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Senior Catholic Church member Cardinal Pell appears in court

28 Julio 2017

Cardinal Pell is accused of historical assaults involving "multiple complainants", police said last month.

All that is known publicly is that the cardinal is charged with multiple historical sexual offences alleged by multiple complainants.

Pell said nothing. Moreover, his lawyer did not enter a plea.

At an administrative hearing, the cardinal's lawyer announced that he would "plead not guilty to all charges, and will maintain the presumed innocence that he has".

The trial is scheduled to start on October 6.

Pell made no comment as he entered the magistrates' court.

No, but Pell was there in person.He was escorted the 100 metres between his high-profile barrister Robert Richter QC's office and the court by police officers amid a 100-strong media scrum. "The New York Times posted a web story saying, "The case will test the credibility of Francis" efforts to foster greater accountability after abuse scandals have shaken the church around the world". Pope Francis has granted him a leave of absence to enable him to ensure its defense and the prelate returned to Australia on 10 July to this end.

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale has had a dramatic fall from grace since his days as Australia's most popular politician

In testimony to the commission a year ago, Pell conceded that he had made mistakes by often believing priests over those who said they had been abused.

Outside, Pell was met by a few supporters and a dozen protestors holding placards including one reading "Nowhere to hide". Yet the image of one of the most powerful men in the Catholic Church standing before a cramped courtroom overflowing with reporters and spectators was anything but.

Last month, Cardinal Pell said he was "looking forward" to his day in court.

In testimony to an Australian government-backed inquiry into child abuse previous year, Pell said the Catholic Church had made "catastrophic" choices by refusing to believe abused children, shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish, and relying too heavily on the counsel of priests to solve the problem.

The 76-year-old has strenuously maintained his innocence.

Nagle said it had been expected that Pell would plead not guilty.

Cardinal Pell had been heard three times in this frame and had recognized before the commission of inquiry to have "failed" in its handling of pedophile priests in the State of Victoria in the 1970s.

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Senior Catholic Church member Cardinal Pell appears in court