- Pell will return to Australia to ‘clear his name’ after being charged by police
- Move against third-ranking official in Vatican sends shockwaves around church
- George Pell takes leave from Vatican to fight sexual abuse charges in Australia
By Melissa Davey and Stephanie Kirchgaessner | 29 June 2017
THE GUARDIAN — 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 26 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”.
Pell is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged in the Catholic church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal. […]