The highest court in Australia on Wednesday granted Catholic Cardinal George Pell an appeal to a court’s finding earlier this year that he had sexually abused two choir boys in the 1990s.
The disgraced cardinal had previously had his appeal rejected by the lower Court of Appeal in Victoria. In petitioning the high court, Pell’s lawyers argued that Pell had the burden of proof unfairly placed on him rather than its being on the prosecution.
The high court will not hear Pell’s appeal until at least February and possibly longer.
Pell is currently in prison in Melbourne, where he spends 23 hours a day in solitary confinement and has been barred from celebrating Mass.
He is the highest-ranking Catholic Church clergy member to be convicted of sex abuse.