Vatican Treasurer, George Pell, Becomes Highest Convicted Official of the Catholic Church.

Camilo Zeballos, Reporter

Cardinal George Pell, ex-Vatican treasurer, has been convicted in an Australian court for the sexual abuse of two 13 year old boys back in the early 90’s.

This verdict had been suppressed from the public due to an Australian gag order preventing anyone from talking about it. Now that the decision was finally out it came as a shock to many people around the globe specifically in Australia. This is because Cardinal Pell, during the time of these crimes, was launching a program called Melbourne Response to help children who suffered sex abuse in the church in his diocese of Melbourne in Australia. This program though, according to WGN9, had “been criticized for providing only small amounts of compensation to victims, and in some circumstances, discouraging them from going to police with their complaints”

Cardinal Pell as well as the Vatican were strong advocates of giving abusive clergy in the church the “benefit of the doubt.” They believed every person regardless¬† of who they were should be held to the same standard but should also not be considered guilty due to just a random allegation. While many found this good some people including other Vatican officials believed that this led to many cover ups and¬† no enforcement towards many true accusations. After this most recent verdict though the Vatican seems to be changing their views. Pope Francis has come out to say sorry on behalf of the church and promise a crackdown on all these scandals.

Cardinal Pell has been taken off of office as the Vatican’s Prefect of treasury, but we do not know if he will also be defrocked . The Catholic church said that it is waiting on the final decision from the Australian courts to make a final decision.