- Title: File footage of Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell
- Date: 13th July 2017
- Summary: VATICAN CITY (FILE - JUNE 29, 2017) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** PELL AND VATICAN SPOKESMAN GREG BURKE ARRIVING FOR NEWS BRIEFING AT VATICAN PRESS OFFICES PELL TAKING A SEAT CAMERAMAN FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (English) CARDINAL, GEORGE PELL, SAYING: "I'm looking forward finally to having my day in court. I'm innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me." COAT OF ARMS OF THE HOLY SEE AND THE VATICAN ON WALL NEWS BRIEFING IN PROGRESS At a news conference called hours after Australian police charged him with multiple sex crimes, Pell said he would return to his homeland to clear his name after a two-year investigation he described as characterised by "relentless character assassination". IN AIR, ONBOARD PAPAL PLANE (FILE - JULY 31, 2016) (REUTERS) POPE FRANCIS GREETING MEDIA FROM FRONT OF PAPAL PLANE POPE FRANCIS SPEAKING ABOUT PELL AND SAYING (Italian): "...one cannot judge before the justice system does." POPE SMILING POPE STANDING Pope Francis granted Pell leave to return to Australia to face the charges of sexual abuse. On June 31, he told media that he would wait until Australian justice had taken its course before taking a position on Pell, and added that the Vatican treasurer should not undergo a trial by the media or by rumour. Victims groups have called on the Pope to sack Pell, the highest-ranking Vatican official to be accused of sexual abuse, or for him to resign. Pell is seen as a test case for the Pope because he has vowed zero tolerance for sexual abuse in the Church and has said he would sack bishops found guilty of committing abuse or covering it up.
- Embargoed: 27th July 2017 11:09
- Keywords: George Pell cardinal Vatican Victoria State Police sexual abuse file
- Location: SYDNEY, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA / VATICAN CITY / ROME, ITALY / IN AIR, ONBOARD PAPAL PLANE
- City: SYDNEY, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA / VATICAN CITY / ROME, ITALY / IN AIR, ONBOARD PAPAL PLANE
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA00L6R3IJ47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Top Vatican official, Cardinal George Pell, is set to appear before an Australian court on Wednesday (July 26), charged with multiple historical sex crimes.
Appointed Vatican economy minister by Pope Francis, Pell is the highest-ranking Church official to face such accusations. He asserted his innocence and said the pontiff had given him leave of absence to return to Australia to defend himself.
Pell, a former archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, had come under pressure from an Australian government commission on institutional child abuse, and had himself been under investigation for at least a year.
On June 29, police in the Australian state of Victoria, where Pell was a country priest in the 1970s, said he faced "multiple charges in respect of historical sexual offences" from multiple complainants.
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