The first was Pell’s practice of greeting congregants on or near the Cathedral steps after Sunday solemn Mass.
The second was the established and historical Catholic church practice that required that the applicant, as an archbishop, always be accompanied when robed in the Cathedral.
And finally, opportunity witnesses testified about “the continuous traffic in and out of the priests’ sacristy for ten to 15 minutes after the conclusion of the procession that ended Sunday solemn Mass”.
The incidents were alleged to have occurred in and near the priests’ sacristy at St Patrick’s Cathedral in East Melbourne, following the celebration of Sunday solemn Mass.
“The High Court found that the jury, acting rationally on the whole of the evidence, ought to have entertained a doubt as to the applicant’s guilt with respect to each of the offences for which he was convicted, and ordered that the convictions be quashed and that verdicts of acquittal be entered in their place,” it said.
Even “on the assumption that the jury had assessed the complainant’s evidence as thoroughly credible and reliable”, the High Court maintained the “opportunity witnesses” used by Pell’s defence team put too much doubt into the case.