Cardinal George Pell has been charged with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences and ordered to appear in a Melbourne court next month.
“Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences,” Victoria state police deputy commissioner Shane Patton told a news conference in Melbourne.
“There are multiple complainants relating to those charges,” he said. Pell was charged and summons to appear before Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18, Patton said.
As head of the Vatican’s finances, Cardinal Pell is considered number three in the Catholic hierarchy behind the Pope.
Last July, police confirmed they were formally investigating complaints about offences alleged to have occurred in Ballarat in the 1970s.
Cardinal Pell has always maintained his innocence and strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
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