He may now be transferred from the intake and evaluation facility at which he is currently being held to a different prison in Victoria.
Pell's appeal was dismissed on all three grounds the defense presented.
Judges were divided on Pell's first ground of appeal, regarding the question of whether the evidence presented against Pell was unreasonable and impossible.
At particular issue was the question of whether Pell's liturgical vestments could have been moved or lifted in the way described by the complainant, who alleged that Pell exposed himself and forced two boys to commit sex acts while he was fully vested in his Mass garb. While the defense argued that such an action would have been physically impossible, two of the appelate judges decided that was matter legitimately decided by the jury.
The judges were unanimous in dismissing two other grounds, regarding procedural matters: one that alleged Pell's arraignment did not follow protocol, and the other raising a complaint that an animation of the cathedral where Pell was alleged to have sexually abused to choir boys was not permitted to be shown during closing arguments.
Ferguson, Justice Chris Maxwell, and Justice Mark Weinberg, delivered their verdict in a packed Courtroom 15 at the Victoria Supreme Court.
Twenty-six accredited journalists and some 60 members of the public heard the judges' decision announced Wednesday morning. Pell's brother David, the cardinal's former communications director, Katrina Lee, and the chancellor of the archdiocese of Sydney, Chris Meaney were all among the crowd.
Ferguson said the judges had reached the decision after each of the them had watched video of the evidence given by 12 of the 24 witnesses who appeared in the trial.
"Each of the judges has read [the trial] transcript, some parts of it multiple times," Ferguson added, referring to the more than 2,000 pages of documents related to the trial.
The session opened with Justice Wienberg registering his dissent from the majority opinion, saying that while he agreed with the other judges in rejecting the second and third grounds of appeal, which were technical and procedural complaints, he did not agree that the jury's finding of guilt could have been beyond reasonable doubt on the evidence presented.
Ferguson and Maxwell concluded otherwise.
"Where the unreasonableness ground is relied upon, the task for the appeal court is to decide whether, on the whole of the evidence, it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty," Ferguson explained.
"Having reviewed the whole of the evidence, two of the judges… decided that it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt," Ferguson said.
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"In other words, those judges decided that there was nothing about the complainant's evidence, or about the opportunity evidence, which meant that the jury 'must have had a doubt.'"
Ferguson said that Weinberg's dissenting opinion found that the evidence of the single accuser "contained discrepancies, displayed inadequacies, and otherwise lacked probative value so as to cause him to have a doubt as to [Pell's] guilt," and called the accuser's account of the second incident of abuse "entirely implausible and quite unconvincing."
"In Justice Weinberg's view there was a significant body of cogent and, in some cases, impressive evidence suggesting that the complainant's account was, in a realistic sense, 'impossible' to accept."
"Nevertheless," Ferguson concluded, "the appeal on the unreasonableness ground was dismissed because the other two judges took a different view of the facts."
Since Pell was first accused of sexually abusing minors, the cardinal has maintained his innocence.
Pell has one further avenue open in petitioning the Australian High Court in Canberra. Such an effort is expected by legal experts to offer very slim chance of success, given the appeal court result.