Image 01 Image 03

Australia’s Cardinal George Pell sentenced to 6 years for molesting two choirboys

Australia’s Cardinal George Pell sentenced to 6 years for molesting two choirboys

Cardinal Pell was once the third most senior Catholic in the world.

George Pell, an Australian cardinal who was once the third-highest ranking Vatican official, was sentenced to six years in prison for molesting 2 choirboys in 1996.

The cardinal was convicted on five counts in December, making him the most senior Catholic official — and the first bishop — to be found guilty in a criminal court for sexually abusing minors, according to, which tracks cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

“I would characterize these breaches and abuses as grave,” the chief judge in the case, Peter Kidd said during the sentencing. Speaking directly to Cardinal Pell, he added: “You had time to reflect on your behavior as you offended, yet you refused to desist.”

Chief Judge Kidd went into graphic detail while describing the rationale behind Pell’s sentencing, as the two boys were sexually abused by Pell at the same time.

The judge said the acts were conducted with ‘physical aggression and venom’ and said ‘it was by no means a minor indecent act.’

Judge Kidd said the boy who was orally raped was ‘struggling and flailing’ during the act.

‘You moved from one victim to the other,’ he said.

…Pell also abused his position by breaching the trust of his victims.

‘I find beyond reasonable doubt that, on the specific facts of your case, there was a clear relationship of trust with the victims, and you breached that trust and abused your position to facilitate this offending,’ the judge said.

Pell has also be accused of covering up the abuse of other priests. 60 Minutes-Australia featured the tragic story Anthony and Chrissie Foster, who have been fighting the Catholic Church and Cardinal George Pell to obtain justice for their daughters after they were raped by a priest.

There is no report that the Vatican is in the process of defrocking Pell, as it did former US Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Legal Insurrection readers may recall that Pope Francis had organized a summit for the church’s leaders to address sexual abuse in the wake of the discoveries about McCarrick.

According to The Federalist contributor John Daniel Davidson, the summit was a fraud.

There were no new “concrete, effective measures” to hold Catholic bishops accountable for ignoring and covering up sexual abuse, as Pope Francis had called for before the summit began. There were likewise no discussions of the link between sexual abuse and homosexuality among the clergy, the rampant abuse of adult seminarians by their superiors, or the case of disgraced former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.

Instead, the summit concluded with a 3,000-word speech by Francis that contained little of substance but was heavy on defensiveness and bureaucratese. Francis rattled off a list of “best practices” for ending violence against children compiled by the World Health Organization, and offered a meandering discussion about how a “great number of” abuse cases are “committed within families”—an obvious attempt to deflect attention from the putative subject of the summit: clerical sexual abuse.

In the end, the summit accomplished almost nothing because it was designed to accomplish nothing.

It appears that the laity will have to continue to hammer their diocese for justice and the secular system of justice better utilized, inasmuch as Pope Francis clearly has other priorities.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Close The Fed | March 15, 2019 at 10:18 pm

For male survivors of abuse:


Beyond Betrayal, by Richard Gartner.
Fractured Mind by Oxnam.

George_Kaplan | March 16, 2019 at 1:28 am

This article lacks significant background. Many are skeptical of the verdict and it may be overturned on appeal. Victorian (state) Police started investigating Pell a year before any complaint existed and had to advertise to find someone to actually complain about him. Most allegations never made it to trial and it ultimately came down to the word of one alleged victim decades after the alleged attack versus Pell’s. Australian media wrote about Pell’s guilt for years however and only stopped when a court placed a gag order over proceedings. Despite the adverse media environment the first jury was unable to render a verdict, though it has been widely claimed that 10/12 jurors believed Pell’s denial of wrongdoing. It took a second trial – one in which the lone victim didn’t even appear, for a guilty verdict to be rendered.

I don’t know whether Pell is guilty or not, but I remain skeptical of the verdict based on the facts reported to date. The situation appears to be akin to the Kavanaugh nomination – a he said she said situation, except whereas innocent until proven guilty won out there, it hasn’t for Pell. As noted an appeals court may rectify things, or it may decide he really is guilty. Only time will tell.

    It would appear that there is two alleged victims, but after the first trial was aborted due to being unable to decide on a unanimous verdict, a second trial was ordered. Unfortunately by the second trial, one of the alleged victims had died (drug overdose, apparently) but his recorded testimony was presented in court as evidence.

    I make me wonder if this is fair if witness testimony is presented but the defence cannot cross-examine the witness. I wonder if a prosecutor can claim that the first trial gave all opportunity for any cross-examination of that witness and so its allegations can stand unchallenged in the second trial?

      George_Kaplan in reply to B__2. | March 17, 2019 at 1:25 am

      B__2 you’re mistaken. The alleged second victim denied any abuse had occurred. He died without changing his testimony. The recorded testimony was that of the lone surviving alleged victim.

So slow! Justice delayed is justice denied.