George Pell stripped of Order of Australia

TIMELINE OF THE PELL CASE21:20FShareTTweetBMailJTumblrGShareLLinkedInWWhatsApp

TIMELINE OF THE PELL CASE21:20FShareTTweetBMailJTumblrGShareLLinkedInWWhatsApp

Pell, once the highest ranking Australian in the Catholic church, was in March sentenced to six years in prison after a jury found he had sexually abused two choir boys in Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral in 1996 and 1997 while he was Archbishop of Melbourne.

Two of three Victoria appellate judges rejected Pell's argument that the jury verdict past year was unreasonable, and all three refused the claim of legal errors at trial.

Card George Pell, the former Vatican Secretary for the Economy, was accused of abusing two minors in Melbourne cathedral immediately after a Sunday solemn mass in 1990.

Pell was ordered to serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he was eligible for parole.

"Once all legal proceedings have run their course, the Council for the Order of Australia may make a recommendation to me as Chancellor of the Order, which I will act on".

At the appeal hearing in June, Pell's lawyer Bret Walker SC presented a long list of reasons why it was "not possible" for Pell to have committed the alleged attack. The statement ends declaring once again that in spite of "the 2-1 split decision, Cardinal Pell maintains his innocence".

Supporters of abuse victims are seen outside the Supreme Court of Victoria, Melbourne, Wednesday, August 21, 2019.

"This is also a troubling time for our Catholic community throughout the whole Ballarat diocese, not only because of Cardinal Pell's connections with our diocese but also because the entire church community is again confronted by the bad history of abuse of children and the breach of trust that that abuse involved", Bishop Bird said.

Pell's spokeswoman, Katrina Lee, said he maintained his innocence and his legal team was examining the judgment to determine whether to lodge a special leave application to the High Court of Australia to hear a final appeal.

The man, who can not be named, says in a statement released by his lawyer on Wednesday the criminal process since he reported Pell to police four years ago has been "stressful". His legal team is considering challenging his convictions in Australia's High Court. Pell's appeal against his convictions for child molestation was largely a question of who should the jury have believed, his accuser or a senior priest whose church role was likened to Pell's bodyguard. "I felt a responsibility to come forward", he said in a statement read by his lawyer. "Indeed, it is fair to say that his case has divided the community".

Although my faith has taken a battering it is still part of my life, and part of the lives of loved ones.

Cardinal Pell stood stoic in the prisoner's dock while the decision was explained.

Cardinal Pell's lawyers have said that he will not petition for a shorter sentence.

Victims, however, expressed happiness with the ruling with one of them saying he just hopes it is all over now.

The second victim died of a heroin overdose at the age of 30 in 2014, and his father shed tears following the appeal dismissal.

"I appreciate that the criminal process has afforded Pell every opportunity to challenge the charges and every opportunity to be heard. I wanted at least some good to come of it".

"I think there has been some misunderstanding of the process in Australia a view that there's lots of different goes at getting the verdict that they might want to see", he said.

On Wednesday morning, the court's decision was live-streamed across the world.

Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli, the cardinal's successor, said in a statement August 21 that the two trials and appeal demonstrate how "the complexity of the search for the truth in this matter has tested many, and may very well continue to do so".

"The experiences I have been through have helped me understand what is truly important", he said.

Latest News