On March 13, 2019, Judge Peter Kidd announced that Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to 6 years in prison for sexually abusing two children. He was once the third most powerful man in the Vatican, and Australia’s most senior Catholic. A 34 year old man alleged that when he was 13, in late 1996, Cardinal George Pell sexually abused him and a friend. The two had snuck into a changing room to drink altar wine in the back of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne. According to the complaint, once Pell entered the room, “He planted himself in the doorway and said something like: `What are you doing in here?’ or `You’re in trouble.”
“There was this moment where we all just sort of froze and then he undid his trousers or his belt, like he started moving underneath his robes.”
According to the complaint, Pell then forced him to perform oral sex and touched his genitalia.
The prevalence of pedophilia in the Catholic Church is truly terrible but no longer surprising. The Catholic Church for decades has covered up and hid pedophile priests. Recently, there has been a large number of Dioceses and states releasing the names of accused priests. In 2019, New York passed the Child Victims Act that will allow for action to be taken. Under the new law, victims of child sexual abuse will have one year to file a lawsuit no matter when the abuse occurred. This is a start to resolving years of corruption and cover up that has hurt so many.