The Holy See took note of the decision of the High Court of Australia, which agreed to review the appeal of Cardinal George Pell, who was previously convicted by the Australian judicial authorities of sexual abuse of children, its press service said on WednesdayMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 13th November, 2019) The Holy See took note of the decision of the High Court of Australia, which agreed to review the appeal of Cardinal George Pell, who was previously convicted by the Australian judicial authorities of sexual abuse of children, its press service said on Wednesday.
The Holy See reaffirmed "its trust in the Australian justice system" and "closeness to those who have suffered because of sexual abuse on the part of members of the clergy."
In December 2018, a Melbourne jury found the 77-year-old Australian cardinal guilty of sexual harassment of two 13-year-old members of the church choir. Crimes were committed by Pell in 1996 when he was the Archbishop of Melbourne. By court order, the cardinal was taken into custody.
In August, Australia's Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the County Court of Victoria, which sentenced the cardinal to six years in prison in February. Following the decision, Pell's attorneys appealed to the Australian High Court.
Pope Francis imposed "precautionary measures" on Pell following the announcement on his verdict in February. According to the measures imposed by the Holy See, the cardinal is prohibited from church service, as well as any contact with minors, until the final court decision is made.
Cardinal Pell was considered one of the most influential members of the Roman Curia. At the papal conclave in 2013, when Pope Francis was elected, Pell was seen as one of the most likely candidates for the Apostolic throne. In February 2014, Pope Francis appointed Pell as the prefect of the Secretariat for Economic Affairs, instructing him to carry-out large-scale reform of the entire financial system of the Holy See.