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Five years ago, he was appointed one of eight cardinals by Pope Francis to work out how to overhaul the administrative structures of the church, which are known as the Roman curia.The following year he was placed in charge of the Vatican’s economic affairs.She ruled that other charges would go ahead: that Pell groped two boys’ genitals at a swimming pool in the regional city of Ballarat in the 1970s, where he was born, and ordained in 1966; and assaulted two choristers at Melbourne’s St.Patrick’s Cathedral when he was the city’s archbishop in the 1990s.But his patrician manner and perceived lack of empathy toward victims under his watch made Pell the focus of much anger in the disgruntled Catholic community.
A five-year national judicial inquiry into institutional sexual abuse that concluded last year received more complaints about the Catholic Church than any other organization.
Ballarat was a hot spot of abuse: 140 people told the inquiry they were abused there between 19.
Those who complained usually received a dismissive response.
Because the allegations concern offenses against children, most of the details have been legally suppressed and the court was closed to the public during part of the pretrial hearing.
“Cardinal George Pell has at all times fully cooperated with Victoria Police and always and steadfastly maintained his innocence,” a statement from his lawyers said.
He has taken a leave of absence for the court case.