Trust in australian justice

Trust in australian justice

Cardinal George Pell fights for his acquittal. How does the Vatican see the development? The has expressed confidence in the country's judiciary following the acceptance of Pell's appeal by Australia's top court.

In a written statement Wednesday, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said they take note of the decision to appeal; further, they are "aware that the cardinal has always maintained his innocence". In addition, Bruni explained that the Holy See reaffirms its closeness to all those who have suffered as a result of sexual abuse by clerics.

Accusation of sexual abuse of choir boys

Admission of appeal gives Cardinal Pell, in failing health, one last legal chance to challenge his child abuse conviction. According to media reports, Pell was not personally present in the courtroom in Canberra when the decision was announced, nor was he present via video.

The 78-year-old is serving a six-year prison sentence. A jury had found him guilty of sexually abusing a choirboy and molesting another in the mid-1990s while he was archbishop of Melbourne. Another legal action is pending.

Pell is the former prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy and was thus a kind of "finance minister of the pope". He is the highest-ranking Catholic clergyman to be convicted of sexual abuse to date.

His hearing is not expected to take place until 2020, according to the court in Canberra.

Coleridge: difficult process

In an initial reaction from the Australian Bishops' Conference, its president, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, said the decision would prolong the long and difficult process, "But we can only hope that the appeal will be heard as soon as possible and that the ruling will bring clarity and a solution for all".

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Christina Cherry
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