Opinions divided in reaction to Pell decision

Catholic News Agency | 8/21/2019 | Staff
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Melbourne, Australia, Aug 21, 2019 / 03:00 pm (CNA).- The decision by the Court of Appeal in Victoria to reject Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of his conviction for child sex abuse Wednesday has divided opinion among court watchers, both Catholic and secular.

Reactions to the ruling ranged from celebrations that Pell will remain in prison, to questions being raised about the entire Australian legal system.

Cardinal - Pell - Spokesperson - Statement - Decision

Cardinal Pell’s spokesperson released a short statement after the decision, saying that the cardinal was “obviously disappointed” but will continue the legal process.

“While noting the 2-1 split decision, Cardinal Pell maintains his innocence,” said the statement. “We thank his many supporters.”

Pell - High - Court - Australia - Body

Pell may still appeal to the High Court, Australia’s supreme judicial body. If the court decides to hear his appeal, there could still be months or even years before a final decision is reached. But in the meantime, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Court of Appeals’ ruling meant that Pell will be stripped of his Order of Australia honors.

“My understanding is that this [appeal loss] would result in the stripping of the honours that are decided externally to the government,” said Morrison.

Process - Course

“That is a process that is done independently, and that course will now follow.”

Many people who were outside the court while the decision was being read were happy with the news.

Julie - Cameron - Media - Advocate - Survivors

Julie Cameron, who was described in Australian media as an advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse, said that the ruling meant that “the largest protected pedophile ring in the world is busted.”

Videos taken from outside the courtroom showed a crowd cheering “victory” at the decision, while another stated “we’re never giving up, we’re never going away.”

Herald - Sun - Columnist - Andrew - Bolt

Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt offered a different view from much of the media coverage of Pell’s trial, saying in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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