Disgraced Cardinal George Pell sentenced in Melbourne

Cardinal Pell's victim questions six-year jail sentence fears appeal

The appeal will be heard June 5 and 6, according to Vatican News.

However, the court's chief judge, Peter Kidd, responded by saying he was not convinced by those arguments, saying Pell had engaged in "callous, brazen offending" against two boys in a room with an open door, causing trauma and distress.

The cardinal was convicted on five counts of sex abuse based on charges he sexually assaulted two choirboys while serving as Archbishop of Melbourne. "I don't think six years is long enough", said a victims' advocate outside the court who gave her name as Rhonda.

"Being a witness in a criminal case has not been easy".

Kidd said that Pell was well aware of what he was doing when he traumatized two choir boys, describing his behavior as "reasoned albeit perverted one".

Cardinal George Pell, former Vatican finance minister and adviser to Pope Francis, faced a maximum of 10 years in prison for each of the five charges on which he was convicted.

"I am mindful I am sentencing you within a unique context", the chief judge said.

He pointed to the brazenness of Pell's offending from a position of power and authority as the newly-installed Archbishop of Melbourne. He also probably believed his victims would not complain.

Sdrinis told Al Jazeera many victims feel the institutions who shielded priest perpetrators have yet to properly deal with this issue.

One of the victims died of an accidental heroin overdose in 2014 having never disclosed the abuse he suffered at the hands of Pell.




Pell's sentencing was shown live on television, reflecting the high level of interest in the case, although only the judge was shown and the broadcast was cut immediately after the sentence was delivered.

Meanwhile, in Australia, a state inquiry into institutional abuse began airing accounts of child abuse and cover-ups in Ballarat and elsewhere over generations, triggering a more powerful, comprehensive Federal Royal Commission inquiry.

Pell's fate within the church has yet to be decided.

The first victim has declined to comment publicly but said in a statement released by his lawyer after the ruling that since the attack he had experienced "shame, loneliness (and) depression".

If defrocked, Pell would be the highest profile figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times and only the second Roman Catholic prelate to lose the title of cardinal in almost 100 years.

Pell is the most senior member of the clergy to be convicted of historical child sex abuse and his future inside the church is now far from clear.

This scandal is even more serious than the lack of women in the Catholic Church, its archaic principle of celibacy or outdated ideas of sexual morality.

"The acts were sexually graphic". The surviving victim, however, said that while he was grateful for the court's official acknowledgement of Pell's abuses, he could not take any comfort from it after the years of shame and depression he endured as a result of the abuse.

The total non-parole period handed down is three years and eight months.

He said the Cardinal was unlikely to reoffend, given he hadn't in the intervening 22 years between the offence and the sentencing, and his notoriety, advanced years, and registration as a sexual offender.

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