UPDATE, 2pm: After two trials and an appeal, Melbourne's Archbishop Peter Comensoli says everyone should respect the court's decision to convict George Pell of child sexual abuse.
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday rejected Pell's fight to overturn his conviction for assaulting two choirboys at St Patrick's Cathedral in the 1990s.
"I respectfully receive the court's decision and I encourage everyone to do the same," Archbishop Comensoli said in a statement.
"That there have been two trials and now today's decision in the Court of Appeal, the complexity of the search for the truth in this matter has tested many and may very well continue to do so."
Archbishop Comensoli, who last week revealed he had visited Pell in jail, said he would continue to ensure the fallen cardinal was offered pastoral and spiritual support "according to the teaching and example of Jesus to visit those in prison".
Archbishop Comensoli, along with the Bishop of Ballarat Paul Bird and Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, acknowledged the case meant the Catholic Church was again confronted by its terrible history of child abuse.
"We acknowledge the pain that those abused by clergy have experienced through the long process of the trials and appeal of Cardinal Pell," the Bishops Conference said in a statement.
"We also acknowledge that this judgment will be distressing to many people."We remain committed to doing everything we can to bring healing to those who have suffered greatly and to ensuring that Catholic settings are the safest possible places for all people, but especially for children and vulnerable adults."
Bishop Bird said Pell's failed appeal was the culmination of months of uncertainty.
He said there was a special impact on people in the Ballarat community, because Pell was born in the city, was an assistant priest there and was an Episcopal Vicar for Education in Diocese of Ballarat.
"This is also a troubling time for our Catholic community throughout the whole Ballarat diocese, not only because of Cardinal Pell's connections with our diocese but also because the entire church community is again confronted by the terrible history of abuse of children and the breach of trust that that abuse involved," Bishop Bird said.
"I hope and pray that the finalisation of the legal processes will bring some sense of resolution to all those affected by the proceedings."
At 1.15pm: A father of one of George Pell's child sex abuse victims is relieved the disgraced cardinal's appeal over his conviction has been rejected.
Lawyer Lisa Flynn, who represents the father of Pell's deceased victim, said she sat next to her client as the Court of Appeal judges delivered their decision.
"Today the Court of Appeal has made the correct decision by upholding the jury's verdict, which saw George Pell convicted of child sexual abuse. The disgraced cardinal is in the right place behind bars," Ms Flynn said.
"Our client has always said that he does not want the man who he holds responsible for his son's downhill spiral and subsequent fatal heroin overdose to ever again have contact with any members of society."
Ms Flynn said the father would continue to pursue compensation through a civil claim against Pell.
"He has suffered immensely knowing what George Pell did to his son as a young choirboy," she said.
At 11am: Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Cardinal George Pell will likely be stripped of his honours.
Pell was made a companion of the Order of Australia in 2005 for his services to the Catholic Church in Australia.
Mr Morrison said his "sympathies are with victims of child sexual abuse not just today but every day".
"I would urge Australians reliving these experiences to reach out to those around them," Mr Morrison said. "These experiences can take them back a long way."
Pell will now have 28 days to seek special leave to appeal in the High Court.
If appeal documents are lodged the High Court will look at the decision made by the Court of Appeal and then make a decision as to whether it hears the matter.
Earlier: Cardinal George Pell has lost his appeal against convictions for child sex offences.
The decision was welcomed by a leading south-west victim of clergy abuse.
"Good. It's good. Thank Christ it's 2-1 he doesn't walk free," he said.
"The decision upholds the jury system. Cardinal Pell should be defrocked and laicized by the end of the week," he said.
The Court of Appeal decision was announced 2-1 after a hearing started at 9.30am, rejecting the Cardinal's appeal and upheld the historic child sex abuse convictions.
Pell's jail term of six years stands.
He has already served more than 170 days and must serve three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole.
Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said Pell's surviving victim, the man who gave evidence at trial, was a compelling witness, "clearly not a liar", "not a fantastist" and a witness of trust.
"Throughout his evidence the complainant came across as someone who was telling the truth," she said.
Pell's other victim died in 2014 from a heroin overdose.
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