Is Cardinal Pell's sentence long enough?

Is Cardinal Pell's sentence long enough?

Chief Judge Peter Kidd said the cleric's age, at 77 years old, and his "otherwise blameless life" accounted for the relatively short sentence of six years.

A jury unanimously convicted Pell in December 2018 of forcing a 13-year-old choirboy to perform oral sex on him and of fondling another 13-year-old choirboy.

The verdict was withheld from the public until a legal suppression order was lifted last month.

The former Vatican treasurer is the most senior Catholic figure ever to be found guilty of sexual offences against children. It was not immediately clear if he will also appeal the sentence.

George Pell leaves the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on March 5, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

Kidd said because Pell maintains his innocence, which is his right, there is "no evidence of your remorse or contrition" to "reduce your sentence".

That risk may be reduced by time in protection and in time, Pell may be able to mix with a limited number of heavily vetted prisoners, the commissioner noted.

Pell is the highest ranked member of the Catholic church to be sent to jail for child sexual abuse. The Holy See announced on February 26 that Pell was no longer the head of the Secretariat of Economy, which oversees all economic activities of the theocratic state. Kidd described the assaults as egregious, degrading and humiliating to the victims.

One of the victims has since died of a drug overdose in 2014.

"There is no rest for me".

"Your obvious status as Archbishop cast a powerful shadow over this offending", he said.

Sentencing him, Justice Peter Kidd said some of the offences had a "nasty element" and particularly drew on the fact that the victims were abused in front of each other.

"I'm not a fair-weather friend", Abbott said.

"I want to give him a hug".

Women were more likely than men (65% to 51%) to say they have confidence in Pope Francis, but there were "no meaningful differences in the proportions of Catholics questioning their church membership by age or gender", Gallup said.

Live: Catholic Church Cardinal George Pell sentenced for sexual abuse of children
Cardinal George Pell sentenced to six years in jail

The father also described the sentence as "a disappointment". Under Australian law it's illegal to identify sex abuse victims or reveal information that could expose who they are.

"You were confident your victims would not complain". "We must remember that victims are sentenced for life".

"Facing jail at your age in these circumstances must be an bad state of affairs for you", Kidd said, the Guardian reported.

Pell's lawyers also released a statement on his behalf.

Lawyers are calling for more high-profile court hearings to be broadcast live so the public can better understand how judgements are reached, after Cardinal George Pell's jailing was yesterday streamed to global audiences.

"No comment - you be the judge", Richter replied.

Judge Kidd told other survivors that Pell would would not wear the blame for their suffering. Barbarin was given a six-month suspended sentence.

Indeed, the college of cardinals now counts 122 men who are eligible to elect a new pope and thus leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, when the time comes.

Outside court, child abuse victim Michael Advocate told 10 News the sentence was "absolutely outrageous". Pell testified to the inquiry on several occasions via video-stream from Rome, having refused to return to Australia because of "ill-health".

The trial against Pell has shocked and divided Australia's Catholic Church, and society at large. Those charges have now been dropped.

Pell's convictions in December were under a publication ban until February, when a second trial, based on allegations Pell sexually assaulted two boys at a Ballarat swimming pool in the seventies, collapsed for lack of admissible evidence. The survivor testified that Pell had walked in on the boys swigging altar wine in a back room after a Sunday Mass. The conviction illustrates just how big of a sexual abuse scandal the church really faces.

"Your decision to offend was a reasoned, albeit perverted, one", the judge said.

"You are not to be made a scapegoat", Kidd said.

Pell did not seek to silence the children, Kidd said, because he did not feel it was necessary, and his second transgression carried the mark of "physical aggression and venom".

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