“The Little Pebble and Cardinal Pell – No Justice”
By Rev. Malcolm Broussard – 28 February 2019
The Order of Saint Charbel [www.littlepebble.org]
The easiest way to remove a person in authority is for other persons in high authority to label the innocent man with an allegation of “historic sexual abuse”. Then invite the News Media to promote the sensational news far and wide. Along with the local Police to place charges — all that is needed is a person to come forward to place the outlandish allegations. Then the evil recipe is complete. The truth gets bypassed altogether.
This has happened in the case of Cardinal George Pell, as well as the case of William (Kamm) Costellia also known as the Little Pebble”. Both are internationally known prominent citizens of Australia.
George Weigel writes in defense of Cardinal Pell:
“If Pell is made the scapegoat for the very failures he worked hard to correct, the gravest question must be raised about Australian public opinion’s capacity for reason and elementary fairness—and about the blood lust of an aggressively secular media, determined to settle political and ecclesiastical scores with one of the country’s most internationally prominent citizens, who dared to challenge “progressive” shibboleths on everything ranging from the interpretation of Vatican II to abortion, climate change, and the war against jihadism.” (https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2019/02/the-pell-affair-australia-is-now-on-trial)
For both persons, after the allegations were laid, the “story” was guaranteed to take on a bad life of its own. The truth was the first casualty. Gradually, the story of these two men continued to evolve into something else, because of ceaseless repetition in the News Media. With it’s lack of “elementary fairness”, and a “blood lust” of speculation, rash judgement and guilt-by-association — led the general public more and more away from the truth. The News Media generated it’s own fictional characterisations of these two men. The Truth was covered up. The fictional account became the new identity from then onwards. The stereotype for both men was sealed by the Press. The TV News Anchors following the agenda of their Chief Editors continually used the stereotypes to keep the images alive in the minds of the public.
Miranda Devine makes a significant observation regarding the Victoria Police involvement in the case of Cardinal Pell:
“Victoria Police had already begun an investigation into Cardinal Pell, before receiving a single complaint. AA [code name for a man] came to them after seeing an ABC story in 2006 containing fantastic allegations that Cardinal Pell had sexually assaulted boys in full view of everyone in a public swimming pool in the 1970’s.” (Miranda Devine, “Pell paying for others”, page 13, Daily Telegraph February 27, 2019, www.dailytelegraph.com.au)
The combination of the Police involvement and the News Media “fake news” — the fictionalized story gets promoted with more spin — causing this man code named AA to file outlandish allegations with the Victoria Police.
A similar thing occurred with the Little Pebble. It was discovered at the Committal Hearing in 2003 that collusion between the “Victims”, the NSW Police and the TV News Channel covering the story — were instrumental in setting up the Little Pebble to be charged with historic sexual abuse. During the Court sessions under cross examination — one victim acknowledged lying under oath 21 times — lying about essential elements which could prove the innocence of the Little Pebble. There was no corroboration for the allegations — only circumstantial inference. Magistrate O’Connor stated at the end of the Committal, at the final Hearing that the ‘Victim’ had lied – gave false evidence, contradicting herself – mixed up dates and time and places. In spite of this he felt she was a good honest and reliable witness. How he could arrive at such a ruling defies reason and elementary fairness! Yet, by his single judicial ruling, he cemented the fictional characterization in place and washed his hands of the matter — sending it on to the District Court for Trial. This Judge could have ended the travesty by throwing it out of Court. How sad was this day — it began the long drawn out road to Calvary.
So many loose ends were created that the job of finding the truth was caught-up in a spider-web of lies. The fictionalised account of the words, people and circumstances no longer resembled the original reality. The original reality became no longer discoverable without a great and honest effort to peel back the facade of lies. Somehow this task was supposed to be left to a Jury!
The matter should never have gone forward — much less with a Jury Trial. Like Cardinal Pell’s re-trial Jury ruling: 12-0 in favour of “Guilty”. The Australian public had no ability to see through the fictionalised story generated by the News Media. Reason, elementary fairness and a sense for the dignity of the person of the Little Pebble — flew out the window. Any Jury would buy the fictionalised story circulated by the Media, and this had gone on for years.
Not long after the Committal Hearing, William Costellia requested a Judge only Trial. This was not accepted! Why?
George Weigel proposed the same question regarding Cardinal Pell:
“Why, for example, can’t a defendant request a bench trial by a judge alone, when a prejudicial public atmosphere makes the selection of an impartial jury virtually impossible?” (See George Weigel reference below)
The Judicial system in Australia controlled every aspect of the Trials especially through the Department of Public Prosecution which rejected the No-Bill proposed by the Little Pebble’s Legal team. It would not allow any good thing to derail the then current Judicial process even though the process was defective of natural justice.
In conclusion, who will have the courage to stand-up against the peer pressure of persons in high places manipulating and controlling the flow of Judicial process? Who will uncover the concoction and collusion of persons responsible for manipulating the allegations and circumstantial evidence? Who will uncover the truth behind the storm of “fake news” Media coverage which always regurgitates the same old images and stories? Who will stand-up for the truth and dignity of the innocent persons — the Little Pebble and Cardinal Pell?
A big thanks in particular to George Weigel, Miranda Devine and Andrew Bolt for standing up for Cardinal George Pell
Who will come forward for the Little Pebble?
See the following links:
1. George Weigel, “The unfair, anti-Catholic conviction of Cardinal George Pell” [Full article: see below]
2. Miranda Devine, “Pell paying for others”, page 13, Daily Telegraph February 27, 2019
3. George Weigel, “The Pell affair, Australia is now on trial”
4. “Truth and Facts – 26 May 2017”
5. “Truth be Known – Legal Document 1 of 2”
6. “Truth be Known – Legal Document 2 of 2”
“The unfair, anti-Catholic conviction of Cardinal George Pell”
By George Weigel – 31 December 2018
The New York Post [Newspaper Article]
No one with a sense of justice can fail to be outraged when, in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a jury in Maycomb, Ala., bows to social pressure and convicts an innocent man of a crime he couldn’t have committed.
Something similar took place last month in real-world Melbourne, Australia, where Cardinal George Pell was falsely and perversely convicted on charges of “historic sexual abuse” dating to the 1990s.
The facts of the case have been hard to come by, owing to a media gag order issued by the trial judge. A journalistic feeding frenzy has long surrounded Pell, the former Catholic archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney and later the Vatican’s chief financial officer.
The trial judge was rightly concerned that opening the proceedings would make it impossible for Pell to get a fair trial on charges he forcefully denies. That order has left Australians largely in the dark. But certain facts are known, and others can be reasonably inferred.
The cardinal’s first trial ended in a hung jury, with 10 of 12 jurors in favor of acquittal.
In the retrial, the defense again demonstrated that it was physically impossible for the alleged abuse of two choirboys (one now deceased) to have occurred, given the layout and security arrangements of Melbourne’s Catholic cathedral and the fact that the choir and Pell were in two different places when the abuse was alleged to have occurred.
Pell, moreover, was always surrounded by others at the cathedral that day in 1996. Why the Melbourne police never took the trouble to investigate these exculpatory facts is one of several mysteries in this sordid affair.
The retrial jury took days to reach a verdict, during which the jurors asked the trial judge for instructions on how evidence should be considered. That an overwhelming vote for acquittal at the first trial was then flipped to a unanimous verdict for conviction invites the inference that the jury chose to ignore evidence that the alleged crimes couldn’t have happened.
Legal authorities can debate some of the curiosities of the criminal justice system in Melbourne. Why, for example, can’t a defendant request a bench trial by a judge alone, when a prejudicial public atmosphere makes the selection of an impartial jury virtually impossible?
How can a crime alleged to have been committed 22 years ago be prosecuted without any corroborating evidence that it occurred?
How can charges be brought when the public authorities could have easily determined that the alleged abuse couldn’t have happened, because the victims and the alleged perpetrator were never in close proximity, much less by themselves without witnesses?
Any judgment on the Pell verdict must also take full account of the atmosphere in which the cardinal’s case was heard. Anti-Catholicism has been a staple of Australia’s culture for decades. Local media long misrepresented Pell, a Church reformer, as a power-hungry ecclesiastical politician, and that caricature made him a convenient scapegoat for the grave crimes of other priests and bishops.
Yet as archbishop of Melbourne, Pell set up Australia’s first process for investigating and compensating claims of clerical sexual abuse. And as archbishop of Sydney, he applied strict protocols to himself, stepping aside until previous spurious abuse charges against him were thoroughly investigated — and dismissed — by a former Australian supreme court justice.
For partisans of various sorts, however, none of George Pell’s effective work in cleansing the Church of the horror of sexual abuse counted.
Aggressive secularists couldn’t forgive him for his robust Catholicism. Most Catholic progressives couldn’t abide his orthodoxy. Some of Pell’s enemies had the integrity to dismiss the charges against him as ludicrous, and a few said afterward that his conviction was a travesty. But the foul atmosphere in Melbourne was reminiscent of rural Alabama in the 1930s.
One other facet of this miscarriage of justice deserves investigation by enterprising reporters. Pell was brought to Rome by Pope Francis to clean up Vatican finance, a Herculean task in which he was making progress. Then, just as he was getting down to the really serious corruption, which involves hundreds of millions of euros and the shadow worlds of global finance, these abuse charges were laid, and Pell had to return to Australia to defend himself.
Was that timing sheer accident? Rome-based supporters of Pell’s reforming efforts with whom I’ve spoken think not. Just as in Harper Lee’s Maycomb, something is rotten in this business. And it isn’t the character of Cardinal George Pell.
George Weigel, John Paul II’s biographer, holds the William Simon Chair in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.