They were given to a jury to examine, offered to three

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They were given to a jury to examine, offered to three judges to try on, and used by George Pell to prove he had not molested two teenage choirboys.

The heavy vestments worn by the cardinal made it impossible for him to have exposed himself to the boys in ‘s St Patrick’s Cathedral, he always said. 

Cardinal Pell died on Wednesday, aged 81, in Rome following complications stemming from hip replacement surgery. 

Pell was cleared of any wrongdoing against children in 2020 when the High Court quashed his convictions for sexually abusing the 13-year-olds in 1996.

He had been found guilty by a Victorian County Court jury in December 2018 of one count of sexual penetration of a child and four counts of committing indecent acts.

The assaults were found to have taken place in the sacristy of St Patrick’s, where Cardinal Pell was then archbishop, and happened straight after he had celebrated Sunday mass. 

Much of his High Court appeal focused on whether he could possibly have abused the choirboys in a window of five or six minutes.

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Cardinal George Pell always maintained it would have been physically impossible for him to expose himself to a pair of 13-year-old choirboys. His vestments included an alb, chasuble, stole and cincture

Cardinal George Pell always maintained it would have been physically impossible for him to expose himself to a pair of 13-year-old choirboys.

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The alb was secured tightly around the waist with a knotted rope cincture, which also secured a stole hanging around his neck, and over the alb was a decorative heavy chasuble which had no splits or openings.

Only one of Cardinal Pell’s accusers gave evidence at trial against the man who rose to become the Vatican’s treasurer.

The other alleged victim had died of a heroin overdose and had denied ever having been abused.

The living complainant’s evidence was not given in public but some of it was revealed from the bar table during the course of Pell’s County Court trial. 

George Pell in his cardinal's regalia when he was Archbishop of Sydney celebrating Easter Sunday Mass in 2011. He was the most senior Catholic figure to be convicted of child sex crimes

George Pell in his cardinal’s regalia when he was Archbishop of Sydney celebrating Easter Sunday Mass in 2011.He was the most senior Catholic figure to be convicted of child sex crimes 

Pell was originally found to have exposed himself and forced a boy to perform oral sex on him inside the sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne (pictured). He always maintained his innocence

Pell was originally found to have exposed himself and 강남안마방 forced a boy to perform oral sex on him inside the sacristy of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne (pictured).He always maintained his innocence

The surviving choirboy had alleged Pell caught him and his friend swilling altar wine and said something like ‘What are you doing here?’ or ‘You’re in trouble’.

‘There was this moment where we all just sort of froze and then he undid his trousers or his belt, like he started moving underneath his robes,’ he said.

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-fc97e060-7875-11ea-ad76-8119f7e64ad0" website the High Court quashed George Pell&apos;s sexual abuse convictions

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