Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser, has been charged in his native Australia with multiple counts of “historical” sexual abuse, becoming the highest-ranking Vatican official ever charged in the church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal. A look at the key events in Pell’s life:
1941: George Pell is born in Ballarat, in the Australian state of Victoria.
1966: Pell is ordained a priest for the Ballarat diocese in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
1987: Pell is ordained an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne.
1996: Pell is appointed Archbishop of Melbourne and later sets up a compensation program for church sex abuse victims that some victims later criticize as inadequate, intimidating and a deterrent to lawsuits.
2001: Pell is appointed the Archbishop of Sydney.
2002: Pell steps down as Sydney Archbishop in response to allegations he sexually abused a boy more than 40 years earlier. Pell emphatically denies the allegation. An inquiry finds there is no way to establish the allegation, citing lack of evidence and questions about the accuser’s credibility. Pell is reinstated.
2012: Australia’s government announces a Royal Commission — the highest form of investigation in Australia — into how the Catholic Church and other institutions have responded to child sex abuse.
2014: Pope Francis appoints Pell to head the Vatican’s new Secretariat for the Economy.
2014: The Royal Commission holds hearings on the case of John Ellis, a former altar boy abused by a priest in the 1970s. A court had dismissed his lawsuit, and the…
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