Australia’s highest ranked Catholic and the Vatican’s Finance Minister has been charged with multiple counts of offences connected with sexual assault committed in between of 1976 and 1980 and later – 1996-2001. The cardinal is to be brought to Melbourne Magistrate Court in the middle of July. In July 2016 police confirmed it was looking into allegations of misconduct by the Cardinal but he denied them saying they were part of a media smear campaign. The cardinal denied the allegations and said they were totally untrue. The Vatican’s Holy See Press Office released a statement confirming Pell would return to Australia as fast as he could to clear hids name. ‘He is looking forward to his day in court and will defend the charges vigorously,’ the Holy See’s statement said. Victoria Police flew to Rome where Pell lives in October to interview him about the allegations. Police said he had cooperated with the investigation.