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Cardinal Pell arrives in Australia to face sexual offence charges

Cardinal Pell arrives in Australia to face sexual offence charges

Australia's most senior Catholic Cardinal George Pell has returned to Australia to face historical sexual abuse charges in Melbourne.

Pell touched down at Sydney Airport at 5:55am after flying from the Vatican via Singapore.

The charges against him involve "multiple complainants", as the Victoria Police put it. Pell calls the accusations "relentless character assassination" and has vowed to clear his name.

Pell, unofficially considered the number three in the Vatican hierarchy, said from Rome after being charged late last month that he was "looking forward finally to having my day in court". The cardinal is now on leave of absence from his duties in the Vatican so he can defend himself in court where he is accused of sexual offences committed from the 1970s to 1990s.

When in Australia years ago, this is when the sexual abuse appeared to happen.

The Cardinal presumably flew into Sydney from Singapore where he was spotted over the weekend.

Cardinal and current Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy George Pell
Cardinal George Pell returns home to face historical child sex charges

Australia's highest ranking Catholic, Pell is due to face Melbourne's Magistrates Court on July 26 for a filing hearing over the charges.

"Tell her that I am", Cardinal Pell responded.

The lawyer presiding over this work, Gail Furness, had announced in February that 4.444 facts of paedophilia had been reported to the authorities of the Church in australia and that between 1950 and 2010, "7% of priests were accused" of sexual abuse of children.

"I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me", he said.

"Survivors have been calling for a royal commission for years, simply because we couldn't get justice", said Mr. Collins, who has said he was abused by four different men in churches and schools in Ballarat, Cardinal Pell's hometown.

"Cardinal George Pell has been informed of the decision and action of Victoria Police", a statement from the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney read at the time.

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