to duck out from testifying at all to the Royal Commission (the major gain).

Neat, huh?!

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Of course, to have gotten this far and to pull off his withdrawal later this week, the church has needed help, witting and unwitting, from the press, the police, the govt and also from the Royal Commission itself. Who allowed Pell to video conference from Rome? Who didn’t say, “grab your files, candles and churchy paraphenalia (including cute pointy hat), George, and any altar servers you may need and medical staff, too, and hop on a boat. Enjoy the cruise and we’ll wait for you with excited anticipation”. Come Home, Cardinal Pell!

It is all theatre. An elaborate scripted game to get Pell out of testifying and to keep the punters in the dark. To keep the public from realising that all our institutions are run by people who work not for justice but to mutually exploit us, including our children. Various people will blame the police, the survivors, the press and Pell will get to play the victim and withdraw from testifying to protect his legal rights. And he has to because, you know, everyone else is trying to compromise his rights. Oh, the outrage of it all!

The Cardinal calls on the Premier and the Police Minister to immediately investigate the leaking of these baseless allegations.

Bullshit! This is not going to seriously happen because it will turn into yet another sham inquiry because whichever way we turn we always run into The System; be they called Ombudsmen, or Orwellian Offices of Integrity or Beyond The Pale Commissions. Ask any committed whistleblower who took on the System; it is always the same answer, in the end. They may achieve unpublished reports that are shelved and gather dust. Nothing else is achieved except incurring great expenses to health and finances. It’s a corrupt system and the system looks after their own, as we are seeing – at our collective expense.

To finish on a personal note, I enjoy pulling official statements apart. I’ve had quite a bit of practice at it over the years. But I must say that this Statement From the Office of Cardinal Pell contains more nonsense in its one page length than anything else I’ve ever come across, . . . ever. This is truly primo concentrated, Columbian Gold, “Alice in Wonderland” stuff. The person(s) who wrote this is an artist and deserves all the money they are no doubt paid, and then some. I’m mightily impressed.

The original article (behind a subscriber firewall)-

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria-police-investigating-cardinal-pell/news-story/09609ca949fdb490842fd72d73faf779h

 

 

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