Attention has also been drawn to the plausibility of Pell's apparent crimes, in which he is supposed to have sexually abused two teenage boys simultaneously in the Melbourne cathedral sacristy after Mass, at a time when the space would have been both crowded with people and exposed to view.
The episode took place, according to the prosecution, after the 10:30 am Sunday Mass sometime between August and December 1996, shortly after Pell was installed as Melbourne's archbishop. Defense lawyers established during the trial that Pell only celebrated this Mass twice during the time identified by prosecutors.
On at least one of the occasions, witnesses testified, Pell was in constant public view following Mass, and on both occasions the whole choir were involved in recording or practice sessions for a Christmas album immediately following Mass.
Since Pell's conviction and sentence were announced, the Holy See has avoided making any public statement on the resolution of the case beyond noting Pell's legal right to appeal.
"Out of this respect, we await the outcome of the appeals process, recalling that Cardinal Pell maintains his innocence and has the right to defend himself until the last stage of appeal," said a Vatican statement released in February.
During the course of his trial, Pell was barred from exercising public ministry or having contact with minors. These limitations were imposed by the local Church authorities in Australia and remain in force during Pell's incarceration and the appeal process.