The Vatican has published a statement, following the decision on Cardinal George Pell’s appeal this morning.
Victoria’s Court of Appeal upheld Pell’s conviction for the rape of a 13-year-old choirboy and sexual assault of another at St Patrick’s Cathedral in the 1990s.
“While reiterating its respect for the Australian judicial system, as stated on 26 February after the first instance verdict was announced, the Holy See acknowledges the court’s decision to dismiss Cardinal Pell’s appeal,” the statement reads.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“As the proceedings continue to develop, the Holy See recalls that the Cardinal has always maintained his innocence throughout the judicial process and that it is his right to appeal to the High Court.
“At this time, together with the Church in Australia, the Holy See confirms its closeness to the victims of sexual abuse and its commitment to pursue, through the competent ecclesiastical authorities, those members of the clergy who commit such abuse,” the statement reads.
It’s understood Pell’s lawyers are still examining this morning’s judgement, in order to determine a special leave application to the High Court.
Earlier article: George Pell loses appeal for child abuse conviction