The charges were served on Pell’s legal representatives in Melbourne on Thursday and they have been lodged also at Melbourne magistrates court. “I am innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me,” he declared. Victoria Police said they had made the decision to charge Cardinal Pell after receiving advice from prosecutors last month. A magistrate is expected to decide in the coming days to release the details and the nature of the charges ahead of the cardinal’s court appearance.
Even if Cardinal Pell has been a strong supporter of traditional Catholic values, taking a conservative stance on same-sex marriage and contraception, he was accused of covering up child sexual abuse by priests and after he was targeted himself an abuser. Cardinal Pell repeatedly faced allegations from abuse victims. On homosexuality, Pell has stated that “such activity is wrong and we believe the good of society it should not be encouraged.” The cardinal would be required to face the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 18 July. Pell will return to Australia to ‘clear his name.’ The Vatican declined to comment immediately.