Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic and the third-ranking official in the Vatican, has been charged with multiple sexual offences by police.
The charges were served on Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne on Thursday and they have been lodged also at Melbourne magistrates court. He has been ordered to appear at the court on 18 July.
“Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges … and there are multiple complainants,” Victoria police’s deputy commissioner Shane Patton said. The charges were “historical sexual assault offences”.
In a statement released by the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney 90 minutes after the charges were announced, Pell announced he would “return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name”.
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