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Australia Vatican 'welcomes' overturning of George Pell's conviction, Pope tweets cryptic message

00:35  08 april  2020
00:35  08 april  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Pell High Court decision due next week

  Pell High Court decision due next week Australia's Highest Court will hand down their decision on disgraced Cardinal George Pell's appeal bid next Tuesday.The High Court will hand down its judgment in his case on Tuesday.

RELATED: Pope ’s pointed tweet following George Pell decision. Vatican says in statement now that it " welcomes " the overturning of Cardinal Pell ' s conviction for historic sexual offenses. "At the same time, the Holy See reaffirms its commitment to preventing and pursuing all cases of abuse against

Cardinal George Pell was released from prison on Tuesday, hours after Australia' s High Court quashed his conviction for child sex abuse, bringing to an abrupt end the most high-profile paedophilia case faced by the Catholic Church. The 78-year-old left Barwon Prison near Melbourne after the court

Video provided by Sky News Australia

For the Vatican, it's a victory.

An Australian judicial system it says it has always had faith in has delivered a unanimous decision to free one of its most senior clerics.

In a statement issued just hours after the High Court delivered its ruling, it praised George Pell for having "waited for the truth to be ascertained".

"Entrusting his case to the court's justice, Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence, and has waited for the truth to be ascertained," the statement read.

Holy Week brings Pell's day of judgment but clutch of civil cases loom

  Holy Week brings Pell's day of judgment but clutch of civil cases loom George Pell will learn his fate on Tuesday morning when the High Court rules on his appeal against child-sex convictions.The coronavirus crisis means the High Court will pass its judgment on Pell's appeal against child-sex convictions to a near-empty courtroom. The world will learn electronically of its decision but the findings will be no less momentous for all that.

'Well, that's great': George Pell ' s first words after learning his sex abuse convictions were quashed - as he He was released from prison on after High Court overturned convictions . George Pell first learned he was a free man when a chorus of cheers echoed through the high-security jail where he

Cardinal George Pell leaving the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, in February.Credit Andy Brownbill/Associated Press.

The Holy See also said it reaffirmed "its commitment to preventing and pursuing all cases of abuse against minors".

The statement made no reference to the Church's own inquiry into Cardinal Pell that had been on hold until the Australian court decision was finalised.

"The Vatican had announced that the doctrinal congregation would be pursuing a case," Josh McElwee, a Vatican reporter, told the ABC from Rome.

"It later said that case was on hold until the Australian court system finished its results.

"Now we don't know."

McElwee said the wait was now on for some sort clarifying statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"We don't know where the case was before it was put on hold," he said.

"I think it was probably not very far along and so now that the High Court in Australia has overturned the conviction there may not be much evidence to go on."

Pell has found justice but his remaining days won't be peaceful

  Pell has found justice but his remaining days won't be peaceful No fair-minded person would want Pell in jail if he didn't commit the crime. But within the pews of the Catholic Church, people are divided about his travails.The High Court has overturned the conviction by the County Court jury, upheld by the Victorian Court of Appeal, and has freed Pell. Reassuringly, the Australian legal system has operated throughout as it should.

Pope Francis exchanges Christmas greetings with Cardinal George Pell at the Clementina Hall on December 22, 2014 in Vatican City. Child sexual abuse convictions against Cardinal George Pell (pictured leaving jail) were overturned by the High Court on Tuesday, ending a three-year legal battle

The High Court acquitted Pell on all charges, ruling that there was reasonable doubt. He is expected to be released from prison Tuesday. This is a developing story.

Australian Cardinal George Pell leaves after being released from Barwon Prison near Anakie, some 70 kilometres west of Melbourne, on April 7, 2020. - Cardinal George Pell's historic child sex abuse convictions were quashed by Australia's High Court on April 7, paving the way for the senior Catholic cleric's release from prison. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images) Australian Cardinal George Pell leaves after being released from Barwon Prison near Anakie, some 70 kilometres west of Melbourne, on April 7, 2020. - Cardinal George Pell's historic child sex abuse convictions were quashed by Australia's High Court on April 7, paving the way for the senior Catholic cleric's release from prison. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images) Christopher Lamb — another Vatican Correspondent — believes international interest in the case will mean the Vatican will follow through with that investigation in some way.

"There will have to be a preliminary investigation but it will look at the wider scope of the allegations made against the Cardinal over the years," Lamb told the ABC.

"But given the high-profile nature of the case there's going to be pressure on the Vatican to conduct a robust investigation."

Pope tweets a cryptic message

Earlier at Tuesday's morning mass — live streamed due to COVID-19 — Pope Francis recalled the persecutions suffered by Jesus and prayed for those who had suffered unjust sentences.

Hours after Australia's Cardinal Pell acquitted of sex abuse, pope decries 'unjust sentences'

  Hours after Australia's Cardinal Pell acquitted of sex abuse, pope decries 'unjust sentences' Hours after Australia's Cardinal Pell acquitted of sex abuse, pope decries 'unjust sentences'The court quashed convictions that Pell sexually assaulted the two choir boys in the 1990s and allowed the 78-year-old former Vatican economy minister to walk free from jail, ending the most high profile case of alleged historical sex abuse to rock the Roman Catholic Church.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican on Tuesday welcomed Cardinal George Pell ' s acquittal by Australia's highest court on charges of sexual abuse, praising him for The court quashed convictions that Pell sexually assaulted two choir boys in the 1990s and allowed the 78-year-old former Vatican

The conviction of Pell , the Vatican treasurer and a close adviser to Pope Francis, will send shockwaves through the church, which is already reeling from accusations of sexual abuse committed by priests worldwide. Pell is the most senior Catholic official to be found guilty of child sex offenses to

"I would like to pray today for all those people who suffer unjust sentences resulting from intransigence (against them)," the Pope said.

He did not mention Cardinal Pell by name but also tweeted about how Jesus was "judged ferociously, even though he was innocent".

Lamb believes Pope Francis has been loyal to Cardinal Pell throughout the process — despite their theological differences.

"Pope Francis has always stood by Cardinal Pell to wait to see the whole legal process finish and I think many in the Vatican did have concerns and doubts over the case against Cardinal Pell," he said.

"Obviously, many people in the Vatican will be quite relieved by this news."

'Not a moment for triumphalism'

While the case will bring some relief to the Catholic Church, scrutiny over its handling of sexual abuse will remain.

"The church globally has been under a lot of pressure in terms of clergy sexual abuse," McElwee said.

"Pope Francis has really made it a priority of his papacy … The past year and a half he's been incredibly strong.

"All the while one of his major advisors — one of the most important Cardinals in the Catholic Church — had been convicted of historic sexual offences and now that conviction is overturned," he said.

Pell says prison life 'not too bad'

  Pell says prison life 'not too bad' Cardinal George Pell has revealed prison life was "not too bad", but he wasted no time leaving Victoria and fleeing to Sydney.Smiling and laughing, Cardinal George Pell has revealed life behind bars was "not too bad".

Australia's High Court has overturned Pell ' s conviction for sexual abuse, allowing him to walk free in time for Easter. Australia's High Court overturns sexual abuse convictions for George Pell , a former advisor to Pope Francis and Australia's most senior Catholic cleric.

The legal trials of George Pell – timeline. Cardinal George Pell is driven out of Barwon prison in Geelong. The president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Mark Coleridge, said the “outcome will be welcomed by many, including those who have believed in the Cardinal’ s innocence

"Obviously, that's an enormous deal for the Vatican."

An abuse victim told the ABC the ruling has brought about feelings of confusion among those who suffered clerical abuse.

"This was such an important case and conviction for survivors and I think people are really — survivors are really stunned by this," abuse victim Peter Isely, from Milwaukee in the US, told the ABC.

"They're really traumatised by this, they're really confused by, I think there's a lot of confusion about how this decision was made by the court."

As for Cardinal Pell, who turns 79 in June, it seems unlikely that he will return to the Vatican in any formal capacity.

His previous role as chief financier was filled late last year.

"It's not a moment for triumphalism by anyone in the church," Lamb said.

"Obviously, this is a very difficult case."

If you have experienced sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732. Readers seeking support and information can also contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.


Cardinal Pell threatened online a week after leaving jail .
Australian Cardinal George Pell, released from prison last week after a court overturned his child sex conviction, was warned by police Tuesday of online threats against him.Pell walked free last week after the Australian High Court cleared him of five counts of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys in the 1990s, ending the most high-profile paedophilia case faced by the Catholic Church.

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