The details of the allegations against the 76-year-old cardinal have yet to be released to the public
In this March 3, 2016 file photo, Australian cardinal George Pell reads a statement to reporters as he leaves the Quirinale hotel after meeting members of the Australian group of relatives and victims of priestly sex abuses, in Rome, Italy. Pell the most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis is expected to make his first court appearance in Australia on Wednesday july 26, 2017, as he vows to clear his name in a scandal that has rattled Rome. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca, File), photo: AP/Riccardo De Luca, File
25 of July 2017 18:55:39
MELBOURNE – The most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis arrived at an Australian court on Wednesday for his first court appearance, as he vows to clear his name in a scandal that has rattled Rome.Cardinal George Pell, Australia's highest-ranking Catholic and Pope Francis' top financial adviser, was charged last month with sexually abusing multiple people years ago in his Australian home state of Victoria.The details of the allegations against the 76-year-old cardinal have yet to be released to the public, though police have described the charges as "historical" sexual assault offenses — meaning crimes that occurred years ago.Pell was surrounded by media cameras when he arrived on the front steps of Melbourne Magistrates' Court more than an hour before a scheduled hearing that will likely last minutes and deal largely with administrative matters, such as setting future court dates. Despite the routine nature of the hearing, it has drawn hordes of journalists, abuse survivors and spectators.Pell walked through court security surrounded by police and was whisked past a crowd waiting to get into the courtroom.