Insights from Quadrant

Brennan on Pell

At Eureka Street, Father Frank Brennan examines at length the evidence that led a jury to arrive at Cardinal Pell’s conviction. A sample:

… Witnesses familiar with liturgical vestments had been called who gave compelling evidence that it was impossible to produce an erect penis through a seamless alb. An alb is a long robe, worn under a heavier chasuble. It is secured and set in place by a cincture which is like a tightly drawn belt. An alb cannot be unbuttoned or unzipped, the only openings being small slits on the side to allow access to trouser pockets underneath.

The complainant’s initial claim to police was that Pell had parted his vestments, but an alb cannot be parted; it is like a seamless dress. Later the complainant said that Pell moved the vestments to the side.

An alb secured with a cincture cannot be moved to the side.

The police never inspected the vestments during their investigations, nor did the prosecution show that the vestments could be parted or moved to the side as the complainant had alleged. The proposition that the offences charged were committed immediately after Mass by a fully robed archbishop in the sacristy with an open door and in full view from the corridor seemed incredible to my mind…

UPDATE: Quadrant contribuor Michael Giffin, a priest in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, writes:

A bishop wearing cope over an alb, tied in with a cincture, over a cassock, cannot sexually abuse anyone. This is surreal.

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