Cardinal George Pell Has Been Found Guilty Of Child Sexual Abuse

Cheryl Sanders
February 26, 2019

The jury convicted Pell of abusing two 13-year-old boys whom he had caught swigging sacramental wine in a rear room of Melbourne's St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1996 when he was archbishop.

The man, who was a school boy when abused, described how Pell had exposed himself to the two boys, fondled their genitals and masturbated and forced one boy to perform a sex act on him.

The cleric, who remained free on bail throughout the proceedings, denied all the charges and an initial trial ended with a hung jury in September.

The verdict was delivered on December 11 in Melbourne's county court, but Australian media was prevented from reporting the decision after the court imposed a suppression order.

In a statement on Tuesday, he said that the case had been stressful and was not over yet.

"Cardinal George Pell has always maintained his innocence and continues to do so", said a statement issued by his lawyers, who added that they had lodged an appeal against the conviction.

He has released a statement thanking the public for their support.

'Like many survivors, I have experienced shame, loneliness, depression and struggle.

"Like many survivors it has taken me years to understand the impact upon on my life", he said as quoted by The Washington Post.

'At some point, we realise we trusted someone we should have feared, and we fear those genuine relationships that we should trust'.

He's due to return to the County Court for a plea hearing on February 27.

"It is a miracle".

The Cardinal is yet to be sentenced, but is expected to be jailed for his crimes, with Chief Judge Peter Kidd telling Pell's legal counsel he would be remanded into custody on Wednesday.

Pell was from an influential position overseeing the Vatican's finances following the accusations.

Evidence of the abuse came from just one of the choirboys.

Speaking at a conference on Sunday, Francis vowed to wage an "all-out battle against the abuse of minors, both sexually and in other areas" calling the phenomenon "all the more grave and scandalous in the Church, for it is utterly incompatible with her moral authority and ethical credibility".

"I am a witness in a case brought by the state of Victoria".

Pell received a Companion for the Order of Australia in 2005 for his service to the Catholic Church.

Australia's highest-ranking Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, raped a choirboy in the 1990s and molested another.

The testimony of one of Pell's victims was read to the court by Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Gibson SC. The other boy died several years ago, the Age reported.

The Catholic Church worldwide has in recent years faced a damaging series of allegations relating to sex abuse by priests, and claims that these cases were covered up.

Wilson successfully appealed that conviction in early December.

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