Update: For all my coverage of this story, also see the posts on May 2, 2018, Feb. 26, 2019, Mar. 13, 2019, and Aug 21, 2019.
Two people familiar with Cardinal George Pell's case have told reporters he has been found guilty. That makes Pell the highest ranking member of the Catholic Church to be convicted in the ongoing sexual abuse cases rocking the Vatican.
Pell reportedly has been found guilty on five charges related to sexual misconduct involving two boys at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne in the 1990's.
Pell has served as archbishop of both Melbourne and Sydney in his career. In 2014 he moved to the Vatican when Pope Francis appointed him to serve in the new-at-the-time Secretariat for the Economy. Serving in that role essentially made him the third-in-command at the Vatican.
I wrote about Pell in May, when a magistrate ruled that about half the charges against him had sufficient evidence to go to trial.
Pope Francis has not commented on the ruling yet, but a recent announcement from the Vatican stated that in October Francis removed Pell from his advisory group, the Council of Cardinals. A Chilean cardinal, Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, accused of covering up for abusive priests, was also removed from the council.
Given some of the profoundly stupid things he has already said about the church's ongoing sex abuse crisis, it is probably for the best that Francis has not opened his mouth about this one yet. But as these stories pile up, and Francis continues to blunder his way (or just maintain complete silence) through them all, his approval ratings are plummeting.
As these stories continue to pile up, more and more people are seeing the church for the cesspool of corruption that it is. You can check out all my posts about the ongoing sexual abuse crisis with the Catholic Church here.