It’s hard enough to like Tony Abbott even without the fact that he is a close friend of Australia’s most high-profile convicted pedophile. Once you factor that friendship (with Australia’s most high-profile convicted pedophile) in? Forget about it. Since George Pell’s conviction of five counts of child sex abuse offences, Abbott has maintained his friendship with the disgraced cardinal — describing himself as “not a fair-weather friend,” a phrase which I don’t think was coined with the intention of accommodating pedophilia.

Abbott has proven himself to be, at least in this instance, an honest man, though, both calling Pell in the wake of the guilty verdict being handed down and today rocking up to visit Pell in jail, telling reporters that he was there “simply visiting a friend.”

Pell is currently serving a six-year jail sentence, with a non-parole period of at least three years and eight months. Pell’s lawyers launched an unsuccessful bid for an appeal in the Court of Appeal this year. Pell will attempt an appeal in the High Court some time next year.

Image: 7 News