Cardinal George Pell is one of Pope Francis top financial advicers in the Vatican church. Now he has resigned from his post and duties, because he is facing a major trial in his home country Australia, about multiple alleged “historical sexual assaults” against children a long time ago.
76-year-old Pell is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever implicated in the pedophile scandal in the Catholic church.
He denies the accusations and took an immediate leave of absence as “Vatican finance czar” to return to Australia to defend himself, ABC News reports.
“The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me,” Pell told the Vatican press office. “News of these charges strengthens my resolve, and court proceedings now offer me an opportunity to clear my name.”
Two men, now in their 40s, have said that Pell touched them inappropriately at a swimming pool in the late 1970s, when Pell was a senior priest in Melbourne.