Australia’s High Court unanimously overturned Pell’s conviction for alleged sexual abuse on April 7, 2020. The cardinal, who has always maintained his innocence, was released after more than 13 months of imprisonment and returned to Rome, where he had served as the Vatican’s economy czar.

The Supreme Court of Victoria ruled on Aug. 24 that the man can sue over the psychological harm he says he suffered over the death of his son. 

According to a report by the Age, this decision could pave the way for other families to sue the Church.

Justice Michael McDonald ordered the archdiocese to pay the plaintiff’s legal costs, but not Pell, who he said played “no active role” in the hearing, the ABC reported.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Melbourne told the Age: “We acknowledge the judgment handed down by his honor ... and will be working through what that means in coming days.”

The case will return to court at a later date.