Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years behind bars after being convicted of sexually abusing two choir boys. His minimum term will be three years and eight months.
The 77-year-old was once the third highest ranking Catholic during his time as the Church's treasurer. He becomes the Catholic Church's highest ranking member to be convicted of child sexual abuse.
Pell was originally charged with five counts, one for sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 and the rest were for an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.
Pell, 77, was only removed from his post in the Vatican in December when the guilty verdict was handed down. News of the result was only allowed to be reported in Australia last month due to a gag order.
Chief Judge Kidd was scathing in his remarks during sentencing.
"The acts were sexually graphic. Both victims were visibly and audibly distressed during this offending," he told Pell.
"You were confident your victims would not complain. It is fanciful to suggest that you may not have fully appreciated this.
"There is an added layer of degradation and humiliation that each of your victims must have felt in knowing that their abuse had been witnessed by the other.
"You had had ample time to reflect upon your previous abuse...despite this, you still indecently acted against (victim J), and did so with what I consider to be a degree of physical aggression and venom.
"I consider your moral culpability across both episodes to be high.
"There was a clear relationship of trust with the victims, and you breached that trust and abused your position to facilitate this offending.
"Your obvious status as Archbishop cast a powerful shadow over this offending.
"I would characterise these breaches and abuses as grave. You continued to offend with callous indifference to the victim's distress. Your conduct was permeated by staggering arrogance.
"There is no evidence of your remorse or contrition for me to act upon to reduce your sentence.
"On the one hand I must punish and denounce you for this appalling offending. Yet on the other hand, I am conscious of the heavy reality that I am about to sentence you, a man of advanced years, who has led an otherwise blameless life, to a significant period of imprisonment, which will account for a good portion of the balance of your life."
Pell will also be placed on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
Featured Image Credit: PA