A Melbourne court has ordered this Wednesday to stop to the Australian Cardinal George Pell, Number Three and responsible for finances of the Vatican until his dismissal last Sunday, after being found guilty of raping a minor and four other charges of abuse. During a pretrial hearing, prosecutors said Pell faces a maximum of 50 years in prison for abuses committed against two children of the St Patrick's Cathedral choir in Melbourne, in 1996 and 1997. After ruling the court The arrest, the ex-archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney bowed before the judge and was conducted, without handcuffs, outside the courtroom.
The religious, 77, was convicted last December 11 of one charge of sexual assault and four others of indecent assault against two children of the choir, aged 12 and 13, in the 1990s, which occurred in the sacristy of the cathedral when Pell was archbishop. Until Tuesday, the verdict was not made public, as requested by his lawyers. The lawyers achieved that their arrest, which should have occurred in December, was postponed because the convicted person had to undergo a double operation on his knees.
Shortly before, the judge Peter Kidd had considered "evident" the crime of the extitular of the Secretariat of Economy of the Vatican, equivalent to a ministry. "It is a cruel and shameful crime," said the magistrate. "It implied a breach of trust, he took advantage of two young vulnerable boys." The Melbourne court will announce on March 13 the sentence imposed on the prelate, who faces 10 years in prison for each of the five charges for which he has been convicted.