Cardinal Pell, the Highest Vatican Official to Face Justice over Abuse, Appeals Guilty Verdict

By A. Odysseus Patrick
Washington Post
August 20, 2019

Cardinal George Pell leaves the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, on Feb. 26. (Andy Brownbill/AP)

The most senior cleric jailed for child abuse in the 2,000-year history of the Catholic Church will face a 21st-century form of justice: a decision on his appeal beamed live over the Internet.

Australian Cardinal George Pell will appear before three judges of the Victorian Supreme Court on Wednesday morning in Australia and learn whether he has been able to overturn a conviction for sexually assaulting two choirboys.

Justices Anne Ferguson, Chris Maxwell and Mark Weinberg could uphold the conviction, order a retrial or dismiss some or all of the charges, allowing the 78-year-old to walk out of the court building in downtown Melbourne a free man.

The global broadcast is ironic, given that the judge who oversaw Pellís original trial threatened to charge many of Australiaís top newspaper editors, and some overseas, for flouting a gag order covering Pellís guilty finding by a jury in December.








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