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Australia’s Highest Court to Deliver Ruling on Cardinal George Pell’s Appeal Next Week

Australia’s High Court will deliver its ruling next week on Cardinal George Pell’s appeal of his conviction of child sexual abuse.

The court announced Thursday that it will hand down its judgement Tuesday in the eastern city of Brisbane.

The 78-year-old Pell was convicted by a court in Victoria state of molesting two choirboys at Melbourne’s St. Patrick Cathedral in 1996 while serving as the city’s archbishop. He was sentenced the next year to six years in prison, making the former Vatican treasurer the highest-ranking Catholic clergy member to be convicted in connection with the Church’s decades-long scandal.

The High Court could decide whether to reject the cardinal’s appeal, vacate the original verdict, or send the case back down to a lower court. Pell’s lawyer told the High Court during a hearing on his appeal last month that it would have been impossible for him to molest the boys considering the busy activity in the cathedral after Mass.