reaction to Cardinal Pell’s sentence

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In Australia, the Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd ordered Cardinal George Pell to serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.

He was found guilty of abusing two choir boys in the 1990s when he was 55 and the boys were 13.

Someone who long ago accused George Pell of suspicious behaviour is Pete Saunders, appointed by the Pope to be on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors but then removed when he criticised Cardinal Pell on Australian TV.

Speaking on Premier Christian Radio’s News Hour, Pete Saunders was asked what he thought of the sentence: “I think, given the nature of the crime, in some ways he’s got off lightly but really the judge has taken into account his age and his state of health. Assuming he doesn’t win his appeal, which I wouldn’t entirely dismiss the possibiliy of that happening, he will serve about three years in prison before release.

“He’s the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of these vile, vile crimes and I think that really what we’ve got to focus on is remembering the victims and what this is all about.”

He said there is often too much focus on the criminal: “I was appalled to see a poster pinned to a church newsletter in Australia this weekend asking for prayers for Cardinal Pell and the thing that broke my heart is that I understand that appeal, I’m a Christian -…

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