Vatican announces canonical investigation of Cardinal Pell
Feb 28, 2019, 00:05
Pell was found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16, which his lawyer reportedly likened to "oral rape", and four charges of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.
Cardinal Pell, once the third most powerful man in the Vatican and Australia's most senior Catholic, has been found guilty of child sexual abuse. "You're a monster. May you rot in hell", one protester shouted.
Pell this morning arrived for the pre-sentence hearing to chaotic scenes as an angry mob screamed abuse at him outside court.
Chief Judge Peter Kidd continued Pell's bail until his sentencing hearing, but warned Pell that did not indicate he would avoid a custodial sentence. Well, need I say any more?
The victim who testified at Pell's trial said after the conviction was revealed that he has experienced "shame, loneliness, depression and struggle".
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 late 1996, as hundreds of worshippers were streaming out of Sunday services.
But unusually, Pell wasn't taken into custody immediately because he had surgery scheduled in Sydney to have both knees replaced.
On Wednesday Kidd heard submissions from defence and prosecutors as to what Pell's sentence should be.
The verdict on the case of Cardinal George Pell was reached past year, but could not be reported until now for legal reasons. But the bail application was later withdrawn, and no date has been set for an appeal hearing.
Pell is the most senior official in the Catholic Church to be convicted of a sexual offence.
Pell's legal team has offered several people as character references for Pell, including former Prime Minister John Howard.
And when the media-suppression order that had banned Australian press coverage of these trials was lifted and the second verdict was revealed earlier this week, a Niagara of calumnies was poured over Cardinal Pell from both political and media circles, despite the fact that a few fearless Australian journalists and Fr.
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He reiterated that the Vatican has "maximum respect for the Australian judicial authorities" and that Pell "has confirmed his innocence and has the right to defend himself to the last degree". "I need space and time to cope with the ongoing criminal process".
Pell's lawyer Robert Richter was heckled by members of the public during the lunch break, prompting Kidd to warn people in the gallery that they could be charged with contempt of court for such behaviour.
"The allegations involve vile and disgusting conduct contrary to everything I hold dear and contrary to the explicit teachings of the Church which I have spent my life representing", Pell read from a statement early in the police interview in response to a summary of the allegations presented by detectives to his lawyers in advance.
The prosecutor could give no explanation but said: "He at least thought he was going to get away with it".
Mr Gibson said Pell had displayed a "degree of callous indifference" by continuing his attack on the boys despite their protests.
The move means that Pell, who maintains his innocence and plans to appeal the verdict, could be dismissed from the priesthood if the Vatican's doctrinal department also finds him guilty.
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