George Pell, the highest ranking Vatican official from Australia, and the 3rd highest ranking official of the Catholic Church worldwide has been busted on pedophilia charges. Cardinal Pell is also the Vatican’s treasurer, responsible for the ledgers of vast sums of hidden wealth contained within the Vatican city, and built with Mussolini’s millions.

Cardinal Pell says he is “innocent” of all the charges being brought against him. As one of Pope Francis’s top lieutenants in the Vatican, it also brings more questions to light concerning the Pope’s latest dismissal of pedophilia running rampant within his ranks.

Writer Emiliano Fittipaldi says that Pope Francis has done almost nothing to quell child abuse happening right under his nose.

The Pope recently reduced sanctions against pedophilia-committing priests, so it will be interesting to see how he handles pedophilia, should, Cardinal Pell be sentenced for his acts. Child abuse and trafficking charges have plagued the Papacy for more than two decades now, with child abuse protection advocates calling the Vatican bureaucracy into question.

CNN reports, that Pell has been the victim of “relentless character assassination,” according to comments he made at a conference early Thursday in Rome to rebut the allegations.

“I’m innocent of these charges, they are false,” Pell said. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

He will be required to return to his native Australia, in the Melbourne Magistrate’s court on July 18 for a filing hearing, when a full charge list is expected to be released.

Police said that he is being treated as anyone else would be accused of something similar, despite his status as a Vatican official.
Pell

“I want to be perfectly clear — the process and the procedures that have been followed in the charging of Cardinal Pell have been the same that have been applied in a whole range of historical sex offenses whenever we investigate them,” Victoria Deputy Police Commissioner Shane Patton said at a news conference.

“Cardinal Pell has been treated the same as anyone else in this investigation.”

In 2014, Pope Francis named Pell prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy, a wide-ranging role intended to get the Vatican’s finances under control. The pope also installed Pell on his Council of Cardinals, a nine-member group that is supposed to provide direction for overhauling the church globally, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Meanwhile Pope Francis has absolved over 2,000 pedophilia priests, stating that no charges need to be filed against them, and no arrests should be made. The Catholic church has a well-established history of covering up child rape cases, but that history may be about to change.

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