Anger continues over Australian Catholic University's decision to retain convicted pedophile George Pell's name on a Ballarat building, with graffiti appearing at the campus overnight.
A Mair Street banner advertising the university's open day was graffitied on Thursday night. The banner had been taken down by Friday.
It follows discussion about an article by ACU senior research fellow Kevin Donnelly on the subject which called Wednesday's Court of Appeal ruling as "a black day for the Catholic Church and an even darker day for Cardinal George Pell".
The article was published despite many Ballarat ACU staff and students telling The Courier on Wednesday they had been asked by university executives in Sydney not to speak to the media about the choice to not rename the Pell Centre.
On Friday, a university spokesperson said "ACU has not issued a directive to its staff or students to not comment on the Cardinal Pell case."
But an email seen by The Courier sent to Ballarat university students on Friday afternoon said "staff and students are asked to refer all media enquiries or requests to the ACU Media Team".
In an article in a NewsCorp newspaper, Mr Donnelly writes: "there will always be the suspicion that in Pell's case justice may not have been done."
The opinion piece, published on Thursday, argues that because Justice Mark Weinberg (one of the three judges) voted to uphold Pell's appeal, there would always be a shadow of doubt over the decision.
One person connected to ACU on Wednesday told The Courier, "There are a lot of things I would like to say but I really can't. We have strictly been told not to talk to the press ... This involves paedophilia. I think you can imagine how most of us are feeling."
Mr Donnelly said in his article that "for years secular critics have waged a concerted and pervasive campaign against Pell and the Catholic Church."
"While there is no doubt the church has been guilty of failing to protect children and failing to expose and punish those guilty priests, it's also true the Catholic Church and Pell have been the victims of a series of vitriolic, hostile attacks."
When contacted, Victoria Police stated they had not received a report about graffiti on the Ballarat ACU Aquinas campus.
In a media statement released on Friday, an ACU spokesperson reiterated that the university will "not take any action until the legal process has definitively finished", denying that it was only a recent decision to wait until all legal avenues had been exhausted by the Pell defence team.
"This has been a very difficult process for many in our community. Our thoughts and prayers as always are with all survivors of sexual abuse and their families."
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