FOOTAGE has been released of Cardinal George Pell's police interview that captures his reaction to being asked about the sexual abuse of two boys.

While Pell did not take the stand at his trial in Victoria, footage of a police interview filmed in October 2016 was shown to the jury, who eventually found Pell guilty of five charges in December.

With his hands crossed in front of him, the footage shows the Cardinal dismissing the allegations as "disgraceful rubbish".

Detective Sergeant Christopher Read questioned Pell about the then-allegations in a nondescript room in Rome. It was the first time Pell had heard the claims he later described as a "product of fantasy".

The officer told him it was alleged Pell planted himself between the boys and the doorway in the sacristy, a room used by priests to get dressed.

"After Sunday mass?" Pell interjects, before sighing and saying 'oh, stop it' when the officer says he was alleged to have moved his robes to one side and exposed his penis.

"What a load of absolute and disgraceful rubbish," he said.

"Completely false, madness."

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George Pell in his police interview in Rome.
George Pell in his police interview in Rome.

Pell focuses on the improbability of the incident happening in the sacristy room after mass.

"Hell, all sorts of people used to come to the sacristy to speak to the priest," he said, noting sacristans and alter servers would have been around to change their vestments.

When the Detective Sergeant Read goes on to describe more details of the abuse, saying Pell forced the boys head on to his penis, Pell responds: "In the sacristy after mass? … completely false."

He looks down at the table as more allegations are put to him, before repeating: "this is in the sacristy, at the cathedral, after Sunday mass?

"Well need I say more?

"What a load of garbage and falsehood, and deranged falsehood."

Pell notes that his master of ceremonies would be able to say that he was always with him after the ceremonies. He also suggested the boys couldn't have dallied long in the sacristy because the choirmaster would have been keen to get them dressed and away.

Watch George Pell's police interview in the video above

George Pell in his police interview in Rome.
George Pell in his police interview in Rome.

Pell continues to maintain his innocence as he awaits sentencing - up to 10 years on each of five charges - by County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd on March 13.

Victoria Police has confirmed there are no further investigations into Pell, but the Vatican has announced its Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will investigate with an inquiry that could ultimately lead to his dismissal from the priesthood.

It's not expected to occur until after an appeal, which Pell's legal team will pursue along with a bail application after the sentence.

Pell will remain in protective custody until then because of his high profile, including in lockdown which can stretch to 23 hours at time. Prosecutors have flagged Pell is facing "significant" jail time and he will be registered as a serious sex offender.

- with AAP


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