Following the sentencing Pell registered as a sex offender, a list he will now be on for life.
A former senior adviser to Pope Francis, Pell showed no reaction when Chief Judge Peter Kidd handed down his sentence in a hearing broadcast live worldwide on Wednesday from Victoria's County Court in central Melbourne.
Pell was found guilty on December 11 last year on five charges of child sexual offences committed in the 1990s against two 13-year-old choirboys.
The court had issued the suppression order on the trial out of concern that a second trial where Pell was charged with molesting two boys at a Ballarat swimming pool in the 1970s could be prejudiced by a guilty verdict in the first case.
The verdict was first made public on February 26 after a court suppression order on the trial, preventing media reporting had been lifted.
Howard said he was aware of Pell's conviction and pending appeal but that "none of these matters alter my opinion of the Cardinal".
The former Vatican number three - who managed church finances and helped elect two popes - was sentenced in a Melbourne court on five counts, including oral rape and molestation of the boys in 1996-1997.
But with global attention on historic abuse within the Catholic church, Kidd stressed that it was Pell rather than the Vatican that was on trial. "Everything is overshadowed by the forthcoming appeal", he said in a statement read by his lawyer.
Under the terms of the sentencing, Pell must serve a minimum of 3 years and 8 months before he is eligible for parole.
A rep from YG Entertainment says Seungri has been 'in pain'
A former supporter replied to the post saying: "I'm so embarrassed at myself for being your fan for the last 10 years". Band leader G-Dragon was also investigated for smoking marijuana in 2011, although he was released without indictment.
Ex-Dolphin Danny Amendola to sign with Lions, according to reports
Former New England Patriots defensive end Trey Flowers is reportedly set to sign with the Detroit Lions . The deal is rumored to be a five-year deal worth anywhere between $16-$17 million per season.
'Captain Marvel' smashes box office opening weekend
In terms of all films, superhero or not, Captain Marvel had the sixth-best opening weekend of all-time. Captain Marvel soared to the box office lead, raking in more than expected after middling reviews.
More than a month later, Pell abused the survivor again, squeezing the boy's genitals as they passed in a cathedral corridor after a Mass.
A large crowd, including abuse victims, advocates and media, waited outside the courtroom for the doors to open this morning.
"I think the Catholic Church is shuffling it under the carpet and it makes me sick that I pay school fees to a Catholic system and then some of that money goes to the Catholic Church".
Kidd said as archbishop Pell would have "cast a powerful shadow" and thought he could control the situation if caught. The other died of a drug overdose in 2014.
"You are not to be made a scapegoat of the failings or perceived failings of the Catholic Church", said Kidd, criticizing a "lynch mob mentality" among the public.
Though not shortening his sentence, Judge Kidd said he did impose a shorter non-parole period "in recognition in particular of your age, so as to increase the prospect of your living out the last part of your life in the community".
In the decades since, evidence of widespread abuse has emerged globally.
Pell will appeal the sentence.
If defrocked, Pell would be the highest profile figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times and only the second Roman Catholic prelate to lose the title of cardinal in almost 100 years.
The judge took into account the victims' emotional wellbeing and impact on their relationships, culminating in an "immediate" and "profound impact" on their lives.