BREAKING: George Pell's appeal against his sentence has been dismissed
The verdict is on on the Pell's appeal of her conviction for child sex abuse
George Pell's appeal against his sentence has just been dismissed by the Victorian Court of Appeal. The decision was reached by a majority of two to one.
Pell, who was ordered to 'return to prison', will stay in jail for at least another three years. He is expected to take his case to the High Court.
When the decision was announced, the court remained largely silent, although some gasps from supporters could be heard from the gallery.
WATCH: George Pell jeered as he leaves court after losing his appeal
Cardinal Pell was in March sentenced to 6 years in jail. The previous month he had been found guilty of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 as well as four charges of an indecent act with a minor.
The judge, Peter Kidd, described the 77-year-old as 'brazen' in his summing up - telling him 'you were confident your victims would not complain'.
'The offending which the jury has found you have engaged in was, on any view, breathtakingly arrogant,' the judge told Pell - saying he had committed a 'grave abuse of his power'.
He was the most senior Catholic priest ever convicted of child sex crimes.
The criminal offences involving two choirboys - who the judge referred to as 'R' and 'J' - occurred between December 1996 and early 1997 at St Patrick's Cathedral, months after Pell was inaugurated as archbishop of Melbourne's Catholic church.
The judge said he was conscious that Pell was nearing the end of his life.
'I am conscious that the term of imprisonment, which I am about to impose upon you, carries with it a real, as distinct from theoretical possibility that you may not live to be released from prison,' he said, acknowledging Pell was suffering from congestive heart failure.
'Facing jail at your age in these circumstances must be an awful state of affairs for you,' he said.
The judge stated that Pell had 'reformed' and was no longer 'a risk to the community'.
Days before Pell's February conviction Pope Francis quietly removed him from the Pontiff's Council of Advisers, per the Guardian.
Once the verdict was made public, the Vatican issued a statement confirming the cleric was no longer its Secretariat for the Economy, the third most powerful position in the religious enclave.
Speaking of the court's decision, Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said: ‘This is painful news that, as we are well aware, has shocked many people, not only in Australia.
‘We reiterate the utmost respect for the Australian judicial authorities. In the name of this respect, we now await the outcome of the appeal process.’