Cardinal George Pell has been summonsed to appear in a Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on July 18th after an announcement by Victoria Police.

“Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 18 July this year for a filing hearing,”  Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton announced at a press conference in Melbourne on Thursday.

The charges relate to multiple cases and claims.

Commissioner Patton stressed that none of the allegations had been tested in court yet.

“Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process and so therefore, it is important that the process is allowed to run its natural course.”

Commissioner Patton stressed that Cardinal Pell has been treated the same as any other defendant in the process.

“During the course of the investigation in relation to Cardinal Pell, there has been a lot of reporting in the media and speculation about the process that has been involved in the investigation and also the charging.

Last year, Victoria Police officers travelled to Rome to interview Cardinal Pell as part of the Royal Commission into institutional child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.  Cardinal Pell stands by his comments and continues to profess his innocence in this matter.

Cardinal Pell is the highest ranking Australian clergy official, and the third top-post ranking official in the Vatican, overseeing a great deal of their finances.

Commissioner Patton further advised that Victoria Police will no longer be holding press briefings related to judicial procedures in this case, hinting at a desire for media cooperation in permitting the trial to proceed without undue interference.  The Commissioner outlined this will be consistent with all other criminal matters.

Radio Monash will continue to update this post throughout the day should further information arise.