Vatican News
Cardinal George Pell arrives at County Court in Melbourne Cardinal George Pell arrives at County Court in Melbourne  (© Pockett Photography)

Cardinal Pell remanded to prison

Following his conviction on charges of the sexual abuse of minors, Cardinal George Pell will be incarcerated in a Melbourne prison in anticipation of a sentencing hearing, expected to take place on 13 March.

By Vatican News

Cardinal George Pell’s bail was revoked during a pre-sentencing hearing at the County Court of Melbourne, where prosecution and defence attorneys presented their concluding arguments. Beginning on Wednesday, Cardinal Pell will be detained at the Melbourne Assessment Prison, pending sentencing. He faces a maximum sentence of ten years for each of the five crimes of which he was convicted.

Cardinal George Pell continues to maintain his innocence, and his lawyer has indicated that he will appeal the conviction. The appeal will be heard by a panel of three judges, rather than a jury; the case will not be closed until the appeal is examined and final decision is rendered.

In order to guarantee the course of justice, the Holy Father has confirmed the precautionary measures already imposed by the local Ordinary (Bishop) when Pell returned to Australia. That is, until a definitive resolution of the case against Cardinal Pell, he is prohibited from exercising public ministry, and from any contact whatsoever with minors.

On Tuesday, the interim Director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, confirmed that Cardinal Pell is no longer the Prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy. The Cardinal was appointed to the post in February, 2014; his five-year term expired this month.

27 February 2019, 09:59