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File photo of Cardinal George Pell File photo of Cardinal George Pell 

Cardinal Pell appeals convictions to Australian High Court

Lawyers for Cardinal George Pell presented his final appeal against sexual abuse convictions to Australia’s High Court on Tuesday.

According to Cardinal Pell’s lawyers, the dissenting opinion of Justice Mark Weinberg, one of three judges of the Supreme Court of the Australian state of Victoria, could provide a motive to overturn his conviction.

Cardinal Pell was convicted in February on historical charges of sexual abuse of a minor.

A jury unanimously found him guilty of sexually abusing two teenage boys in the sacristy of Melbourne’s Cathedral in 1996, when he was the local Archbishop.

He maintains his innocence.

Australia’s High Court is not obliged to hear Cardinal Pell’s appeal.

Position of the Holy See

Following the Victoria Supreme Court’s decision to uphold his convictions, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, said:

“As in other cases, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is awaiting the outcome of the ongoing proceedings and the conclusion of the appellate process prior to taking up the case.

"As was stated by the Holy See Press Office on 26 February, the Holy Father had already confirmed the precautionary measures imposed on Cardinal Pell upon his return to Australia, that is, as is the norm, the prohibition from exercising public ministry and from any voluntary contact whatsoever with minors”.

18 September 2019, 18:54