If the appeal fails, [Cardinal Pell] must spend at least three years and eight months in prison before the possibility of parole. At age 77, Justice Kidd recognised the possibility that he might die there. In which case he will join the august company of holy bishops throughout history who have been imprisoned, and in many cases executed, for being on the wrong side of the reigning powers – today, a secularism increasingly hostile to Christian sexual morality. One thinks of St Paul, St John Fisher during the English schism, and Hungarian Cardinal Mindszenty, imprisoned by both Nazis and Communists for his uncompromising opposition to both.
The Church can expect allegations to be treated as proven crimes, not in spite of the defendants’ clerical status, but because of it.
The secrecy of the most important adverse testimony – the only adverse testimony – in the trial puts the law in disrepute. Pell’s supporters can be justified in complaining that he was convicted in a star chamber.
Michael Cook (First paragraph is from an email introducing this and other articles)
There’s at least one positive lesson, too, but I’m a glass-half-empty kinda guy.