Wednesday, February 27
The Vatican says the conviction of Cardinal George Pell on child sex abuse charges was “painful news” but said it would not take any immediate disciplinary action.
“We await the outcome of the appeals process, recalling that Cardinal Pell maintains his innocence and has the right to defend himself until the last stage of appeal,” spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said.
Gisotti later confirmed via social media that Pell – who was on leave from his position as Vatican treasurer and whose five-year term as the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy expired on Sunday – was no longer in the role.
Such caution is unlikely to be received well by victims and the wider public, especially after Pope Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI repeatedly vowed “zero tolerance” against clergy sex abuse.
“Any cleric who has been found guilty of even a single act of child sexual abuse, no matter when the act occurred, [should be] immediately removed from ministry and permanently removed from the priesthood,” advocacy group Ending Clergy Abuse wrote in a Monday appeal.
Massimo Faggioli, a professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University, in the US, says there may be an additional motive for the Vatican to tread carefully in the case.
Last month, former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson had a conviction for child abuse cover-up crimes overturned by an appeals court.
Faggioli said that Pell’s trial “has been far more controversial than any involving higher Catholic clergy” because it was largely conducted “in secret”.
This “makes it necessary to be overcautious,” Faggioli argued. “The Vatican has already given up some caution by displaying absolute respect for the Australian justice system.”
But while the Holy See revealed that Pope Francis has already placed temporary restrictions on the 77-year-old in 2017, at the request of the Church in Australia, removing him from public ministry and ordering him not to have any contact with children, there will be no move yet to defrock him..
A man being chased by police in Adelaide overnight has literally been caught with his pants down.
The officers found the 23-year-old dangling upside-down by his jocks on a six-foot-high fence he’d tried to scale.
The man was arrested by police at Findon, in Adelaide’s west, after reports of someone smashing windows at a house under construction.
Police said they were called to an incident around 3:00am after a witness had yelled out at the suspect, causing him to run away.
The suspect was spotted by police nearby, but he ran off when the patrol approached.
“They lost sight of him, but soon found him dangling upside down from a six-foot fence by his underwear, after he became caught while trying to jump the fence,” Senior Constable Matt Brown told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“So one day you’re going to get caught with your pants down … and today was that man’s day.”
The Seaton man was arrested and charged with being unlawfully on premises, breach of bail and carrying an offensive weapon after a knife was also found in his pocket.
Armchair sleuths hooked on the case of who killed Teresa Halbach may see new theories tested in court, with the accused at the centre of Netflix documentary Making A Murderer granted an appeal motion.
Steven Avery’s lawyer Kathleen Zellner says it is a big win for her client, jailed in 2007 for the murder he claims he did not commit
The circuit court could grant a new trial, or send it back to an appellate court which could then reverse the conviction or grant a new trial
If the case results in a new trial, evidence that has come to light since the first trial could be tested, including information on Avery’s lawyer’s lead suspect
Steven Avery will have his case re-examined by a Wisconsin circuit court after his lawyer Kathleen Zellner won a motion to appeal his conviction.
Avery was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for Halbach’s murder, and his nephew Brendan Dassey was also jailed in a separate trial after confessing to helping Avery rape and kill the freelance photographer at the family scrap yard.