Cardinal George Pell has started his last-ditch bid to get out of jail and erase his child abuse convictions, arguing his crimes were impossible.
The 78-year-old pedophile remained behind bars on Tuesday as his lawyers lodged a special leave application with Australia's highest court.
A spokesperson for the High Court confirmed it had received the application through its Melbourne registry, "requesting leave to appeal a decision".
Snippets of the 12-page document show Pell's argument includes that the offending was impossible - a case also used by lawyers during his jury trial.
The matter will be considered by a panel and either dismissed, accepted or further examined with the parties called to a brief hearing.
The process can take anywhere up to six months.
If successful in seeking leave, Pell's lawyers will lodge a full appeal with the High Court.
Victoria's Court of Appeal last month upheld by two votes to one Pell's December conviction for the rape of a 13-year-old choirboy and sexual assault of another at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996.
Pell's lawyers had argued on grounds including that the jury verdicts were "unsafe and unsatisfactory".
Victorian Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and President Chris Maxwell voted to deny Pell's appeal but Justice Mark Weinberg voted for his acquittal. They published a 325-page judgment explaining their decisions.
Pell had until Wednesday to file an application to the High Court.
In March he was sentenced to six years in prison and must spend at least three years and eight months behind bars before he's eligible for parole.
The earliest Pell can be released is October 2022, when he will be 81.
A jury found him guilty of sexual crimes against the two boys and his offending was described as "brazen" by the sentencing judge.
One of the victims has since died. His father on Tuesday said he was "beyond disappointed" to hear of the High Court bid.
"Every time Pell takes his legal fight to the next level our client is reminded of the disgusting abuse he inflicted on his son as a young choirboy," lawyers for the man said in a statement
"Hearing the news this afternoon has made him angry.
"He has no doubt George Pell sexually abused his son."
Pell has always denied that as the newly-installed Archbishop of Melbourne, he raped and molested the boys.
He committed the crimes after exposing himself while dressed in his ornate ceremonial robes and fresh from presiding over Sunday solemn mass.
A spokeswoman for Cardinal Pell confirmed the leave application had been lodged with the High Court and declined to comment further.
Australian Associated Press