It would be fair to say that the late Cardinal George Pell and I had our differences, even acute differences. From my own perspective, things reached a low point when Damien Freeman published his rather humorous biography of the great Roddy Meagher, Roddy’s Folly: R P Meagher QC: Art Lover and Lawyer. Roddy Meagher was a distinguished judge in New South Wales, came from a distinguished family, and was educated at St Ignatius College Riverview. In the biography, Meagher was asked about his view of the Jesuits, and in his typically humorous fashion replied:
Nowadays Riverview is abandoning Greek, but Grammar has a flourishing Greek class and has introduced Sanskrit into its syllabus. I have seen the handful of Jesuits left at Riverview, dressed in hippie attire, dancing around a barbeque singing “the Internationale”. Fr Frank Brennan is the archetype of the modern Jesuit: short on Greek verbs, long on witchetty grubs.[i]
The biographer then interviewed Cardinal Pell, who took Meagher’s remarks as a launching pad to make a couple of observations about me and the Jesuits:
[A] fellow like Brennan … part of the key to understanding Brennan is that he’s really not well educated in the Catholic tradition—in Catholic theology—but I’m told he’s a good lawyer and he’s certainly an intelligent man, and very active. I think in many ways [this development] is entirely regrettable. Perhaps, not entirely regrettable, largely regrettable … I think it’s a great pity … I wouldn’t say Christ has been removed, but he has been almost displaced by this enthusiasm for social justice. I think it’s a very, very significant displacement and … whatever the nature of Roddy’s faith, he regrets those changes. But those changes that have taken place in the Jesuits are not paralleled exactly in the Australian Church.[ii]
I wrote to His Eminence fairly boldly on May 18, 2012, saying that I thought this time he’d gone too far and that he should apologise. He replied on August 2:
I am afraid that your letter confirms my worst fears about your judgement and about the absence of a proper sense of respect for, and understanding of, things Catholic. This has nothing to do with post-graduate credentials, no reflection on your integrity, but touches on your Catholic sensibilities.
So that’s where things stood between us until he encountered the full force of the Victorian criminal justice system.
This memoir appears in July’s Quadrant.
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In late July 2018, after Pell had been committed for trial on child sex offences, I wrote to him and recommended that he have a retired judge attend the proceedings. I then met with him and provided him with some names of retired judges who might be suitable. A week or two later he told me he had discussed the matter with his people and they thought it would be better to have me because I would go over better with the literati and the glitterati. I was appointed by agreement between the Jesuit provincial and the president and vice-president of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference to monitor the proceedings. I provided regular reports to Archbishops Coleridge and Fisher. I checked in regularly with one of the leading silks at the Melbourne bar who gave me invaluable advice.
On September 25, 2018, after the first trial in which the jury could not agree, I wrote to the cardinal saying:
Given that the cathedral charges are to be presented again on November 5, could I offer you my reflections on the issue of whether you should give evidence. I of course am not privy to the detailed discussions between you and your legal team. And I make absolutely no pretence to match their professional competence and dedication to your immediate interests as their client. But I do have a perspective which I think would be useful for you (and perhaps them) to consider.
The present charges should never have been presented in court. The fact that they have points to systemic problems in the Victoria Police Service and in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. I in no way cast aspersions on the prosecutor Mark Gibson QC who conducted himself honourably and with measured restraint throughout the trial. Once you are acquitted, people like me will need to offer a strong critique of these institutions.
There is no way that a jury rightly instructed could be convinced beyond reasonable doubt of your guilt on these charges which are so improbable as to verge on the impossible. A jury attentive only to the evidence should be able to reach a unanimous finding of not guilty on these charges, and very promptly.
The best surmise seems to be that the jury was locked 10–2 with ten favoring a verdict of not guilty and two holding out. Those holding out could not have been acting only on the evidence. They must have harboured some deep resentment against you and/or the Catholic Church. Chances are that any future jury will include one or two such members. Statistically of course, there is every probability that at least one juror will have been sexually abused as a child, whether at home or in an institutional setting.
You will recall that when Lionel Murphy was tried before a judge and jury many of his critics (but also some citizens simply concerned to maintain the standing of the High Court) were upset that he did not give evidence subjecting himself to cross-examination. The thinking of some of these people was: he is an intelligent man; he is a resourceful individual; he has good legal advice; if he didn’t do it, surely he could just get in the witness box and tell us so.
I have no doubt that your experienced counsel and solicitor had good reasons in the first trial for not calling you to give evidence. But I think you must give evidence in the second trial. Let me explain why.
The one or two recalcitrant jurors will be adamant with their colleagues that the church is well resourced and has hidden things for too long. The complainant may be speaking gibberish when it comes to details about the allegations but these one or two jurors will taunt their colleagues, “At least the complainant had the courage to give evidence and be willing to subject himself to many hours of prying cross-examination by Richter. Meanwhile why wasn’t Pell prepared to subject himself to the same treatment, particularly when you consider that Gibson is so much more restrained that Richter?”
Also once the suppression orders are lifted and ABC/Fairfax go to town, it will be essential in the wake of the first trial with a hung jury that you be seen to have done all you possibly can to clear your name and to demonstrate the outrageous absurdity of the charges.
To my surprise, the Cardinal did not give evidence. After his convictions by the second jury, he wrote in his Prison Journal:[iii]
Frank Brennan was always keen for me to be in the box, especially after the hung jury decision. Eventually I decided I should give evidence, despite the entire legal team and my own advisers being opposed. Terry Tobin came around to my point of view. I only decided not to take the stand after the prosecutor had dealt with Charlie Portelli and especially Max Potter. I was so cross with the treatment they both received, I was frightened that my hostility might turn a majority for acquittal into a split decision. The basis of my reasoning was quite wrong.
After his eventual unanimous acquittal by the High Court of Australia, Pell wrote to me on St Patrick’s Day 2021 in response to my article “Where Has Cardinal Pell’s Case Brought Us in the Australian Church?”, published in Irish Studies,[iv] saying:
Thanks for the kind note, and the splendid article.
Despite your admitting to a small number of neo-Protestant views (with alas, the potential for others), on my issue you have been consistently just, insightful, and courageous. I owe you a lot, but the long-term health of Australian public life has also been strengthened by your writings. Please God, with the further passing of the years you will lapse closer to full orthodoxy and continue to deploy your considerable skills even more effectively for the Holy Mother Church the Society of Jesus serves. (We all have our secret ambitions).
He concluded, “Thanks again for all your hard work and congratulations on the justice and insight of your judgments. In the Lord, +CGP.”
Cardinal Pell made a very gracious speech of thanks to me at a dinner held in Canberra on August 18, 2022. We last saw each other when we were each presenting at a conference held in Rome in December 2022 , “Catholic Schools and Religious Liberty: A Global Perspective”. In his speech he repeatedly referred to Victoria as Danistan. At the end of the conference, we attended the opening of the new Rome campus of the Australian Catholic University. When Pell died on January 10 this year, I declined all media interview requests as I did not want to contribute to a public perception that it was his treatment by the Victorian criminal justice system that defined him. I was finally convinced to write his obituary for the Tablet when the editor wrote to me saying, “I think precisely because of your courage in championing his cause when it was deeply unpopular you could write about him in the round without being written off as a blind demoniser or canoniser.” George Cardinal Pell and I maintained our differences. But, through adversity, we became friends. Just as he was a strong supporter of Pope John Paul II, so too I am a strong supporter of Pope Francis. I dare to suggest that each of them has been a pope for his times—our times of change, not just an era of change but a change of era, as Francis is fond of saying.
The trials and appeals of George Pell
Cardinal Pell was the subject of a long-running and well-resourced police operation, which bore all the hallmarks of a sting, and which culminated in the cardinal ultimately facing trial on five charges of child sexual abuse. The complainant J alleged that he and his companion M who were choristers at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne were assaulted by Pell in the sacristy immediately after the 11 a.m. solemn mass concluded on the third or fourth Sunday of Advent in 1996. These were the first four charges. J further alleged that Pell had assaulted him again in the crowded sacristy corridor after mass on February 23, 1997, when servers and choristers were recessing after mass together with Father Brendan Egan who celebrated the mass. This was the fifth charge.
The jury in the first trial could not agree. After conviction on all five charges by a second jury in December 2018, Pell appealed to the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria. The state’s two most senior judges, Chief Justice Ferguson and President Maxwell, dismissed the appeal. In dissent, Justice Weinberg, the most experienced criminal appellate judge in the country, considered that in the light of the unchallenged evidence of the witnesses who gave testimony about the ritual and routine of a solemn mass in the cathedral, “the odds against [J’s] account of how the abuse had occurred , would have to be substantial”.[v] As to the fifth charge, Weinberg plainly regarded it as risible in its implausibility.
Obtaining leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia is always difficult, but Pell was granted leave. All seven judges sat. They unanimously upheld his appeal, ordering that each of the convictions be quashed and judgments of acquittal be entered in their place. The High Court held that no jury, properly instructed and acting reasonably, could have convicted Pell of these offences.
In addition to J, the prosecution had at the trial called twenty-two other witnesses. Some had been choristers. Monsignor Charles Portelli, the long-time cathedral MC was a witness, so too Max Potter, aged eighty-four, who had been sacristan for thirty-eight years. Initially the prosecution was not minded to call any altar servers as witnesses even though altar servers were the ones who would be in the sacristy, coming and going, at the time of any alleged offending. The defence was able to provide the prosecution with the names of two altar servers who gave detailed evidence about the activity in the sacristy immediately after mass.
In the second trial, the prosecutor told the jury that the Crown case in relation to the first four offences would “have occurred when Archbishop Pell must have come upon the boys fairly soon after the end of mass, not fifteen or twenty minutes after mass”.[vi] There were three problems with this. First, the complainant J had changed his story several times about the route he and his companion had followed to reach the sacristy. On the final account he proffered the jury, they would have reached the sacristy about six minutes after the procession had set off from the sanctuary at the end of mass, and a couple of minutes after the servers leading the procession had arrived, and not before. So there was no time for them to be alone together prior to Pell’s arrival, ferreting for wine and swigging it, as J had alleged. Second, for the duration of any alleged offending, the altar servers would have been coming and going, bringing the sacred vessels from the sanctuary. Third, there was no way that Pell could have come across the boys “fairly soon after the end of mass” as Pell would still have been on the steps of the main entrance to the Cathedral greeting his new parishioners, this being his first or second solemn 11 a.m. Sunday mass as archbishop.
The High Court saw no need to consider many other unlikely matters raised in J’s testimony. All seven judges wrote: “It remains that the evidence of witnesses, whose honesty was not in question, (i) placed the applicant on the steps of the Cathedral for at least ten minutes after Mass on 15 and 22 December 1996; (ii) placed him in the company of Portelli when he returned to the priests’ sacristy to remove his vestments; and (iii) described continuous traffic into and out of the priests’ sacristy for ten to fifteen minutes after the altar servers completed their bows to the crucifix.”[vii]
The High Court decided that the “compounding improbabilities caused” by this unchallenged evidence “required the jury, acting rationally, to have entertained a doubt” as to Pell’s guilt.[viii] The jury was not acting rationally when they convicted Pell of these offences. The subsequent reasoning of Victoria’s two most senior judges entrenched the jury’s irrationality when they upheld the jury’s convictions.
It was only during the second trial that the elderly Max Potter spoke of the private prayer time of up to six minutes which he, as sacristan, would allow to the congregation before commencing the clearing of the sanctuary. The prosecution and the two erring Victorian judges tried to suggest that it was during these six minutes that the offending would have occurred. They overlooked the fact that J, having initially spoken only of a short internal route, had ultimately postulated a route outside the Cathedral of over 400 steps which would have taken five to six minutes for him and his companion to reach the sacristy. There was no time left for the alleged six minutes of offending. The High Court put the Victorian Court of Appeal’s blunder in these terms:
The principal difficulty with the Court of Appeal majority’s analysis is that it elides Potter’s estimate of five to six minutes of private prayer time with the estimate of five to six minutes during which A and B re-entered the Cathedral, made their way into the priests’ sacristy and were assaulted. The two periods are distinct.[ix]
There was just no time when Pell and the two boys could have been alone together in the sacristy “fairly soon after the end of mass” as the prosecutor had put the case to the jury.
The fifth charge was absurd. The police never interviewed anyone other than the complainant about this alleged offence. The police never even spoke to Brendan Egan who was alleged to be just in front of Pell before Pell broke from the procession making his way through the throng of servers and choristers to assault the complainant. Chief Justice Ferguson and President Maxwell accepted that the assault was proved beyond reasonable doubt with this observation: “[A] fleeting physical encounter of the kind described by [J] can be readily imagined. Jurors would know from common experience that confined spaces facilitate furtive sexual touching, even when others are in the same space. And the act of squeezing the genitals is, itself, unremarkable as a form of sexual assault.”[x] They said: “We would accept, of course, that the sight of Cardinal Pell at close quarters with a choirboy might well have attracted attention but we would assume—as did cross-examining counsel—that all of the others in the corridor were intent on completing the procession, and removing their ceremonial robes, as soon as possible. In that state of affairs, it seems to us to be quite possible that this brief encounter was not noticed. At all events, the evidence once again falls well short of establishing impossibility.”[xi] So much for the prosecution having to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. Now it was a matter of an accused person having to establish impossibility.
This was altogether too much for the seven High Court judges, who observed:
The assumption that a group of choristers, including adults, might have been so preoccupied with making their way to the robing room as to fail to notice the extraordinary sight of the Archbishop of Melbourne dressed “in his full regalia” advancing through the procession and pinning a thirteen-year-old boy to the wall, is a large one. The failure to make any formal report of such an incident, had it occurred, may be another matter.[xii]
The fifth charge, like the thirteenth stroke of a clock, was the key to the fantastic mind of J, the shoddiness of the police investigation, the dogged persistence of the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute any charge no matter how weak and uninvestigated, and the bewildering thinking of the two most senior Victorian judges.
These five charges were the only charges ever put to a jury in relation to Cardinal Pell. His many critics have failed to produce even a theory, let alone any cogent evidence, as to how he and two choristers could end up in the sacristy alone together “fairly soon after the end of mass, not fifteen or twenty minutes after mass”, for six minutes of offending to occur after the two choristers have processed for six minutes at the end of mass, when the altar servers will be coming and going in the sacristy “for ten to fifteen minutes after the altar servers completed their bows to the crucifix” and when the concelebrating priests would “remain for the next ten minutes or so”[xiii].
How could such preposterous charges be brought in 2018? How could the Director of Public Prosecutions decide to proceed with an indictment on such implausible charges? We need to go back to the setting up of the Catholic Church’s “Melbourne Response” in 1996, and the Victorian Parliament’s 2012 inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations. It provides the context for the admission by police superintendent Paul Sheridan at the committal hearing that one could be excused for thinking that Operation Tethering was nothing less than a “Get Pell” exercise.[xiv]
When Pell became Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, he set up the Melbourne Response to deal with cases of child sexual abuse by church personnel in the archdiocese. The protocol was finalised in close co-operation with Victoria Police and with the approval of the Victorian Solicitor-General. The protocol was amended and refined over time with police co-operation. Pell left Melbourne in 2001 to become Archbishop of Sydney.
Ten years after Pell had left Melbourne, the state government, police and church actors who had signed off on the Melbourne Response had all moved on. There was a growing public awareness of the problem of child sexual abuse in institutions. In Victoria there were a few priests by then known to be notorious paedophiles who had violated many, many children. Two institutions were at fault, failing to act on information previously available to them—Victoria Police and the Catholic Church. Victoria Police decided that attack was the best form of defence. On September 29, 2011, Deputy Police Commissioner Graham Ashton sent a letter to the Church, stating that police could no longer publicly support a new protocol which had been developed with the Church. The Victorian Parliament announced an inquiry into abuse on April 17, 2012. Ashton gave appalling testimony on October 19, 2012, suggesting that forty-three suicides were traceable to clerical abuse. There was evidence of only one possible suicide related to such abuse.[xv]
On March 5, 2013, Victoria Police set up “Operation Tethering”. This was the beginning of the sting operation. A Victoria Police document of the time stated, “This investigation was initiated as a result of a combination of reported activities of inappropriate behaviour permitted by Pell dating back to the 1960s.”[xvi] Note, there was no suggestion of inappropriate behaviour by Pell. More recently, Victoria Police have stated: “Operation Tethering was set up to investigate possible unreported crimes committed by Cardinal George Pell.”[xvii] It is very rare for a police force to set up such an investigation into a person when no complaints have been received.
In its final report published on November 13, 2013, the parliamentary committee unanimously observed:
It is clear that Victoria Police paid inadequate attention to the fundamental problems of the Melbourne Response arrangements until relatively recently in April 2012 and that, when they did become the subject of public attention, Victoria Police representatives endeavoured quite unfairly to distance the organisation from them.[xviii]
Victoria Police had been less than candid.
Meanwhile Operation Tethering did not uncover a single complaint against Pell for more than a year. The first complaint on March 24, 2014, came from a man who had just been released from a psychiatric hospital. It turned out that his complaint related to the serial paedophile Gerald Ridsdale, and not Pell. Before the Ballarat hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in May 2015, Operation Tethering had not received a single complaint in relation to Pell. Then in June 2015, the complainant J came forward and made a statement. It transpired he had been in touch with Broken Rites’ Bernard Barrett. In the following month, two complainants named Dignan and Monument came forward from Ballarat alleging that Pell had sexually assaulted them many years before when they had been playing in a swimming pool.
On Christmas Eve 2015, the Age newspaper devoted its whole front page to a story titled “St Patrick’s Centre of Police Inquiry”. The sting operation went into full swing. The SANO Taskforce which investigates child sexual offences appealed for information “about sexual assaults at St Patrick’s Cathedral between 1996 and 2001”, the years that Pell was archbishop. Thereafter SANO officers interviewed many choristers from the time when J was in the St Patrick’s choir. They never interviewed a single altar server, even though J’s allegation was that Pell’s offending occurred in the sacristy which altar servers would frequent and which was out of bounds to choristers. Presumably, the SANO officers suspected that other choristers would have complaints against Pell too. But they turned up nothing.
In March 2018, a committal hearing was held on various matters. Pell was committed for trial on the five St Patrick’s Cathedral charges and on three other charges relating to the swimming pool in Ballarat. Seven other charges were withdrawn, and the magistrate discharged Pell on nine other charges, revealing just how broad and thin was the sting operation. The bringing of all twenty-six charges attracted great media publicity and brought great harm to the cardinal’s reputation, especially in Ballarat. In relation to the St Patrick’s charges, the committing magistrate observed: “There was a preponderance of evidence that the archbishop spent time speaking with the congregants on the steps prior to returning to the sacristy. If a jury accepted the evidence of Monsignor Portelli and Mr Potter that the archbishop was never in the sacristy robed and alone, and that choirboys could never access the sacristy keys because they were always locked when unused, then a jury could not convict.’[xix] She went ahead and committed Pell for trial, observing: “The jury has the fundamental function of weighing the evidence and the unfettered ability to accept or reject it. A committing magistrate may not exert that fundamental role.”[xx]
The DPP was keen to proceed first with the Ballarat case, presumably because some of those complainants had gone public and journalists like Louise Milligan had publicised their cases. J did not want any publicity. It was Pell’s lawyers who insisted that the cathedral case be heard first. Meanwhile the Ballarat case fell apart completely when the DPP failed to convince the trial judge that there was admissible tendency evidence and evidence of similar facts. The judge observed: “It is one thing to strengthen or reinforce individual complaints through the lens of the collective weight of the complaints, it is quite another to seek to cure fundamental defects and weaknesses or to change or obscure a complaint’s essential character. The tendency and coincidence applications seek to do the latter here. There is a limit to what can be saved.”[xxi]
A five-year Operation Tethering including a 2015 Christmas Eve advertising onslaught against the cardinal had turned up nothing further to J’s complaint. The prosecutor was clearly frustrated and tested to the limits during the trials. At both trials he wrongly suggested to the jury that Portelli immediately at the end of mass might have left Pell alone while he ducked out for a cigarette. In the first trial, the defence quite properly objected and so in the presence of the jury the prosecutor had to withdraw. In the second trial, it was even worse. This was the exchange between the prosecutor and Portelli:[xxii]
Monsignor, might you have also, might another occasion have been to go out and have a smoke outside?
Not at all.
You said you were a twenty cigarettes a day man, mass has been for over an hour, you didn’t go outside to have a smoke after mass?
It would be as appropriate as for instance His Honour walking down William Street dressed as he is smoking a cigarette, which is not done.
In his final address to the jury this second time, the prosecutor said:
It’s an argument of mine. You might dismiss it of course if you don’t like it, and there’s no evidence from Monsignor Portelli that he went off and smoked when he got to that doorway, I put to him, and he said, no, he didn’t when he got to that doorway [indistinct] smoke. It is a matter for you, it’s an argument from me, as to whether at that moment, and he said having been MC for Archbishop Pell during the mass, processed back at that point whether he went off and had a cigarette. It’s simply a submission I make. There’s no evidence of it because he denied it.[xxiii]
This was an experienced prosecutor who was having to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Needless to say, the defence once again objected and he had to withdraw. That was the moment at which I realised the prosecution could not cobble together a case that made any sense.
Another time, the prosecutor told the jury that the altar servers might have adjourned to a room other than the priests’ sacristy after mass for six minutes or more allowing the opportunity for the offending to occur. There was no evidence of this. The altar servers denied it. By the time the appeal got to the High Court, the DPP appearing in person was asked: “On the evidence, once the altar servers bowed to the crucifix, on their account where did they go?” The DPP claimed there was evidence that the servers went to the “worker sacristy”. She was asked, “Is this going back to the position that the prosecution disavowed at trial?” With the prosecutor Gibson sitting beside her, the DPP Kerri Judd threw him under the bus, responding: “He incorrectly disavowed that there was no evidence, he was very generous in that.”[xxiv] In their judgment, all seven High Court judges observed:
The respondent [prosecutor] also submitted that “[t]he altar servers would have then left the Sacristy—either for the workers’ room, where they disrobed, or for the sanctuary to assist Potter”. The submission comes close to repeating the submission which the prosecutor withdrew at the trial. There was no evidence that the altar servers went to their room to disrobe prior to returning to the sanctuary in order to assist in clearing away the sacred vessels and other objects. Nor is there an evidentiary foundation for the conclusion that there was a hiatus between the time when the altar servers completed their bows to the crucifix and the clearing of the sanctuary.[xxv]
The desperation of the DPP was palpable. The charges should never have been brought. The DPP should never have proceeded with an indictment. The Victorian Court of Appeal applying the law should have concluded that “the jury must, as distinct from might, have entertained a doubt about the appellant’s guilt”[xxvi].
Imagine if the Victorian government were ever to institute an inquiry into this travesty of justice along the lines of the Sofronoff Board of Inquiry into the Criminal Justice System in the ACT.
The case against Pell was nothing more than an appalling police sting operation protracted by grossly erroneous judicial reasoning by Victoria’s two most senior judges. Thankfully, his prison journals revealed a Christian who was able to find grace in the midst of adversity and profound injustice.
Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO is the author of Observations on the Pell Proceedings, Connor Court, 2021 (two editions).
[i] Damien Freeman, Roddy’s Folly: R P Meagher QC: art lover and lawyer, Connor Court, 2011, p. 202.
[iii] George Pell, Prison Journal, Volume 1, p. 64.
[iv] Studies, volume 110, number 437, pp.36-51.
[v] Pell v The Queen  VSCA 186 at .
[vi] Director of Public Prosecutions v. George Pell, Transcript, County Court of Victoria, 3 December 2018, p. 1351.
[vii] Pell v The Queen (2020) 268 CLR 123 at p. 164.
[ix] Ibid. p. 163.
[x] Pell v The Queen  VSCA 186 at .
[xi] Ibid, .
[xii] Pell v The Queen (2020) 268 CLR 123 at p. 165.
[xiii] Ibid, p. 157.
[xiv] This was the exchange between Sheridan and Robert Richter QC at the committal:
Yes, and the Operation Tethering, that wasn’t a “get Pell’ operation, was it?—Well, Op Tethering was, as I understand it, commenced as an intel probe around what offences the cardinal may have committed.
Yes?—So it depends how you want to term it, but I guess you could term it the way you did, but I would [not] term it that way. (The Police v. George Pell, Transcript, 28 March 2018, p. 1449).
[xv] Victorian Parliament, Family and Community Development Committee: Inquiry into the handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations, Transcript, 19 October 2012, p.8.
[xvi] A quote from the Interpose Log, put to Detective Senior Constable David Rae by Robert Richter QC, The Police v. George Pell, Transcript, 28 March 2018, p. 1553.
[xvii] Letter of Solicitors for Superintendent Paul Sheridan, 16 November 2022. Sheridan flew to Rome for the record of interview with Cardinal Pell. He was a very experienced officer but was later the subject of adverse comment by IBAC (the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission) as well as the “Lawyer X’ Royal Commission. See https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2022/07/an-acquittal-victoria-police-and-the-pell-case/
[xviii] Betrayal of Trust:Inquiry Into The Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Non-Government Organisations, Final Report, Volume 1, November 2013, p.25
[xix] The Police v. George Pell, Transcript, 1 May 2018, pp. 1786-7.
[xx] Ibid, p.1787.
[xxi] Director of Public Prosecutions v George Pell (Evidential Ruling No 1)  VCC 149 at p.31.
[xxii] Director of Public Prosecutions v George Pell, Transcript, 20 November 2018, p. 591.
[xxiii]Ibid, p. 1374 (3 December 2018).
[xxiv] Pell v The Queen  HCATrans 27 (12 March 2020), p.60.
[xxv] Pell v The Queen (2020) 268 CLR 123 at p. 164.
[xxvi] Ibid, p. 147.