George Pell convicted of child sexual abuse

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"The news of Cardinal George Pell's conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges has shocked many across Australia and around the world, including the Catholic Bishops of Australia", Coleridge said in a statement. The victim, who has not been identified, claimed that Pell made him perform oral sex on him after catching them sneaking into the priest's sacristy in December, 1996.

A suppression order preventing Australian media reporting on Pell's trial and the jury verdicts in December was lifted on Tuesday, enabling transcripts of the evidence presented to be reported on.

Pell, who is recovering from knee surgery, will be back in a Melbourne court Wednesday morning for a pre-sentencing hearing.

Pell sat emotionless in the dock flanked by three uniformed officers as the court also heard there would be two victim impact statements tendered.

The most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse faces his first night in custody following a sentencing hearing for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral two decades ago. He will likely be sentenced in the fortnight after that hearing.

The verdict comes days after Pope Francis convened a conference of Catholic leaders at the Vatican to address multiple sex abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church in countries like Chile, Germany and the United States.

Pell has always maintained his innocence.

He has been on an extended leave of absence from the Vatican amid the court proceedings in Melbourne.

Guardian Australia understands if Pell loses his appeal the prime minister will write to the Council of the Order of Australia recommending it review and revoke the honour, a decision made on its recommendation by the governor general.

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Other Australian institutions have already moved to strip Pell of honours, including the Richmond Football Club which has revoked Pell's honorary position, and St Patrick's College in Ballarat, the school Pell attended, which has removed his name from a building.

Later in 2014, he was elected treasurer by Pope Francis to help make the Church's finances more transparent.

A former newsreader has stood by disgraced Cardinal George Pell throughout his trial for sexually abusing teenage boys.

News of the result has only just been allowed to be reported in Australia due to a gag order.

Pell was one of Pope Francis's closest advisors and was a member of the so-called C9 council, a group of advisors to the Pope, before being dropped the day after his conviction on 11 December.

"Charges have been flying at Pell for 15 years".

It added that Pell would await the outcome of his appeal.

Around one in five Australians are Catholic, roughly five million people.

Shine Lawyers attorney Lisa Flynn says the father, who like his son can not be named because it is illegal under Australian law to identify a victim of sexual assault, is planning to sue the church or Pell individually once his appeal is finalized.