George Pell: How Italian media reacted to the historical sexual offence charges

ABC News

The charges against George Pell have been heavily covered in the Italian media, with the Cardinal described as a “controversial kangaroo” and Australia’s record on sexual abuse criticised.

Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric has been ordered to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on July 26, after Victoria Police served charges on his legal representatives.

Pell strongly denied the charges, saying he had been the victim of “relentless character assassination” and looked forward to returning to Australia to clear his name in court.

As head of the Vatican’s finances, Pell is considered number three in the Catholic hierarchy, making him the most senior Catholic Church cleric to face such charges in the world in modern times.

The significance of the charges — and Pell’s senior position — has seen the story heavily covered by Italian media.

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