The father of one of Cardinal George Pell’s victims has penned an emotional letter for News Corp, detailing his thoughts and feelings about his son’s abuser’s case.
The man – whose son was one of two 13-year-old choirboys abused by Pell inside Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 – explained that he was determined to see Pell “rot in jail” and that he was glad he would never be able to hurt any more children. Sadly, the man’s son died in 2014 following a drug overdose and downward spiral following the abuse.
While he said it would never give him closure, the father said he wanted authorities to “throw away the key” and for his child’s abuser never to be released from jail.
“It will not give me real closure because I can never have my son back, but seeing Pell incarcerated for the rest of his life will help me move forward and know that my son’s suffering has not ultimately been in vain, though it was for so long,” the man wrote in his News Corp article.
Later in the piece he said that despite Pell being jailed, he would continue to suffer for the rest of his life and that he felt sad that his son had to carry the burden alone for so long.
“The truth is, while Pell serves his sentence behind bars, I’m serving my own life sentence of grief at home, existing but in pain every single day,” he wrote.
Australia was rocked last month when news broke that Pell had been convicted of five counts of child sex abuse against the two teenage choirboys during his time as Archbishop of Melbourne.
Following the lifting of a gag order, it was revealed that the 77-year-old had been convicted of the charges on December 11, 2o18 at Melbourne’s county court, after the jury delivered a unanimous verdict. The Australian media had been unable to report on the trial until February as the judge had placed a suppression order on the case.
Pell was found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16, which his lawyer reportedly likened to “oral rape”, and four charges of an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.
The verdict was delivered after a retrial was ordered following an earlier jury’s inability to reach a decision in September, 2018. Following the decision in December, Pell was granted bail to undergo knee surgery in Sydney. He was also removed from Pope Francis’ exclusive group of cardinals known as the Group of Nine, and forced to step down from his position as the Vatican’s Chief Financial Officer.
Pell maintained his innocence throughout the trial and plans to appeal his conviction. He will be sentenced in Melbourne on Wednesday.