TWO Wagga Catholics have urged the community to keep the faith despite holding divergent views on George Pell's conviction on child sex charges.
The man who was once the third most powerful person in the Vatican had his appeal against his conviction dismissed 2-1 on Wednesday morning in the Court of Appeal.
The priest was convicted in December last year of the historical child sexual abuse of two teenage altar boys.
Kay Humphreys, a practising Catholic in Wagga, was surprised at the initial conviction but was "elated" the appeal had been rejected.
"I feel people have to be held accountable for their behaviour," she said. "The onus is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the court has not made a mistake, in my opinion. It's very hard to get a conviction. The evidence has to be compelling."
Ms Humphreys hoped the Catholic Church will work towards becoming more transparent as an institution, added that the leaders should consider defrocking Pell.
However, Shaughn Gilroy, another Wagga Catholic, said it had been challenging to hear that Pell's conviction has been upheld.
"In some ways, I am still unconvinced, which is an unpopular opinion," he said. "I don't see how it was even possible."
The 21-year-old said when the case first gained media attention it caused him discomfort as a Catholic, but he remained faithful to his religion.
"It felt a little dark, but it was no reason to turn from the church," Mr Gilroy said.
"I trust the church to do what it thinks is right. Sadly, there will always be evil people, even in the church.
"If it's true, then justice needs to be done. But if it's not, then a huge injustice has been done to this man."
Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the organisation believes all citizens must be equal under the law and accept today's judgement accordingly.
"Cardinal Pell's legal team has said it will examine the judgment in order to determine a special leave application to the High Court," he said.
"We acknowledge the pain that those abused by clergy have experienced through the long process of the trials and appeal of Cardinal Pell."
Archbishop Coleridge said they remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure Catholic settings are the safest possible places for all people, but especially for children and vulnerable adults.
- If you or someone you know is in need of support contact the Sexual Assault Crisis Line on 1800 806 292, 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.