What happens to the disgraced cardinal now — George Pell

Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced after being found guilty of child sex abuse

Angela Sdrinis, a Melbourne lawyer who has represented victims of abuse for more than two decades, said "the conviction of George Pell shows victims of child sex abuse that no one is above the law".

The total non-parole period handed down is three years and eight months.

The County Court of Victoria had come under fire for suppressing coverage of Pell's trial, as he is seen as the face of the Catholic Church in Australia which has protected pedophile priests.

The court said Kidd's sentencing would be aired live by the Australian Broadcasting Corp at 10 a.m. (2300 GMT/7 p.m ET, Tuesday) on Wednesday.

"In my view, your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance", he said, later in the sentencing.

"Both victims were visibly and audibly distressed during this offending", he said, adding Cardinal Pell's behaviour had a "nasty element" to it.

"To other victims of clerical or institutional sexual abuse, who may be present in court today or watching or listening elsewhere, this sentence is not and can not be a vindication of your trauma", Kidd said.

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"For too long, hermetically sealed systems of power, such as within the Catholic Church, have called the shots, protecting the church, its hierarchy and themselves", Dr Kezelman said.

The four-year royal commission found in its 2017 report that the Melbourne Archdiocese had ignored or covered up allegations of child abuse by seven priests in a bid to protect the church's reputation and avoid scandal.

Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell will be sentenced on Wednesday after his conviction for sexually abusing two choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s, with the judge expected to impose a prison term on the Catholic Cardinal.

The courtroom was packed with abuse survivors who have their own interest in the result, beyond that of Pell's surviving victim, now aged in his 30s.

In explaining his sentencing decision, the judge said Pell had led an "otherwise blameless life". The other died of a drug overdose in 2014.

This article discusses sexual abuse.

During his trial, he reportedly abused the children following a mass that his victims attended.

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Judge Kidd said by his offending in such a "risky and brazen" manner, it was inferred Pell was prepared to take such risks.

Senior crown prosecutor Mark Gibson SC foreshadowed in a pre-sentence hearing in February that Pell would likely spend "significant time" in prison.

"Hopefully this sentence can herald fundamental change to the church and other institutions, starting with accountable, responsible and transparent leadership, hierarchy and culture".

Pell was originally charged with five counts, one for sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 and the rest were for an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.

He has already served two weeks behind bars, which will be considered as time already served.

Pell maintained his innocence throughout and has filed an appeal, which is set to be heard in June.

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