Bishop-elect Gregory Homeming takes his position on the left of the alter. By the end of the night he takes the seat on the right.
Bishop-elect Gregory Homeming takes his position on the left of the alter. By the end of the night he takes the seat on the right. Cathryn McLauchlan

Bishop declines to comment on Pell conviction

THE Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lismore, Gregory Homeming, declined to comment after Cardinal George Pell was found guilty of five charges of child abuse last December and the suppression order on the media lifted yesterday.

In a statement, Bishop Homeming acknowledged that Cardinal George Pell has been found guilty on historical child sexual abuse charges.

"I understand that Cardinal Pell will be appealing the judgement and therefore, it is inappropriate for me to make any comment on the matter," Bishop Homeming said.

This morning, Cardinal Pell officially lost his job as the Vatican's Treasurer.

Alessandro Gisotti, Interim Director at the Vatican's Holy See Press office, broke the news via social media.

"I can confirm that Cardinal George Pell is no longer the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy," he said via twitter this morning.

Pell had taken leave of absence from that position in 2017.

On December 12, 2018, the day after Pell's conviction, the Holy See Press Office announced that Pope Francis had written to Pell at the end of October 2018 to thank him for his work on the Council of Cardinal Advisers since 2013; and terminated his appointment to the council.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference agreed yesterday that everyone should be equal under the law, and confirmed they respect the Australian legal system.

"The same legal system that delivered the verdict will consider the appeal that the Cardinal's legal team has lodged," the statement read.

"Our hope, at all times, is that through this process, justice will be served.

"In the meantime, we pray for all those who have been abused and their loved ones, and we commit ourselves anew to doing everything possible to ensure that the Church is a safe place for all, especially the young and the vulnerable."

The Lismore Catholic Diocese is home to 105,000 Catholics in twenty eight parishes from the Tweed River in the north to Camden Haven in the south.