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9 Days from Final Appeal, Novena for Cardinal Pell Begins

VATICAN CITY — As Cardinal George Pell’s final appeal at Australia’s High Court draws closer, a special novena has been prepared that begins today.

The prayer, published below, originates from Newman parish in Melbourne — the city where Cardinal Pell was tried. It asks the Lord that justice be done by appealing to the intercession of Our Lady, St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher — all said to be favorites of the cardinal.

Cardinal Pell is serving a six-year jail sentence for sexually abusing two choir boys as archbishop of Melbourne after Sunday Mass in the city’s St. Patrick’s cathedral in 1996 and 1997. He has always vigorously protested his innocence.

During the appeal in Australia’s High Court which is scheduled for March 11-12, Cardinal Pell’s attorneys are expected to argue that his conviction should have already been overturned because it was based upon uncorroborated testimony of only one complainant.

A Newman parishioner known simply as Gabriella told the Register “there’s no grandstanding involved” in the novena, “just a simple request” by the parish priest, Father Glen Tattershall of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, who “put the request out there and leaves the rest to God.”

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