The High Court has overturned the conviction of Cardinal George Pell.

After 405 days in jail, Pell has been released into the metaphorical arms of his family and his church again.

Journalists don’t understand justice

Politicians should also stick to their knitting

From The Age on 4 March 2019:

Premier Daniel Andrews says senior Catholics planning to visit Cardinal George Pell in jail are wrong and dismissed suggestions that the convicted paedophile did not receive a fair trial.

Mr Andrews told ABC radio on Monday morning that the church should shift its focus away from itself and onto the victims of clerical abuse.

After the verdict was overturned, Dan Andrews had this to say:

Andrews may well believe all victims, but as Premier of the state that convicted a man without taking into account ‘reasonable doubt”, and then confirmed that error at appeal, he should be ashamed that it took millions of dollars of backers’ money get Pell the verdict that the law demanded rather than the baying mob.

David Marr, long a hater of everything Catholic and of pell as well, was magnanimous in defeat. There was o point trying to hide behind niceties. Marr ate the brown sandwich:

This is a mighty triumph not just for George Pell who is breathing free air for the first time in a year, and his backers who invested millions in his defence, but for the narrative of prejudice the church has spun all the years since the Melbourne police came for the cardinal in Rome.

The beleaguered church. The misunderstood church. The church under attack by secularists. The church pursued by abuse victims, police and journalists with axes to grind.

The second par is unfair.

The beleaguered church? No.

The misunderstood church? Yes.

The church under attack by secularists? Yes.

The church pursued by abuse victims? Yes, and rightly so.

Police with axes to grind? Not when many police covered for the church and killed investigations.

Journalists with axes to grind? Certainly. The ABC has been dining out on this for years. in fact, it even earned Louise Milligan a Walkley for a book entitled Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell.

So perhaps, Mr Marr, you could stop hyperventilating for just a moment.

This is why Dan Andrews should be ashamed of the court system in Victoria:

The court did what the prosecution argued all the way should not be done: it compounded all the improbabilities to establish doubt.

Rather than adding they multiplied the improbabilities. So the judges concluded that even though they found the young man’s accusations “credible and reliable” the jury “acting rationally” should have “entertained a doubt” as to Pell’s guilt and not put those doubts aside.

“Plainly they did. Making full allowance for the advantages enjoyed by the jury, there is a significant possibility in relation to [the sacristy charges] that an innocent person has been convicted.”

It is well worth reading the whole article. And that’s not often said sincerely, here at least, of a Marr column.

And then there’s this. If there is indeed a God, Pell will sue:

This is just as bad. Davey writes for The Guardian.

For the record, the presumption of innocence, and conviction beyond all reasonable doubt is the foundation of Western justice. The High Court found that the jury could not meet that standard.

The brave university vice-chancellors feel our pain

According to The Australian:

Two leading universities have revealed enormous revenue shortfalls this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, and several vice-chancellors have taken salary reductions as the sector begins cutting costs and planning job losses to deal with the crisis.

University of NSW vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs told staff on Monday the university faced a projected shortfall of about $600m this year, or nearly one-quarter of its annual revenue. Professor Jacobs said he and his senior executives would cut their own salaries by 20 per cent as part of wide-ranging spending cuts.

But it’s important to ask: 20 per cent of what? Of this:

Remember: these figures are one year old. They’ve likely gone up. A lot.

Leave. Us. Alone.

They look like they’re enjoying this a bit too much.