Church claims Pell plaque video 'doctored'

The Archdiocese of Sydney says a video of a plaque of George Pell being defaced was doctored.
The Archdiocese of Sydney says a video of a plaque of George Pell being defaced was doctored.

The Catholic Church has denied a plaque of convicted pedophile Cardinal George Pell has been defaced in Sydney despite the incident being captured on video.

Satirical group The Chaser on Wednesday evening posted a video on Facebook showing comedian Charles Firth adding a gold coloured plate to the plaque commemorating Pell's tenure as the eighth Archbishop of Sydney on the grounds of St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney.

The plate carried the words "and convicted pedophile".

"Here's George Pell's plaque proudly on display. It's missing his most noteworthy achievement. We're going to have to fix that," Firth said in the video before adding the plate.

"There we go, much better: 'Cardinal George Pell AC, eighth Archbishop of Sydney 2001 (to) 2014 and convicted pedophile'."

But the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney on Thursday denied the plaque had been defaced and insisted the video was "doctored".

"It hasn't actually been put on the plaque, it hasn't been defaced, it's been doctored on photoshop," a spokeswoman told AAP.

There was no sign of the plate on Thursday morning, and Firth was shocked at the church's denial.

"It totally happened," he told AAP in a statement.

"First they deny they have a problem with pedophilia and now they are denying acts of vandalism caught directly on video.

"How much evidence do they actually need to be convinced of anything?"

Pell is back behind bars after Victoria's Court of Appeal on Wednesday upheld his December conviction for the rape of a 13-year-old choirboy and sexual assault of another boy at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996.

The plaque will remain on the church grounds until "all avenues of an appeal" have been exhausted by the 78-year-old Pell, the archdiocese's spokeswoman said.

Australian Associated Press