Catholic World News

Cardinal Pell appears in court; charges still not made public

July 26, 2017

Cardinal George Pell appeared in court in Melbourne, Australia on July 26, in the first hearing on sex-abuse charges that have been filed against him.

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 actual charges against Cardinal Pell have still not be made public, and the magistrate presiding at the Melbourne court rejected a bid by reporters for access to the charges. Prosecutors told reporters that they might reveal details of their case next week; lawyers for Cardinal Pelll said that they expected to receive the charges by early September.

The July 26 court session was a short administrative hearing. The court is expected to decide in October whether the evidence against Cardinal Pell is adequate to justify a full trial.

Cardinal Pell was not required to appear in court for the initial hearing, and he did not speak. However he made his way through a thick crowd of reporters to enter the courtroom, where he stood silently with his lawyer.

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  • Posted by: bruno - Jul. 27, 2017 12:36 AM ET USA

    "lawyers for Cardinal Pelll said that they expected to receive the charges by early September." So, it sounds as if the judge is acting in the capacity of a grand jury to determine whether or not the prosecution has a case and which laws, if any, were broken? The press made it sound as if they already had their case and were ready for trial. I hope this is not yet another instance catholic bashing through the courts.