Controversial Cardinal Pell verdict – a disquieting parallel

From Michael Cook at MercatorNet:

The resolution of the case of Cardinal George Pell, now in jail after his conviction for sexually abusing two 13-year-old choristers in 1996, must wait until an appeals court hands down its judgement.

But in the meantime, commentary is being published which raises further doubts about the controversial verdict.

In the latest Quadrant, its editor, historian Keith Windschuttle, describes, thanks to an alert subscriber to his magazine, an American case with intriguing parallels …

What Windschuttle stumbled upon is an article in the September 2011 issue of Rolling Stone magazine by journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely. It described a very similar incident involving a priest in Philadelphia. Fr Charles Engelhardt allegedly caught a boy named “Billy Doe” swigging altar wine in his sacristy. He encouraged him to drink more and showed him pornographic magazines. A week later he performed sex acts on him. A few months later, another priest allegedly abused him.

As Windschuttle points out, that issue of Rolling Stone was readily available in Australia in 2011. In 2013, Victorian Police commenced a trawling operation to find people who were willing to testify that they had been abused by Cardinal Pell. In 2015, the complainant came forward with his story. More.

Reality check: Read the rest. It’s very enlightening.

While there is good reason to accuse many high-ranking Catholic dignitaries of sex crimes, the case against Pell has been suspect from the beginning. Some say that underlying it is Pell’s role in attempting to expose shady financial dealings at the Vatican. Don’t rule that out.

See also: Catholic bishops abandon hope of reform, fall into abyss Amazingly, there are still Catholics who care.