• Cardinal Pell denies abuse charges in Australian court


    MELBOURNE: Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell, a top advisor to Pope Francis, denied all charges of historical sexual abuse Wednesday at his first appearance in an Australian court over the allegations. The 76-year-old, the number-three figure in the Vatican, returned from Rome earlier this month to face the charges in Melbourne Magistrates Court. Details of the charges have not been made public although police said they involved “multiple complainants.” The former Sydney and Melbourne archbishop has always maintained his innocence. Looking somber and frail, he attended the hearing with his lawyer, top criminal barrister Robert Richter, who told the court his client was not guilty—even though a formal plea was not required at this stage.



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