MELBOURNE, Australia — An Australian man who claims he was sexually abused decades ago by Cardinal George Pell says he has experienced “shame, loneliness, depression and struggle.”
The man issued a statement after it was publicly revealed that Pell had been convicted in December of the assault. The court until Tuesday had forbidden publication of any details about the trial.
The man was one of two former choirboys that Pell was convicted of molesting moments after celebrating Mass in 1996 when Pell was archbishop. The boys were 13 at the time.
In his statement, the man said it had taken him years to understand the impact the assault had on his life. The man cannot be identified because it is illegal to name victims of sexual assault in Victoria state.
Pell is Pope Francis’s top financial adviser and the Vatican’s economy minister. He bowed his head as a jury delivered unanimous verdicts in the Victoria state County Court on Dec. 11 after more than two days of deliberation.
The 77-year-old faces a potential maximum 50-year prison term after a sentencing hearing which begins on Wednesday. He has foreshadowed an appeal.