Cardinal George Pell, an important Vatican senior official, was ordered trial on sexual abuse charges


More than 30 witnesses testified. Some charges against him were dismissed but some remain and Melbourne Magistrate Belinda Wallington appreciated the prosecution’s case was strong enough to warrant a jury trial. The decision followed a committal hearing that lasted almost a month throughout March and April.


Basically, there are charges against multiple complainants, involving alleged sexual offending at a swimming pool in the 1970s in Ballarat [near Melbourne], where the accused man was then working as a priest. Last year, Pell stated publicly, “I am innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.” Lawyers for Pell had argued that all the allegations were untrue and should be dismissed. Pell, who is free on bail, was due to appear in County Court on Wednesday to hear his trial date. A statement released on behalf of Pell through law firm Galbally and O’Bryan on Tuesday afternoon said Pell would like to thank his supporters for their “continuing support and prayers”. A statement from the Vatican said that Pell would remain on leave during the trial.


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