Cardinal Pell awaits sentencing in police custody
FREE Catholic Classes
After the revocation of his bail Wednesday, Cardinal George Pell was taken into police custody for the first time while awaiting sentencing on his conviction of five charges of sexual abuse of minors.
Melbourne, Australia, (CNA) - The cardinal will be sentenced March 13, and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail for each charge. Pell is appealing the Australian civil court's Dec. 11 conviction.
A gag order preventing media from reporting on the trial and conviction was lifted Feb. 26. The court-imposed gag order was lifted following the decision by local prosecutors to drop further charges related to Pell's time as a priest in the 1970s.
Alessandro Gisotti, interim Holy See press office director, told journalists Feb. 27 that following the guilty verdict of Cardinal Pell, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "will now handle the case following the procedure within the time established by canonical norm."
Pell was alleged to have committed sexual abuse in 1996, when he was Archbishop of Melbourne, and when he was a priest in Ballarat during the 1970s.
His first trial, in which he was convicted, focused on the Melbourne allegations. The second trial, which has now been scuttled, was to focus on the Ballarat charges.
During preliminary hearings in March 2017, Pellďż˝ s legal team successfully petitioned for the allegations to be heard in two separate trials. Other charges initially brought against Pell were dropped during pre-trial committal hearings.
Pell was found guilty Dec. 11 on five charges of sexual abuse of minors, stemming from charges that he sexually assaulted two former members of the Melbourne cathedral choir.
The verdict came after a five-week retrial, after a jury in an earlier trial failed to reach a unanimous verdict. In October 2018, multiple sources close to the case told CNA that the first trial had ended with the jury deadlocked 10-2 in favor of Pell.
The second jury took three days to find Pell guilty of sexually abusing two choristers in the Melbourne cathedral sacristy on an unspecified date in the second half of 1996.
Gisotti confirmed Feb. 26 via Twitter that Pell is no longer prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.
Pell's term as prefect was to have expired Feb. 24. His resignation has not been noted in the Vatican's bollettino, so it is believed his term lapsed and was not renewed, and he was not removed from office.
Gisotti's tweet suggests that Pell's loss of office by the expiration of his term has been communicated to him in writing, as required by canon law.
Pell had been on leave from his position as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy since 2017. Pell asked Pope Francis to allow him to step back from his duties to travel home to Australia to defend himself against the charges, which he has consistently denied.
A Vatican statement Feb. 26 said that, "as already expressed on other occasions, we have the utmost respect for the Australian judicial authorities."
"Out of this respect, we await the outcome of the appeals process, recalling that Cardinal Pell maintains his innocence and has the right to defend himself until the last stage of appeal."
The statement confirms that Pell has been barred from public ministry and from contact with minors during the legal process and will remain so during his appeal.
Prior to his appointment to the Secretariat for the Economy in 2014, Pell served as the Archbishop of Sydney.
In October, Pope Francis removed Pell, along with Cardinal Javier Errazuriz and Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, from the C9 Council of Cardinals charged with helping the pope draft a new constitution for the Holy See's governing structure.
This story is developing and has been updated.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
For the Catholic Church to be renewed, the entire body of Christ - especially the laity - must strive to live the faith devoutly. Auckland, ... continue reading
A long-time missionary bishop of the Amazon River delta has said that the working document for an upcoming synod of bishops on the ... continue reading
The conviction of Cardinal George Pell has been upheld by the Court of Appeals in Victoria. After an appellate panel announced its decision ... continue reading
Update: Cardinal George Pell's conviction has been upheld. Full story here. Melbourne, Australia, (CNA) - Pell was convicted in 2018 for ... continue reading
The leader of Poland's ruling party praised the Archbishop of Krakow on Sunday for his opposition to the redefinition of marriage and ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Minnesota archbishop reflects on the significance of a pastoral heart
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, August 23rd, 2019 HD Video
- New South Wales parliament delays final abortion bill vote
- Daily Reading for Sunday, August 25th, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Saturday, August 24, 2019
- St. Bartholomew: Saint of the Day for Saturday, August 24, 2019
- Christian filmmakers win right to sue against Minnesota human rights law
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, August 24th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, August 23rd, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Wednesday, August 21st, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.