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The Latest: Pell's bail revoked, sentencing set for March 13

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest on Cardinal George Pell (all times local):

11:25 p.m.

The Vatican spokesman says that the Vatican office that handles sex abuse of minors has taken over the case involving Cardinal George Pell following his conviction for molesting two choir boys.

Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said Wednesday that the Australian cardinal, the highest Catholic cleric convicted of sex abuse, was being investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, which has the power to remove him from the priesthood.

The move was expected as the Church must conduct its own canonical investigation whenever there is a credible allegation of sex abuse.

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Pell was jailed Wednesday pending his sentencing in the decades-old molestation case.

Pope Francis removed Pell as a member of his informal Cabinet in October, and the Vatican confirmed he is no longer its economy minister.

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6:40 p.m.

The most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse has been sent to prison and will wait two weeks to learn his sentence for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral two decades ago.

A Victorian state court judge revoked Cardinal George Pell’s bail at the end of a sentencing hearing Wednesday in a packed courtroom. The judge said he would deliver his sentence on March 13.

The 77-year-old Pell, who could face 50 years in prison, was taken from the court to the Melbourne Assessment Prison, a maximum security facility where inmates new to the state penal system are assessed.

A jury unanimously convicted Pell in December of abusing the two 13-year-olds in a rear room of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996 weeks after becoming archbishop of Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city. But Pell wasn’t taken into custody immediately because he had surgery scheduled to have both knees replaced.

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2 p.m.

A judge has revoked Cardinal George Pell’s bail and said he would announce the disgraced cleric’s sentence on March 13.

The bail revocation means the most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse will be jailed while waiting to learn his sentence for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral two decades ago.

Victorian state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd said Pell was guilty of a breach of trust with an element of brutality and had had a sense of impunity. He said, “I see this as callus, brazen offending — blatant.”

The 77-year-old former Vatican economy minister showed no expression as he walked from the dock with a cane escorted by three court security officers and a prison guard.

A jury unanimously convicted Pell in December but the verdict was suppressed until Tuesday.

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10 a.m.

The most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse faces his first night in custody following a sentencing hearing for molesting two choirboys in a Melbourne cathedral two decades ago.

Victoria state County Court jury unanimously convicted Cardinal George Pell in December of abusing two 13-year-olds in a rear room of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1996.

But unusually, Pell wasn’t taken into custody immediately because he had surgery scheduled in Sydney to have both knees replaced.

Pell’s sentencing hearing is set for Wednesday.

Pell could face 50 years in prison. His convictions were suppressed by a court order until Tuesday.

Pell’s lawyers lodged an appeal and will apply for bail in the Court of Appeal later Wednesday. No date has been set for an appeal hearing.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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