I agree about process concern, and the following isnt directed at you FKT, but seemed a good comment to reply to with the following:
I very strongly recommend reading this article about Pell. Here is free site link https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/111118745/catholic-church-aware-of-claims-against-george-pell-since-1996 instead of the paywall article at theage.com.au (although the age is easy to access with incognito browser mode).
And today(or the last day or so) a civil case has been launched, regarding the alleged events which were to be covered in the second trial.
I am *somewhat* uncomfortable with the first trial, and agree the appeal has a good chance of being successful. I don't have any sympathy for the man, and here is why...
Disclaimer - I am an atheist and have been since i was about 8 years old, but my family were heavily catholic. Much interaction formally and informally at church, school, monasteries and nunneries, and very frequent entertaining of priests, brothers and nuns during the 70's and 80's. I did not experience or personally observe abuse. My parents allowed me to cease going to church / monastery chapel when I was 16, when they accepted I would never have faith based on the goat herders guide to the galaxy (i.e. the bible).
I was an altar boy at Saint Peters Daylesford, from 7 to 10 years of age. (1973 - 1976). Pell was a priest at Ballarat East from 1973 - 1983. Daylesford is about 20 mins from Ballarat East. Even though I didn't believe the religious claptrap, I did get paid to be an altar boy (20 cents for mass, 50 cents for a funeral (plus time away from school)). We were poor, father in ill health, so this was my source of 'pocket money'. Pell was my least favorite priest, very condescending, had an attitude. Didn't have to do too much with him as he was from Ballarat East, but it wasnt unusual to have special masses in Daylesford. Frank Little on the other hand was a wonderful guy which makes me distrust Pell even more (Pell blaming Little for being misled by the catholic education office during his evidence at that Royal Commission).
With such a heavy involvement in church activities, my mother and father knew more than most. One time they had to go somewhere without me for a weekend (dont know why). The had planned on leaving me overnight at the Ballarat Orphanage (Catholic). I had already visited for a play session to get to know some of the kids. These kids were careful with what they said to me with nuns around, but did suggest days were ok, but nights could be bad.
When the local (daylesford) nuns found out about the plan for me to stay over, they told my parents in no uncertain terms to not let me stay there overnight (and why). About the same time my parents frequently asked me about whether I had been touched etc by local priests, especially when a new priest organized some bike riding trips for himself and the altar boys around the countryside (very nice priest of which I have no doubts).
However to me this proves the hierarchy knew about prevalent abuse in this archdiocese back in 1973 - 1976, and Pell was geographically as well placed to be told about it as anybody else, especially given his close relationship to Ridsdale. A reasonably good coverage of some of what happened in Ballarat is https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/29/world/australia/ballarat-church-sexual-abuse-pell.html
To close, I wasn't in the courtroom for his trial, and none of us have seen the video testimony. The jury may have been swayed by the imho deserved stink and taint surrounding the catholic church in Australia. However Pell has consistently run the course that the church establishment is far more important than any individual. This was the way of thinking for lay parents, nuns, brothers, priests, bishops all the way up to the top. Rather than being angry at just Pell, I am angry with the whole damned lot of them, including the vast majority who were good guys but actively turned a blind eye.
I am hopeful that one way or another Pell receives punishment for direct abuse, or indirect abuse (managing coverups / ignoring common knowledge). The Catholic Church was extremely fortunate the royal commission wasn't held 2 or 3 decades earlier. I do note Pope Francis considers this all the work of the devil, including current legal and media attacks on the church being pushed by the devil. It's all the devils fault - not the church itself. Asinine!
Sorry this was long, and thanks for reading. If nothing else it felt good to type it out. I think I was simply fortunate that my parents moved from that diocese back to Melbourne before I reached my early / mid teens. Also fortunate my parents allowed me to question everything I was told to believe.