Melbourne: Cardinal George Pell, who is considered to be one of the most powerful men in the Vatican, was found guilty of sexually abusing choirboys.
A jury found Cardinal Pell guilty of ‘one charge of sexual penetration of a child and four charges of an indecent act with or in the presence of a child in the late 1990s’, CNN reported.
The conviction of the Vatican treasurer comes a day after a four-day summit on “The Protection of Minors in the Church” culminated at the Vatican.
Pell, the seniormost Catholic to be found guilty of child sexual abuse, was convicted on the basis of a complaint filed by a man who claimed that Pell sexually abused him and another boy in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral after Sunday mass.
During the proceedings of court, the prosecution informed the jury that the victims, who were choirboys at the time, were caught by Pell drinking sacramental wine.
Miffed by this, Pell allegedly forced one of the boys to “perform oral sex on him and performed an indecent act on his friend.” A month later, the victim said Pell “pushed him up against a wall and groped his genitals.”
The quantum of sentence is likely to be pronounced in a separate hearing in March.