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George Pell Returns To Australia To Face Historical Sex Abuse Charges

George Pell Returns To Australia To Face Historical Sex Abuse Charges

Cardinal George Pell has returned to Australia to face historic sexual abuse charges in Melbourne at the end of this month.

Pell landed Sydney early in the morning after flying from the Vatican via Singapore, reported the Guardian.

The cardinal, a top adviser to Pope Francis, has taken a leave of absence as the Vatican's financial chief to fight the charges. He will face a Melbourne court on the 26th of July on account of multiple sex charges. "They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me".

Australian Cardinal George Pell looks on as he makes a statement at the Holy See Press Office in Vatican City on June 29, after being charged with historical sex offenses.

Andrew Collins, a 48-year-old Australian who has said he was abused by members of the clergy as a child, praised the commission's work on Monday.

In October past year, Australian police said they interviewed Pell in Rome in relation to allegations of sexual assault.

Cardinal George Pell arrives in Sydney on Monday morning
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The commission has faulted Cardinal Pell's handling of abuse accusations against clergy members when he led the archdiocese of Melbourne, beginning in 1996, and later of Sydney.

Pell has strenuously denied allegations of historical sexual abuse, the details of which have not been made public.

"Tell her that I am", he replied.

It was his first appearance outside of Rome since police laid the charges.

But the fact that such a high-ranking Catholic leader was charged is likely to be a black eye on the church, which has seen its reputation seriously damaged after revelations of decades of abuse and cover-ups around the world. In one hearing, he admitted that he "mucked up" in dealing with paedophile priests in Victoria state in the 1970s.

"Cardinal Pell will return to Australia, as soon as possible, to clear his name following advice and approval by his doctors who will also advise on his travel arrangements".

More news: Top striker says goodbye to Chelsea squad ahead of summer move

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