Cardinal George Pell could face 50 year prison sentence after conviction for sexually abusing two choirboys

The Vatican has said it will wait for the appeal process to end before considering action against George Pell, an Australian cardinal found guilty of sexually assaulting two altar boys.

Pell, the Holy See’s third most senior figure after the Pope, was found guilty on five charges of sexually abusing two boys under 16 shortly after he conducted Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne 22 years ago. He faces 50 years in prison, and plans to appeal the verdict.

“It is painful news that, we are well aware, has shocked many people, not just in Australia,” Alessandro Gisotti, the Vatican spokesman, said.