The Catholic archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, has also issued a separate statement. He says he respects the court’s decision. “I encourage everyone to do the same,” he says.
Comensoli says the “complexity of the search for the truth in this matter has tested many, and may very well continue to do so”.
My thoughts and prayers are with the man who brought this matter before the courts. I humbly acknowledge it has been a challenging time for him, and I stand ready to offer pastoral care and spiritual help, should he seek it.
In Christian charity, I will ensure that Cardinal Pell is provided pastoral and spiritual support while he serves the remainder of his sentence, according to the teaching and example of Jesus to visit those in prison.
I also want to acknowledge with gratitude the people who have been involved in this case. For many, this has been a demanding and distressing experience.
To the faithful of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, I want to acknowledge the deep impact today’s decision will have for you. My prayer is that all of us might reach out to each other in faith, hope and love, as I do for you at this moment.
He said the archdiocese “continues to work with survivors to offer support for their healing, recovery and well-being.
I re-commit myself and the Archdiocese to a culture that listens, that seeks to bring justice and healing, and that protects children and vulnerable people.