May 1, 2018
THE most senior Vatican official to be charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis has been ordered to stand trial.
Cardinal George Pell arrived at Australian court on Tuesday surrounded by police and media to learn whether he must stand trial on charges that he sexually abused multiple victims decades ago.
Melbourne magistrate Belinda Wallington found there is evidence of sufficient weight on one of multiple charges against Pope Francis’ closest aide for him to stand trial. Some other charges against 76-year-old Pell were struck out.
Pell arrived by car in front of the downtown court where more than 40 uniformed police officers were waiting to maintain order as media jostled on the crowded sidewalk to videotape and photograph him.
Pell climbed the stairs to court accompanied by his lawyer Robert Richter about 45 minutes before the hearing was to begin. Some protesters shouted as he arrived.