Today in Australia, Cardinal George Pell, third in line to the Pope in Rome was convicted on one count of rape of a Choir Boy and four counts of indecent assault. His appeal to the Supreme Court of three judges handed down a verdict of guilty.
This is a huge and momentous Court ruling for victims of abuse in the Catholic Church. His victims were believed in the eyes of Law. The previous trial that was held, the Jury gave a unanimous verdict of guilty but he appealed.
For me as a victim of child abuse by a Priest in a paedophile ring it means everything to me that he was found guilty. It means as survivors we are believed. Any survivor will tell you that their biggest fear is that their abuse will not be believed. This is for present or historical sexual abuse. Tonight I go to bed with a lighter heart than I woke up this morning awaiting the Judgement by the Appeal Judges.
They said unequivocally that they believed and found the witness credible, believable and brave who conducted himself on the witness stand in an exemplary way. The other victim of Pell’s committed suicide a few years ago. So sad that he did not get to see the verdict today.
This has huge ramifications for the Catholic Church and the Holy See. Where to from here for the Church? This is a huge decision that was taken today and one they cannot ignore. Their Church is now in crisis.