Australia Charges Vatican Official with Sex Crimes
Police in Australia have charged a top Vatican official with "historic sexual offenses."
Police officials did not give details of the charges against Cardinal George Pell. But they did say the charges are based on claims by more than one person.
Pell has been ordered to appear for a hearing in a Melbourne court on July 18.
The cardinal serves as chief financial adviser to Pope Francis.
The case increases pressure on the pope to act on promises to fight sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church
Pell told reporters in Vatican City that he is innocent of the charges. He said the charges are an attack against his character. He added that "The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me," and that he is looking forward to having his day in court.
A Vatican spokesman expressed respect for the Australian justice system. He also said that Pope Francis has given Pell a leave of absence -- an extended period of time away from his job.
The Australian cardinal is the highest Roman Catholic clergyman to face charges of sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse in the church first captured the world's attention in 2002. That is when reports about sexually abusive Catholic bishops in the American city of Boston, Massachusetts, began appearing in the news.
The reports found that clergymen would move abusers to new positions in the church instead of dismissing them.
Thousands of cases of sexual abuse have since been reported worldwide. Investigators have urged victims to go public.
The Roman Catholic Church has paid more than $2 billion in compensation to the accusers.
I'm Pete Musto.
1.sexual offenses 性侵害
Education officials say the teachers have been dismissed for impregnating students and committing other sexual offenses.
2.a leave of absence 请假
Agent in charge took a leave of absence.
3.sexual abuse 性虐待
You can be at risk of sexual abuse or rape.
4.Sex Crimes 性犯罪
Sex crimes were just as numerous as they are today.
1.The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me," and that he is looking forward to having his day in court.
looking forward to 期待
We are looking forward to his good news.
I have been keenly looking forward to this visit.
2.Investigators have urged victims to go public.
go public 上市；公开
He threatened to go public with the slander.
And I can go public with my proposal.
但警方并未透露红衣主教乔治·佩尔（George Pell）所受指控的具体细节 。但警方指出，该指控是基于至少一位受害者的申诉 。
佩尔在梵蒂冈城对记者表示，自己是清白的 。他称，这些指控是对他人格的诽谤 。他还强调：“我个人最憎恶性虐待，”他期待在出庭上为自己正名 。
梵蒂冈一位发言人称，对澳大利亚司法系统表示尊重 。此外，教皇方济各已批准佩尔主教休假，让他可以离开自己的岗位 。
教堂性侵事件第一次引起全球的广泛关注是在2002年 。当时新闻报道的是美国马塞诸塞州波士顿市发生的天主教主教性侵儿童事件 。
此后，全球各地陆续爆出了上万起性侵丑闻 。调查人员鼓励受害人公开指控这些罪犯 。