A jury has found Cdl. George Pell guilty on all counts related to sexually abusing two altar boys.
According to sources who spoke to The Daily Beast, a jury returned a unanimous verdict Tuesday against the Australian cardinal after three days of deliberation. Further details are unavailable as the court has issued a suppression order to Australian media to “prevent a real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice.”
A previous trial resulted in a hung jury.
Pell had been accused of molesting two altar boys during a swimming trip in the 1990s, when he was bishop in Ballarat, a town northwest of Melbourne. Pell has vigorously denied the allegations, and his attorney, Robert Richter, said in 2017 that there is “voluminous” evidence to show that “what was alleged is impossible.”
Although multiple accusations were levelled at the cardinal initially, the court threw out most of them.
Pell was named the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy in 2014, making him the third highest-ranking cleric in Rome. He was brought in ostensibly to clean up Vatican finances, exercising oversight over Vatican properties and personnel.
His proposed reforms, however, which included demands for greater transparency, met with resistance. According to Vatican expert Edward Pentin, the “Old Guard” resisted reform out of fears it would reveal their corruption.
Read more at Church Militant