What happens to the disgraced cardinal now — George Pell

Pell who has maintained his innocence and plans to appeal appeared in a Melbourne court after being convicted on five offences including oral rape and molestation of the boys in 1996-1997

A police van believed to be transporting Cardinal George Pell leaves the County Court after Pell was sentenced to six years in jail for child sex crimes, in Melbourne on March 13, 2019.

Disgraced Australian Cardinal George Pell has been told to expect "significant" prison time when he's sentenced in Melbourne's County Court for sexually abusing two teenage boys in 1996.

Cardinal Pell, a former top adviser to Pope Francis, is the most senior Catholic worldwide to be convicted for child sex offences.

Pope Francis' former finance minister was convicted in December of orally raping a 13-year-old choirboy and indecently dealing with the boy and the boy's 13-year-old friend in the late 1990s.

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

Pell has maintained his innocence throughout and has filed an appeal on three grounds, set to be heard in June.

Anticipating huge public interest in the sentence, the judge will permit a camera in court to broadcast his remarks live globally.

Pell is the highest-ranking member of the Catholic Church to be found guilty of abuse.

St Claire told a similar story about Pell when she confided in him about the shocking abuse she and her twin sister Sarah were subjected to during 14 years they spent in five orphanages run by the Catholic Church in the 1950 and '60s.

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

George Pell has been sentenced to six years in prison, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.

Pell also argued the jury relied too heavily on one victim's evidence and that it did not constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt that the claims are true.

"Facing jail at your age in these circumstances must be an very bad state of affairs for you", Kidd said, the Guardian reported.

Abuse survivors were among those who travelled to Melbourne on Wednesday to witness Pell's sentencing before a packed courtroom.

In sentencing Pell, Kidd dismissed mental impairment as a factor in Pell's decision to offend. The other died of a drug overdose in 2014.

Kidd made it clear that Pell's sentence was based exclusively on the crimes he was convicted of by the jury, and that Pell was not to be made a scapegoat for the failings or perceived failings of the Catholic Church.

Worshipper Darryl D'Souza said Pell's conviction and sentencing was a sad situation for Catholics, but it did not change his belief in God or the church.

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

Warning: this article discusses sexual and child abuse.

Statistics released in 2017 by Australia's Royal Commission into Responses to Institutional Child Sex Abuse stated that 7% of all Catholic priests in the country had abused children over the past six decades.

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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