Pell calls Syd­ney home as court looms

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SHANNON DEERY

CAR­DI­NAL Ge­orge Pell has re­turned to Aus­tralia in time for his first sched­uled court hear­ing over his­tor­i­cal sex­ual of­fence al­le­ga­tions.

The Car­di­nal, 76, flew into Syd­ney yes­ter­day where it is un­der­stood he will base him­self when not re­quired in court in Melbourne. It is un­der­stood to be the Car­di­nal’s first time back in Aus­tralia since March 2015.

That trip an­gered vic­tims of child sex­ual abuse af­ter it was re­vealed he vis­ited Ballarat just weeks be­fore the child abuse royal com­mis­sion started.

But yes­ter­day vic­tims ad­vo­cates wel­comed his home­com­ing say­ing they were sur­prised at how quickly Pell had re­turned to Aus­tralia since be­ing charged on June 29. He is fac­ing mul­ti­ple charges of his­tor­i­cal sex­ual of­fences al­legedly com­mit­ted against mul­ti­ple com­plainants.

The ex­act na­ture of the charges have not yet been made public.

Af­ter be­ing charged, and fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion with Pope Fran­cis, Car­di­nal Pell im­me­di­ately took leave from his po­si­tion as the Vat­i­can’s fi­nance chief.

CAR­DI­NAL’S IN: Car­di­nal Ge­orge Pell has re­turned to Aus­tralia to face his­tor­i­cal sex­ual of­fence al­le­ga­tions. Pic­ture: DIMEXX

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