Cardinal Pell sent to prison for abusing two boys in Australia

Cardinal Pell sent to prison for abusing two boys in Australia

Cardinal Pell sent to prison for abusing two boys in Australia

In his sentencing remarks, Chief Judge Kidd described Pell's offending as "breathtakingly arrogant".

He was ordered to sign the sex offender register and stood as the judge set the minimum sentence Pell would have to serve at three years and eight months, due to Pell's "otherwise blameless life".

Pell was 55 years old and had recently established a compensation plan for Melbourne's victims of clergy abuse when he abused the two boys at St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1996.

After the conviction was made public in Australia last month, Abbott told a radio program he had called Pell, although he declined to give details of the conversation.

Child sexual abuse survivor Andrew, who was assaulted at a different institution, said he had no sympathy for Pell.

Pell had been a Vatican treasurer and maintained his innocence throughout his trial.

For the first time in Pell's many court appearances since he returned to Australia from the Vatican to face abuse charges, Pell wore an open-necked shirt without a cleric's collar.

Victim said "hard to take comfort" from his sentence.

After mass one Sunday in the late 1990s, Judge Kidd recounted, Pell caught two choirboys drinking communion wine in the priest's sacristy and one by one forced them to engage in sex acts, despite their sobs and pleas for him to let them go.

The surviving victim said everything was overshadowed by Pell's upcoming appeal.

He abused one of the boys again in 1997.

"I conclude that your decision to offend was a reasoned, albeit perverted one", Kidd said.

Almost 100 people lined up outside the doors of the courtroom this morning, including media from around the world and protesters.

Another Catholic man, Andrew, said he hoped Pell would never leave prison.

She said Pell's reaction was cold and that seemed uninterested in what she had to say.

"Self-evidently you have experienced an exceptional career with the Catholic Church".

"As I directed the jury who convicted you in this trial, you are not to be made a scapegoat for any failings or perceived failings of the Catholic Church".

The other boy, who never filed a complaint against Pell, had died in 2014 from a heroin overdose.

Pell's appeal has been slated for a hearing on June 5 and 6.

With global attention on historic abuse within the Catholic church, Kidd however stressed that it was Pell rather than the Vatican that was on trial.

The cardinal's crimes have drawn widespread condemnation, though he has retained the support of some high-profile figures in Australia.

"It's a significant day for survivors and victims of child sexual abuse particularly within the Catholic Church, because what it shows them is that they can come forward, that the courts will believe them and the perpetrators of the crimes against them will be convicted and sentenced and held accountable for what they did, regardless of the position of authority they hold", Flynn said.

Last night as Pell prepared to learn his fate, a projection of the words "crime scene" lit up the gates to St Patrick's Cathedral where the sexual abuse took place.

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