The Pell case is far from over. Lawyers need not stand down yet.
This is not like one of those miscarriages of justice where an imprisoned man walks to freedom with all taint to his behaviour and character removed.
That, at least, is the view of one of the experts on Catholicism in Australia.
The High Court has quashed Cardinal Pell's conviction for sexually abusing two boys. It ruled that there was "reasonable doubt" of guilt - and if there is "reasonable doubt", the verdict must be: "innocent".
But Professor Andrew Singleton, an expert on Catholicism in Australia, said that the 78-year-old's previous attitude to allegations of sexual abuse remains a stain.
He will remain condemned by many for his performance and demeanour at the Royal Commission.Professor Andrew Singleton, Deakin University
"He will remain condemned by many for his performance and demeanour at the Royal Commission," Professor Singleton of Deakin University said. "I think it was a poor reflection on him."
At the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell who had been a priest in Ballarat denied all knowledge of what fellow priests there were doing.
"I have sometimes said that if we had been gossips," he said, "which we were not, and we had talked to one another about the problems that were there, we would have realised earlier just how widespread this awful business was."
He denied that he knew anything about why abusive priests were moved to other parishes.
He was photographed accompanying Gerald Ridsdale to the court where the priest was found guilty of rape and other sexual offences against 65 children, some as young as four years old.
There is no suggestion that Cardinal Pell was involved in the crime itself but his critics were not convinced by his claims of a complete lack of knowledge that there was something rotten in the Church.
He said of the Ridsdale case: "It's a sad story but it was not of much interest to me."
So where does the Cardinal's acquittal leave the Church now?
Professor Singleton said that he doesn't think the court decision changes much.
"He hasn't been the head of of the Church in Australia for quite some time and the Church was already battered by other revelations.
"So I don't think this is particularly material for everyday operations.
"More particularly, I think the rank and file who attend mass regularly won't see this as anything other than that the Church still needs to get its house in order."
He accepts that Catholics and others remain deeply divided about the case itself - even as they accept that sexual abuse by priests was serious and not uncommon.
"There are many who still venerate priests - who think priests are a special class", Professor Singleton said.
Cardinal Pell is not free of controversy, either, because civil cases remain against him. He has been cleared of crime but claims for damages may still go forward.
On top of that, parts of the reports done for the Royal Commission were blacked out so that jurors at his trials wouldn't be prejudiced against him. Those parts may now be published.
After the freeing of Cardinal Pell, the federal Attorney-General, Christian Porter, said: "My strong preference is to have as much of the information that has been redacted, tabled with less redaction."
The jury which convicted George Pell in 2018 heard the evidence about what the then archbishop allegedly did to two boys in a side room of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne in the 1990s.
The jurors rejected the defence that it would have been well-nigh impossible for an archbishop to sexually abuse the boys straight after mass in a place frequented by others.
The jury found him guilty and the Victorian Court of Appeal upheld the decision. Now, the highest court in the land has rejected their decisions, ruling that both courts should have found "reasonable doubt" about the allegations.
But don't juries make the big decision of guilt or innocence according go the facts before them?
Not completely, according to Professor Mark Nolan of the ANU's law school.
"The basis upon which the decision was made in the High Court to quash convictions and to not order any retrial is one of the usual grounds of appeal against jury verdicts: that the verdicts are unreasonable or cannot be supported by the evidence when the whole of the evidence is considered by the appeal court."
Cardinal Pell is a polarising figure.
Former Prime Ministers Howard and Abbott stood by him. Campaigners for victims of sexual abuse vilified him.
He is innocent in the eyes of the law.
But he is not free to walk the streets of Melbourne unharried by controversy.