The 76-year-old was again escorted into court by police for the short procedural hearing.
Pell formally pleaded not guilty to the remaining charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
No dates for the trials have been set and a further directions hearing will be held in Melbourne’s county court on 16 May. Pell was released on bail.
The cardinal’s barrister, Robert Richter QC, indicated it was possible his client may face separate trials.
He also said one “critical witness” was now aged in his 80s, and that health was “important” for other witnesses.
Mr Richter told the court his team would be seeking to get court subpoenas to obtain the medical records of Pell’s accusers.
Judge Sue Pullen presided over the brief directions hearing on Wednesday morning and prosecutors did not object to the separate trials for the treasurer of the Vatican in Rome.
Corrects Pell was seated, not standing, when he entered his plea.
Melbourne magistrate Belinda Wallington said she was satisfied there was enough evidence to justify a trial on “multiple” charges.
Advocates for abuse victims have long railed against Francis’ decision to appoint Pell to the high-ranking position in the first place. “Not guilty”, the top aide to Pope Francis said loudly and without hesitation when asked his plea, a stance he has taken since first being charged past year.
Pell has taken leave as the Vatican’s treasurer to fight the charges and can not leave Australia as part of his bail conditions.
Pell is reported to be the first cardinal to face a criminal trial for sexual misconduct CNA reported.
Thousands of cases brought to light around the world have led to investigations and convictions in countries including the United States, Canada, Ireland and Australia.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne yesterday said Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart would be making no comment.
“He would like to thank all those who have supported him from both here in Australia and overseas during this exacting time and is grateful for their continuing support and prayers”, the statement said. And he did not force the cardinal to resign, though Pell took an immediate leave of absence so he could return to Australia to fight the charges. He has been on leave of absence as Pope Francis’s finance chief since he was charged last June.
The Holy See noted Pell’s committal and said his leave continues.
Lawyers for Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic had argued that all the accusations were untrue, could not be proved and should be dismissed. Less than a decade later, Pell was appointed as archbishop of Sydney in 2001 and then made a cardinal in 2003.
Richter, Pell’s lawyer, told Wallington in his final submissions two weeks ago that the complainants might have testified against one of the church’s most powerful men to punish him for failing to act against abuse by clerics. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me”.
02 May 2018
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