Cardinal Loses Appeal against Sexual Abuse Convictions

Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of sexual abuse, has failed in a legal bid to quash his convictions in Australia.

Pell was jailed for six years in March after being found guilty of abusing two boys in a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s. He maintains his innocence.

A court of appeal rejected Pell’s argument that the verdict was unfair.

The former Vatican treasurer, 78, will now consider a final appeal in the nation’s highest court.

Last December, a jury unanimously convicted Pell of sexually abusing the 13-year-old boys at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Pell challenged the verdict by arguing it was “unreasonable” because there was insufficient evidence to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt.

The cleric’s lawyers said the jury had relied too heavily on the “uncorroborated evidence” of the sole surviving victim. But his appeal was dismissed 2-1 by a panel of three judges in Victoria’s Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

“Justice [Chris] Maxwell and I accepted the prosecution’s submission that the complainant was a compelling witness, was clearly not a liar, was not a fantasist and was a witness of truth,” said Chief Justice Anne Ferguson.

Pell’s conviction has rocked the Catholic Church, where he had been one of the Pope’s closest advisers. The Australian cleric will be eligible for parole in October 2022.


What did the trial hear?

Pell was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 when he found the two boys on cathedral premises and sexually assaulted them. He abused one of the boys again in 1997.

The trial heard testimony from one of the victims. The other died of a drug overdose in 2014.


A jury rejected the defence argument that the allegations were fantasies. It convicted Pell of one charge of sexually penetrating a child, and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child.

The verdict was kept secret from the public until February, when additional charges of sexual offences against Pell were withdrawn by prosecutors.

What did the court of appeal say?

The two judges who upheld the conviction said that they “did not experience a doubt” about the verdict.

“We note that Cardinal Pell did not have to prove anything in the trial. Rather, at all stages of trial, the burden of proof rested with the prosecution,” Justice Ferguson said.

Pell, who was present for the hearing, had faced the prospect of a retrial or being immediately set free if his appeal had been successful.


(Source: BBC)


  1. Leonard Siame

    Ummmhhhhh is it true ba Clergy?

  2. Raphael Simatongo

    Kikiki If U Can’t Manage To Be Father,jst Marry Like The Way Bwalya Is Planning To Do.


      I urge all clergy involved in such illegal acts to drop down their vestments and marry than denting catholicism!

  3. Tom Keen

    Uku doda Kusuma Sana

  4. Winnipeg Nyirongo

    KKKKKKK!!!! Cardinal George Pell!!!!! Why are you deceiving yourself that you are a Father when you know very well that you cannot manage to be a Father???? Just marry if you know that your body is burning rather than abusing innocent boys!!!!! The whole Catholic Church is filled with ” Wolves” in Sheep’s Clothing!!!! You are just deceiving yourself as a Church because GOD is watching you and observing what your top Leadership is doing. Thanks

    • Chiloz

      Mr Winnipeg Nyirongo
      You cant say that the whole church is covered with wolves in sheep clothing that’s recest
      Mind you each and every church has a fort in it

  5. Chikalifya. Koswe

    The catholic church is a church of Christ the son of. God. We believe in. God and also his son who was conceived by the holy spirit was born by virgin Mary. The cardinal is not righteous is a sinner like all of us he is not immune to sin couz the devil is always looking for his prey we have to pray for him not to condemn him because we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of. God

  6. Sekesha mupashi

    Everyone is a diner. Don,t pretend. Priests are also human beings as such we should respect them. And if one has made a mistake it doesn’t mean every one has sinned

  7. Hangwende

    But when it comes to politics whatever they say is the Gospel truth and no one talks about them being sinners as well especially when they support your party.

  8. mikayele

    @hagwende , you are spot on.
    They even want to dectitate who should be the president here and but not in Italy where the Pope is domiciled.
    Even in this country some priests have fathered children secretely and continue to have sex despite thier vow of celibacy.
    Solution is to allow them to mary like the Anglicans .

  9. Gangsta grabs

    Lungu has fucked Zambia’s economy,the nigger is basicaly a corrupt sex offender.Flow him into the abyss and let lucifer do the ass fuck before mealie meal becomes k200.Honestly i hate the michene guy,if only i had an m16 1973 sniper rifle,damn bitches!

  10. +Khaptain


  11. Angoni

    Its pity that a 33yrs old boy like Gangsta grabs can insults someone the the age of his father and the President of the Nation like this,please young man repent and be baptized for the days to be long on earth Jesus loves you.

  12. Chikalifya. Koswe

    Good news to the family of gangsta grabs there is a baby born by his mother who grabs impregnated his father has committed suicide after learning that it was gangsta grabs who is the owner of those babies his wife who is his mother has also died after looking at the babies

  13. boogeyman

    ba catholic carefull stop being gay u hide behind ka corona

  14. ttrl

    he’s human yes and prone to mistakes I understand but abusing boys instead of girls is unacceptable! foolish gay!!

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