Due to the sexual abuse of Minors, the former chief financial officer of the Vatican, cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years in prison.

The 77-year-old Australian took the decision of a court in Melbourne without any visible emotion to the note. He denies all the allegations until today. The former Confidante of Pope Francis goes against the judgment in appeal and is hoping for an acquittal.

Pell in the history of the Catholic Church the highest-ranking clergyman ever to be convicted of sexual abuse of Minors. As chief financial officer he was practically the number three of the Vatican. The state of the Church now wants to wait and see what brings the appeal before it decides on further consequences. It would be possible that Pell loses his title and not even a priest is allowed to stay.

The Curia, the cardinal had already been made in December by a jury in Melbourne found guilty, 1996/97 two then 13-year-old choir boys abused. One of the boys he forced the opinion of the court to have oral sex. At that time, Pell Archbishop of the Australian metropolis. Later, he then made a career in the Vatican.

With its judgment, the presiding judge Peter Kidd remained well below the possible maximum sentence of 50 years. Penalty-mitigating factors he evaluated, among other things, Pells age, his health and his life. He determined, however, that the spiritual must be made at the earliest after three years and eight months, released from prison – so the end of 2023. Also his Name to the Australian Register for sex offenders registered.

judge Kidd said Pell, in his influential needs and to have trust broken. Literally, he spoke of “breathtaking arrogance”. At the same time, he dismissed allegations that Australia’s most prominent Catholic should be made a “scapegoat” for the misconduct of the whole Church. In the past decades, there had been in Australia for tens of thousands of abuse cases, which came only gradually to the light.

The reading of the judgment, the judge had a camera in the courtroom and broadcast live. During the process, he had imposed an extremely strike news blackout, which made virtually any reporting impossible. Then Pell was conducted by six police officers from the courtroom and back to jail. There he sits already since the end of February. The cardinal and his lawyers made no comment.

Of the two choir’s only one alive boys. The 35-year-old man – whose Name was not mentioned by the court – was in the process of a crucial witness. He left on Wednesday in a statement. It says: “Everything is overshadowed by the impending appeal. I’ll wait like everyone else, how it ends.”

As chief financial officer was Pell practically the number three of the Vatican. The Australian was also one of the closest advisors of the Pope. Because of the allegations he allowed himself to 2017 leave of absence. Officially, he was chief financial officer until February in the office. The Vatican had declared in the last month, to dispense with immediate consequences. The state of the Church want to wait for the appeal process. Pell is still a priest and a cardinal.

The Vatican has, however, initiated a process. The case is now being examined by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, a Central authority of the Roman Catholic Church. In the case of abuse allegations, it can initiate investigations, which may lead in extreme cases to the exclusion of an accused from the priesthood. This is the maximum penalty in the Catholic Church.

Because of a worldwide need scandals Miss Pope Francis is currently under strong pressure, hard against perpetrators in their own ranks. A historic summit at the Vatican with the tips of the bishops ‘ conferences of the world at the end of February went to the meeting, however, without concrete measures to end. This week, the German Embassy conference at a conference with the topic of abuse.

dpa