Victoria Police have officially charged Cardinal George Pell with “historic sex offences,” confirming the development in a short press conference held moments ago.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton fronted media to deliver a statement confirming the charges, but did not elaborate on their specific nature or number.
Patton stated Pell had been levelled with “multiple charges” involving “multiple complainants.”
The Deputy Commissioner was at pains to stress that the procedures involved with investigating and charging Cardinal Pell were exactly the same that have been applied to every other case involving historic sexual-based crimes.
Patton asserted that the investigation into Pell was conducted in accordance with “common and standard practice,” and that Pell had been “treated the same as anyone else.”
The choice to charge Cardinal Pell today was one that was made solely by Victoria Police, following advice and clearance given to investigators by the DPP.
Cardinal Pell has officially been charged on summons, and is now scheduled to appear at Melbourne Magistrate’s Court on July 18th for an initial filing hearing.
Pell, for the time being, remains in the Vatican.
Photo: Franco Origilia/Getty.