Talk:George Pell

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Ellis Defence[edit]

A lot of church sites seem to insist that the Ellis ruling/defence does not actually mean anything. It does, and it places the RC Church in a position of privilege above any other institution or individual, and Pell has freely used the defence ever since. The ruling stated that as a consequence, suing the RC church would lead to a small payout or none at all. There is a general principal at law in Aus that an employer (in a broad sense) is not responsible for the actions of an employee, provided that the employer was not complicit in the action. In criminal law there is no requirement for any bystander to pass on criminal intelligence. (If the bystander is actually involved in aiding crimes then he not a bystander.) The AC-NSW stated that clergy are not employees and that the RC church cannot be regarded as their employer. As a consequence, the RC church is not likely to be investigated for any complicity in aiding peodophile clergy. RC church claims about the ruling are rubbish. All clergy, particularly in the RC church, act on day-to-day orders of their seniors, and live in RC-owned accommodation. The AC-NSW also stated that the RC church does not exist as a legal entity because its assets are in trust. Sporting clubs in Aus are arranged the same way, particularly golfing clubs, and they most certainly do exist as legal entities. A player who hits an errant ball can be sued by the victim, and if the club has failed to provide adequate shielding it can also be sued for the players actions. It makes no difference in law that player is not actually and employee of the club. He is a member playing on club facilities. In short the AC-NSW Ellis ruling is a pile of inconsistent rubbish. Unfortunately the judges are the sole judges of the competence of their own rulings. There is no requirement in the Constitution for all groups or people to be treated equally before the law, thus an appeal to the High Court wont work. In fact, the HC-NSW could simply rule that the RC church cannot be taken to court at all, on any matter. Such a similar ruling would be perfectly constitutional. (I wonder how long this section will remain?)210.185.78.52 (talk) 06:37, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

It is already mentioned in this article and very briefly in Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. I have not looked further. Perhaps you could propose some better paragraphs to include in relevant articles? Be careful to follow Wikipedia:Five pillars or discuss your proposed inclusions on article talk pages to get help from more experienced editors on contentious topics. --Scott Davis Talk 10:39, 2 October 2016 (UTC)

Some victims, particulalry the Foster family, said Pell just laughed at them while in private negotiations and he quoted the Ellis defence. While Frank Sullivan claims the Ellis defence is not used, as soon as the RC lawyers enter the negotion room Ellis is immediately put on the table. Now we can see that the head of the snake is the most venemous part, and all the victims' stories fall into place. (I wonder what Pell's view is on the 8th Commandment? Perhaps there's a caveat excusing Catholic priests from compliance? As far as the 6th goes, well kids are not adults.) There is now a growing trend in legal punishemnt for the state to gouge some money out of a convicts superannation kitty. It will be interesting to see if Ellis prevents the gouging of RC priests accounts in NSW. Perhaps only non-RC accounts can be raided.61.68.160.141 (talk) 01:49, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Not in cited source[edit]

The key words in the proposed edits do not appear in the SMH source or any other source. The newly added Newcastle Herald source is the only one that mentions a rape charge, and actually contradicts itself later by saying that the charges are so far unspecified and the Director of Public Prosecutions is mulling which ones to bring. There are several sources that bring up offences mentioned in the proposed edits but do not connect them to Pell's current charges. 72.201.104.140 (talk) 03:55, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

You are correct, the SMH article states "Police did not take any questions during the press conference and did not detail what the allegations were." Cjhard (talk) 04:22, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

Summoned[edit]

Summonsed grates on the ears of many respected legal writers. One of the greatest, Glanville Williams, denounced it this way: “The horrible expression ‘summonsed for an offence’ (turning the noun ‘summons’ into a verb) has now become accepted usage, but ‘summoned’ remains not only allowable but preferable.” Learning the Law 15 n.28 (11th ed. 1982). That’s still true today. Let’s summon up the courage to call summons, as a verb, a needless variant of summon. 72.201.104.140 (talk) 20:19, 1 July 2017 (UTC)

Paradise of Orcs[edit]

Bjenks has added "while Australia is characterised as a 'paradise of Orcs', in which 7 per cent of priests have been accused of pedophilia" to the end of the lead, and has put it back after I removed it, and has demanded an explanation as to why it should be excluded (Bjenks, I think you'll find it more productive to try to justify its inclusion). There are a number of reasons why this is inappropriate for the lead section, so I'm sure I'll miss some, but to start:

  • The website for one Italian newspaper (la Republicca) made this characterisation. So properly written the sentence should be "while la Repubblica characterised Australia as a "paradise of Orcs", in which 7 per cent of priests have been accused of pedophilia".
  • This brings us to the next point: why are we quoting one Italian newspaper in the lead section? The same newspaper referred to George Pell as "the controversial Kangaroo". Should we also add that to the lead? Of course not, that's patently absurd.
  • So we could change the sentence to something along the lines of "Australia has received criticism for its handling of sexual assault by priests" (that's the other problem with this bizarre quote, and why I had originally thought it was vandalism, what's it trying to say exactly?) if we had some other sources to say the same, but from the little Bjenks has said, it appears the international nature of the criticism is a part of why it's been included? (Once again, Bjenks, this is why you need to justify your contested edits, not demand justification from those who contest your edits.) So something like "Australia has received international criticism for its handling of sexual assault by priests" with some more international criticisms of Australia.
  • But the lead for an article should be a summary of an article's most important contents. "Critiques of Australia's handling of sexual assault allegations against clergymen" isn't a section, an element, or found anywhere in this article, let alone an important one.
  • And nor should it be. This is an article of a man: George Pell. The topic is George Pell. Criticisms of Australia's handling of sexual assault allegations against clergymen don't belong in an article about George Pell. There are places for this information on wikipedia (Catholic sexual abuse cases in Australia, for example.)
  • Bjenks has recognised the lead is "very long" as a reason why I should justify removing this line. It should be noted that lead sections are to be concise, so a lead section being "very long" does not justify the tacking on of further information.

Cjhard (talk) 02:48, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

Agree - I was in the process of posting here on the same subject. One quote from one source about Australia, in an article about George Pell, does not belong in the lead in my opinion. Flat Out (talk) 03:00, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll remove the sentence now. If he reverts again it will be up to other editors. Cjhard (talk) 03:03, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

Reply: Relax—I'll not revert again, being particularly averse to edit-warring and POV behaviour, and pleased that discussion has been opened, as the subject ABC News citation is neither "irrelevant" to the man Pell nor remotely related to "vandalism". I would note that

  • In addition to high office in his church organisation, Pell's prime notability has long been, and now probably always will be a product of his connections with the issue of Australian priestly paedophilia, both nationally and in particular geographic locations, e.g., Ballarat.
  • I believe that fact will in future have its due place in this article's lead, even when that section is reduced in size.
  • In present circumstances, recognising the legal presumption of innocence, now is not an appropriate time to publish potentially prejudicial content, which is why I intend to postpone further contributions.
  • However "bizarre" some editors may view an Italian newspaper's choice of words, they were cited in good faith by that most reliable Australian information source, ABC News, which fully conforms with verification standards.

Bjenks (talk) 06:08, 4 July 2017 (UTC)

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Observoz edits 27 July 2017[edit]

@Observoz: Hello Observoz, you changed the introduction today that had been revised several weeks ago.

  • 1. The Melbourne Protocol was "The protocol, acclaimed as being the first of its kind in the world, has been widely criticised for lacking sufficient independence, being legalistic, for initially capping ex-gratia payments to victims at A$50,000 and for advising that lawsuits would be "strenuously defended" and you changed to "The protocol was the first of its kind in the world, but has been subject to a variety of criticisms". It is important to state the criticisms. This information is not within the Melbourne Response section in the article - which needs to be re-written. In my view it is not overly worded and states the main criticisms.
  • 2. The Royal Commission you changed from "Australia's wide-ranging 2013–2017 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse called Pell three times to give evidence in Case Study 16 which examined the Melbourne Response protocol, Case Study 28 regarding handling of abuse in the Ballarat and Melbourne Dioceses (where Pell had worked as a junior priest and before he was an Archbishop) and Case Study 8 regarding the response to the John Ellis complaint under the Towards Healing protocol and subsequent lawsuit. Pell was also called to testify at the 2013 Victorian government Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Organisations. Amid anger at the Church's handling of abuse claims, Pell's appearances were subject to criticism and controversy" to "Australia's wide-ranging 2013–2017 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse called Pell three times to give evidence about the Melbourne Response, handling of abuse in the Ballarat and Melbourne Dioceses, and Case Study 8 regarding the John Ellis complaint. Pell was also called to testify at a 2013 Victorian government Inquiry." You have removed some of the Case Study numbers and left one. Why not leave the case study numbers. It is important to state Pell worked as a priest in Ballarat for context (it's not in the intro prior to this but Melbourne is mentioned twice - especially for non Australians reading article). The John Ellis case study you removed information on the Towards Healing protocol which is not within the Royal Commission section of the article which only refers to the lawsuit. Overall, it is important to summarise the attendances at the Royal Commission which is not done elsewhere in the article which the previous wording had done. Also, you removed the name of the Victorian government inquiry - Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Organisations.
  • 3. Your previous edits you stated the edits were made for "trim a little. the paragraph remains too long" and "looking for trims". But then you added "These inquiries discredited a number of widely reported claims against Pell regarding his purported knowledge of events as a young priest, but also criticised some aspects of the procedures he later established for handling abuse claims. Pell himself used the platforms to both condemn past failings of his Church and to defend his own efforts to combat child abuse in the church and care for victims." with no citations WP:VERIFY that may be WP:ORIGINAL. Regards, --Melbguy05 (talk) 06:21, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Hi thanks for asking. In fact, the details on the Hearings should be added to the main body and not only appear in the intro (we should remedy that). As for the new line I added - the citations and text for that are already in the body. I can migrate them up, as it is evident that many people are not aware of these facts (which is reflective I suppose of media coverage focusing on the senstational allegations rather than on the forensic refutations)
I trimmed 1 & 2 for weight - readers should then scroll into the article to find more detail of the hearings. I originally added the case study numbers to a shorter text, which was then expanded with more of the critique than support for Melbourne protocol. So I removed them again on space grounds, as the intro to Pell is not the space to give full details of the Royal Commission, but rather to stick to Pell related material. I did not want to add a new line with trimming. The line "These inquiries discredited a number of widely reported claims against Pell..." is already cited in the main body in several sections. I will attach the citations here, and given the antagonism to Pell and the unbalanced reporting towards the accusations against him rather than the refutations confirmed at the commission and during other inquiries, we have a duty to make these as plain as we can in the text. For your benefit here are some major examples:
  • Pell disproved a very widely publicised allegation raised in the Victorian inquiry he had been present in Ballarat to ignore "the pleas of a child victim of a pedophile" by producing his passport: (http://www.smh.com.au//breaking-news-national/pell-pulls-out-passport-to-disprove-claims-20150627-3yg3p.html)
  • A very widely publicised allegation that he had offered a "bribe" to a victim to remain silent was examined at the Royal Commission, only to have the defacto prosecutor Gail Furness state in her final submission that it was not credible (read p. 76 of Furness's concluding report [1]
  • Similarly a widely publicised claim by a witness he'd gone to "Pell's presbytery" in Ballarat to warn him about a pedophile was discredited by evidence that he did not live in Ballarat or in that presbytery at the time, and the Counsel-Assisting noted in her final submission that "Cardinal Pell's evidence about his living arrangements and duties in 1973 and 1974 make it less likely that he was at St Patrick's presbytery late in the afternoon on a week day."[1]
As for Pell "condemning past actions, and defening his own" this too is already cited in the body. I will migrate some citations and attach them to the new lines. Observoz (talk) 01:17, 28 July 2017 (UTC)
@Observoz: Reading Case Study 28 Submission. You can't say:-

These inquiries discredited a number of widely reported claims against Pell regarding his purported knowledge of events as a young priest

Dowlan it was found that Pell knew about claims about Dowlan contrary to statements he made in 2002 to the Age newspaper and Pell was criticised for failing to consult and ensuring the matter was dealt with properly. BWF alleged statement about Dowlan in presbytery it was not discredited. It could not be resolved that is not saying it did not happen with BWF found to be credible. BWE the alleged statement about Ridsdale you could say that it was discredited. There was no evidence that a mass even took place on that day. Counsel stated BWE could have been confused when the statement was made and by which priests. David Risdale claim this was not discredited. There was not sufficient evidence to establish the claim however it was not stated it didn't occur with David found to be a credible witness. Not enough evidence to say one way or another.The ABC article cited for:-

defend his own efforts to combat child abuse in the church and care for victims

there is no nothing in the article regarding combatting or caring for victims.--Melbguy05 (talk) 08:09, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
We must distinguish between a "credible" witness and a "discredited" claim. Mistaken identity, and misapprehension of facts can be put in evidence by a "credible" witness, and their claims can be discredited by further evidence. It is certainly the case that widely publicised claims against Pell have been discredited. Clearly, Pell producing his passport discredited the first of these well-publicised claims regardless of whether the complainant was acting from mistaken identity or from malice. You agree BWE was discredited. As for David Ridsdale's apprehension of events - Furness stated "it is not likely that Bishop Pell would then have thought it necessary to offer Mr Ridsdale an inducement" and she did not pursue the matter. And, it remains my reading that Furness's statement that "Cardinal Pell’s evidence about his living arrangements and duties in 1973 and 1974 make it less likely that he was at St Patrick’s presbytery late in the afternoon on a week day" amounts to a discrediting of the claim. Is there an alternative wording you can suggest?
In relation to the ABC link, there is plenty of material relating to Pell's defence of his actions to combat and care. I'll add more. Observoz (talk) 00:38, 2 August 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ a b Furness SC, Gail B; Stewart SC, Angus; Free, Stephen (10 June 2016). Case Study 28 - Catholic Church Authorities in Ballarat - Submissions of Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission (Report). Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.