Australia's highest-ranking Catholic Cardinal George Pell has been stripped of an honorary position at Richmond Football Club just hours after his conviction for child sex abuse was made public.
The club removed Pell as club vice-patron after his guilty verdict was revealed on Tuesday. It was 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 Richmond Football Club said in a statement.
Pell's relationship with the club stretches back to 1959 when he signed as a ruckman, playing for the reserves side before entering the priesthood. He went on to become archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney before joining the Vatican.
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'.
Headmaster John Crowley acknowledged Cardinal Pell may appeal the verdict, but said the college must respond to the jury's findings as they currently stand.
"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," Mr 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 calling for the Council for the Order of Australia to strip Pell of honours has also garnered more than 500 signatures in less than 24 hours.
Pell was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2001 and appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2005.
"Pell must now be stripped of his Companion of the Order of Australia a la Rolf Harris," Senator Derryn Hinch said on Tuesday, citing the decision to strip Harris of his honours in 2015, eight months after being convicted of indecently assaulting four girls in the UK.
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.
Australian Associated Press
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