The following statement was issued August 21, 2019, by Archbishop Mark Coleridge, President Of The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, following the Victoria Court of Appeals ruling against Cardinal Pell’s appeal of his abuse conviction:
The Victorian Court of Appeal has today announced that, in a 2-1 decision, Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against his convictions for child sexual abuse offences has been dismissed.
The Catholic Bishops of Australia believe all Australians must be equal under the law and accept today’s judgment accordingly.
Cardinal Pell’s legal team has said it will examine the judgment in order to determine a special leave application to the High Court.
The Bishops realize that this has been and remains a most difficult time for survivors of child sexual abuse and those who support them. We acknowledge the pain that those abused by clergy have experienced through the long process of the trials and appeal of Cardinal Pell. We also acknowledge that this judgment will be distressing to many people.
We remain committed to doing everything we can to bring healing to those who have suffered greatly and to ensuring that Catholic settings are the safest possible places for all people, but especially for children and vulnerable adults.