Why George Pell says his religious robes mean he could not have molested ...

George Pell's heavy robes would have made it impossible for him to expose himself to the choirboys he was found to have molested, according to a retired Catholic priest. 

The disgraced cardinal's vestments were so layered and cumbersome a Melbourne jury's finding that he forced a 13-year-old boy to perform oral sex upon him was 'ridiculous'.

An 86-year-old priest told 2GB's Alan Jones any Catholic cleric celebrating mass wore so many vestments it was difficult to even go to the toilet.

'The cardinal archbishop has so many clothes on at the exact time of the offence that it would be physically impossible to do what he's charged with,' the priest said.

Even a 'lowly priest' was required to wear several layers of liturgical clothing when celebrating mass. 'And all this is tied around my waist tightly with a cincture,' he said.

George Pell has maintained it would have been physically impossible for him to expose himself to a pair of 13-year-old choirboys. His vestments included an alb, chasuble, stole and cincture

Pell has been found guilty of five sexual offences against two 13-year-old boys committed in the sacristy of Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral when he was archbishop there in 1996

'Standing still just waiting to be told to enter the sanctuary every morning I am praying that I might not have a quick call of nature and have to rush to the toilet.

'Simply because it is almost impossible to get to my belt and zipper under the weight of all these clothes. That is the basic reason the charge is so ridiculous.'

Pell, the most senior Catholic in Australia and the third most senior in the world, is the highest ranking cleric in his church to be found guilty of sexual offences against children. 

The 77-year-old was found guilty by a Victorian County Court jury in December of one count of sexual penetration of a child and four counts of committing indecent acts with two choirboys in 1996.

The assaults were found to have taken place in the sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne, where Pell was archbishop and happened after he had celebrated Sunday mass. 

Among the arguments in the cardinal's defence case was that he could not have assaulted the boys in the robes he was wearing. 

Pell's vestments that day would have included an alb - a white tunic which reached the feet and had two slits to allow access to trouser pockets but no zips or buttons.

The alb was secured tightly around the waist with a knotted rope cincture, which also secured a stole hanging around his neck, and over the alb was a decorative heavy chasuble which had no splits or openings.

Pell was found to have exposed himself and forced a boy to perform oral sex on him inside the sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne (pictured). He maintains his innocence

Pell was found to have exposed himself and forced a boy to perform oral sex on him inside the sacristy of St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne (pictured). He maintains his innocence

Only one of Pell's victims gave evidence against the man who rose to become the Vatican's treasurer. The other victim had died of a heroin overdose.

The living complainant's evidence was not given in public but some of it was revealed from the bar table during the course of the trial. 

The surviving choirboy said Pell had caught him and his friend swilling altar wine and said something like 'What are you doing here?' or 'You’re in trouble'.

'There was this moment where we all just sort of froze and then he undid his trousers or his belt, like he

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