Cardinal George Pell Sentenced to 6 Years

Cardinal George Pell is the senior most Catholic leader to be convicted of a crime

Cardinal George Pell, at 77-years-old, became the senior most Catholic cleric in the Vatican’s history to be convicted on child sex abuse charges. The former Vatican Treasurer, considered to be the third most influential position among the Holy See leadership, was sentenced to six years in an Australian prison. He initially stared at 50 years behind prison bars in December 2018 for molesting two choir boys when he was archbishop of Melbourne during the 1990s. To be eligible for parole, the former Vatican functionary must serve a minimum of three years and then eight months.

Pell, who is accustomed to advising the high and mighty, including the pope, displayed no reaction when Peter Kidd, the Chief Judge, proclaimed the sentence which was broadcasted live all over the world on March 13 from the central Melbourne located Victoria’s County Court. The judge found the former cardinal guilty of one instance of sexual penetration done on a child and a total of four counts of committing indecent acts with a child during the December 2018 secret trial that lasted five weeks.

Pell will spend the rest of his remaining life as one of many registered sex offenders in the country. He assaulted the two 13-year-old boys after he caught them surreptitiously drinking sacramental wine in one of the rear rooms of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996. The jury also convicted the cardinal guilty of indecently assaulting one of the two boys one month later in the corridors of the church. In his sentencing remarks, Chief Justice Kidd said Pell’s age highly influenced the sentencing decision along with his health issues linked to cardiac problems. The Judge also noted the same reasons had led him to believe Pell will not go back to his old ways.

Judge Kidd spent an hour sentencing Pell, using the word "brazen." He suggested the former Vatican clergy member was extremely arrogant when it came to the young boys. The Justice pointed out Pell showed no regret or remorse when he was being awarded his sentence in court.

The legal team retained by Pell has previously announced of its intention to appeal his conviction, saying the verdict of the jury on all the five charges could only be deemed as unreasonable, based on the submitted evidence.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter