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Pell to be stripped of Order of Australia

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Catholic Cardinal George Pell will be stripped of his Order of Australia after losing an appeal against his child sex abuse conviction.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday his sympathies lay with the victims of child sexual abuse, not just today but “on every single day”.

“My understanding is that this (appeal loss) would result in the stripping of the honours that are decided externally to the government,” Mr Morrison said.

“That is a process that is done independently, and that course will now follow.”

He urged all Australians who find themselves reliving their abuse as a result of the public attention given to the Pell case to “reach out to those around them, to reach out to the services that are there for them”.

“The courts have done their job. They’ve rendered their verdict,” he said.

“That’s the system of justice in this country and that must be respected.”

In 2005 Pell received the honour for his service to the Catholic Church in Australia and internationally and for raising debate on matters of an ethical and spiritual nature, to education and social justice.

-AAP

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