Pope’s top advisor and Vatican treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, was charged with sexual offenses. For this, he is now taking a leave from the Vatican to fight against the charges in his homeland Australia. The case, however, is considered to be a black mark against the Catholic Church. Pope Francis considers Pell among his closest aides.Australian police claimed that there were multiple charges due to “multiple complaints” against Pell. However, the Police has not disclosed the list of charges against him. Also, the identity of the alleged victims is hidden by the police.
Pell said he had been the victim of “relentless character assassinations,” as he held a news conference early Thursday in Rome to rebut the allegations.In his defense, Pell said, “I’m innocent of these charges, they are false.The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.” Pell said that he was looking for his name to be cleared. He will have to appear in the Melbourne Magistrate’s court on July 18 for a filing hearing. The Australian Police said despite of his elevated status, he isn’t getting any special treatment. Victoria Deputy Police Commissioner, Shane Patton, said, “I want to be perfectly clear- the process and the procedures that have been followed in the charging of Cardinal Pell have been the same that have been applied in a whole range of historical sex offenses whenever we investigate them.”It isn’t for the first time that Catholic Church is facing such allegations. Sex abuse and cover-up within the Catholic Church have been documented in the United States, Ireland, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany and Australia. However, with Pell being Australia’s most senior Catholic and his high ranking in the Vatican. The story may get a new dimension.
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