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.