Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic Cardinal George Pell has been stripped of an honorary position at Richmond Football Club following his conviction for child sex abuse.

The club on Tuesday removed Pell as club vice-patron, a largely symbolic role which he has held since 1997.

 “While acknowledging his right to appeal, the club has formed a view that his association is no longer tenable or appropriate,” the Tigers said in a statement.

Pell was signed as a ruckman by the club in 1959, playing for the reserves side before entering the priesthood. He went on to become archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney before joining becoming the Vatican’s No.3 man.

Meanwhile, St Patrick’s College in Ballarat has removed Pell’s name off a building which had been named in his honour.

Pell attended the boarding school from 1949 to 1959 and was later inducted a ‘legend of the school’.

“The jury’s verdict demonstrates that Cardinal Pell’s behaviours have not met the standards we expect of those we honour as role models for the young men we educate,” headmaster John Crowley said.


 “The college aims at every opportunity to fulfil our mission of raising fine boys to the status of great men.”

Pell Wing will be renamed Waterford Wing, while a line will be struck through his name on a college honour board.

An online petition has also garnered more than 500 signatures calling for the Council for the Order of Australia to revoke Pell’s appointment as a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2005.

A Melbourne jury in December found Pell guilty of five charges – one of sexually penetrating a child and four of committing indecent acts with children in the 1990s. That verdict was made public on Tuesday.

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