13th March 2019 | Australian Associated Press
Some child abuse survivors and their supporters say Cardinal George Pell's six-year jail term is disappointing, but others believe it is a considerable sentence that sends a strong global message.
Pell's surviving victim did not want to comment on the sentence itself but, through his lawyer, described County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd's remarks as meticulous and considered.
Some people gathered outside the Melbourne court cheered at the six-year jail term with a non-parole period of three years and eight months.
But an abuse survivor, who wants to be known as Michael Advocate and has been vocal outside the court throughout the process, labelled the sentence a joke.
"It's absolutely outrageous," he said in one of many TV interviews outside court.
"Every victim is sentenced to a lifetime of pain and suffering.
"They destroy us for life. He gets three years and eight months."
Victims' advocate Cathy Kezelman said the sentence was significant but not as much as survivors would have hoped.
"It's profoundly disappointing for survivors whose own lives have been destroyed by the crime of child sexual abuse," the Blue Knot Foundation president said.
"It also makes a mockery of the concept of true accountability and is not a sentence commensurate with the crimes committed and the harm reaped."
Abuse survivor Robert House said any jail term was inadequate.
"Of course we'd like more, but we've got something that's considerable and that's a wonderful thing."
Mr House said the significance of the third most powerful person in the Vatican being jailed for child abuse could not be underestimated.
"It sends a powerful message that it doesn't matter what position you sit amongst society, if you commit crimes against children you will get found out and you'll pay the price for it."