Australia’s highest court unanimously acquitted Cardinal George Pell of child abuse on Wednesday, marking a stunning turn of events for the 78-year-old prelate who had previously been the most senior Catholic official to be found guilty of sexual abuse.
The High Court of Australia has decided to give Cardinal George Pell, 78, a final chance to argue against his conviction on five counts of child sexual abuse.
Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of child abuse offenses, has lodged an application with Australia’s High Court to appeal his guilty verdict.
Up to this point, the ire of those who believe Cardinal George Pell is innocent of the charges of child sexual abuse brought against him in his home country has been directed largely at the Australian judiciary, most recently at a Victoria appeals court that upheld his conviction, Aug. 21, in a 2-1 split decision.
Cardinal George Pell’s effort to appeal his conviction for sexual abuse was rejected by a Melbourne court on Wednesday in a 2-1 decision, delivering a striking blow to one of the global Catholic Church’s most prominent figures.
On August 20, the Victoria state Court of Appeal will determine the fate of Cardinal George Pell, one of Catholic Church’s highest ranking members in Australia.
Cardinal George Pell was taken back to prison June 6 at the end of a two-day hearing on his appeal of his conviction on five counts of child sexual abuse.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, who was convicted of sexually abusing two choir boys more than 20 years ago, began his court appeal of the conviction on Wednesday June 5.
In one of the most closely watched trials in modern Catholic Church history, Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Church official to stand trial for sexual abuse, was found guilty on Tuesday by a Melbourne Court.