Australian police today charged a top adviser to Pope Francis with multiple historical sex crimes. Cardinal George Pell, 76, is the Vatican’s de facto Teasury Minister and is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged with sexual abuse.
Police in the Australian state of Victoria said, George Pell faces multiple charges in respect of historic sex crimes from multiple complainants.
He was ordered to appear before Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.
The Australian Catholic Church said in a statement that Pell strenuously denied the charges and planned to return to Australia to clear his name.
The Catholic Church worldwide has in recent years faced a damaging series of allegations relating to sex abuse by priests, and claims that these cases were covered up.