A former Cardinal who spoke frequently against LGBTQ+ rights has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two 13-year-old choirboys.
George Pell – one of Australia’s most senior figures within the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican’s treasurer – was suspended in 2017 and removed from office in 2018 following allegations made against him.
Back in December, he was found guilty during a trial of sexually abusing two choirboys, according to BBC News, but the media were unable to name him due to legal restrictions.
However, ahead of his sentencing this week, a Melbourne judge lifted the reporting restrictions.
Last year, he faced two trials after the first jury were unable to reach a verdict but now he has been found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16 back in 1996.
During the trial, the court heard how he told his teenage victims that they were in trouble for drinking communion wine before he sexually assaulted them. He abused one of the boys again in 1997.
Pell continues to deny the charges and has already lodged an appeal against his convictions. He is set to face sentencing on Wednesday (February 27).
The former Cardinal has a history of anti-LGBTQ+ remarks and once said: “Homosexuality—we’re aware that it does exist.
“We believe such activity is wrong and we believe for the good of society it should not be encouraged.”