A cardinal in charge of the Vatican’s finances has been charged with multiple sexual offenses by Australian police, in one of the most significant indictments against a top-ranking leader of the Catholic Church.
Cardinal George Pell faces multiple charges of “historical sexual assault offenses,” the Australian criminal justice system’s term for offenses committed in the past, Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton announced at a news conference on Thursday morning in Australia . . .
Patton said that Pell was treated no differently than any other defendant because of his high rank in the Vatican — notifying a legal representative and summoning the defendant to court at a later date is the recommendation of Australian prosecutors in a case like his.
In the Vatican, Pell’s job as secretariat of the economy is so crucial that it has been described as the second-most-powerful role in Rome, after only the pope. But for years, he has faced accusations of improper behavior connected with clergy sexual abuse in Australia. (Read more from “Top-Ranking Vatican Cardinal Charged With Sex Offenses in Australia” HERE)