“All along I have been completely consistent and clear in my total rejection of these allegations, News of these charges strengthens my resolve and the court proceedings now offer me an opportunity to clear my name and then return back to Rome to work.”
(Thomas D. Williams – Breitbart) A Melbourne court has reportedly convicted the Vatican’s finance chief, Cardinal George Pell, of sexually abusing two choir boys in the 1990s when he was archbishop of Melbourne.
After more than three days of deliberations, the court handed down a guilty verdictTuesday by a unanimous consent of the jury. If the verdict is confirmed, it will be the highest-ranking condemnation of a Church official for a crime of sexual abuse.
Last year, Cardinal Pell requested a dispensation from his duties in Rome to travel to Melbourne to defend himself against the charges against him, which he has always denied. The Holy See has not yet commented on the reports.
The trial has been kept under strict secrecy, after a judge placed a gag order on all press coverage of the trial in Australia. Now, however, several Australian media outlets have reported that Pell has been found guilty of all charges.
The gag order, which still remains in place in Australia, was reportedly granted to “prevent a real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice.”