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Cardinal George Pell’s Sexual Abuse Conviction Is Upheld

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The second former choirboy, who died in 2014, never made any complaint about abuse to his family or the police. When his mother approached him with suspicions that he had been abused, he denied it had happened.

Lisa Flynn, a lawyer who is representing the father of the deceased former choirboy in a separate civil case, said she had found the defense’s arguments worrisome.

“Some of the things that have been said flies in the face of a lot of the findings of the royal commission and what we know about abuse survivors,” Ms. Flynn said, referring to an investigation of institutional child abuse in Victoria conducted in recent years. “In many cases,” she added, “people take their stories to the grave.”

Outside the courtroom, people who said they were survivors of abuse held signs condemning the cardinal and said they were thrilled with the outcome.

“I’m actually beside myself, I expected Cardinal Pell to walk out of this court a free man today,” said one, Vladimir Selakovic. “It gives the victims a hope,” he added. “No one is above the law.”

Cathy Kezelman, the president of the Blue Knot Foundation, an Australian organization that supports people who have experienced trauma, said that “for a long, long time, survivors have not been believed.”

“To have to prove that you suffered so profoundly is really incredibly challenging,” she added.

During the appeals process, Cardinal Pell appears to have reflected on what he called his own suffering.

His supporters posted a letter online they claimed he had sent from prison. “The knowledge that my small suffering can be used for good purposes through being joined to Jesus’s suffering gives me purpose and direction,” the letter read.



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