Sadly, the Roman #Catholic Church is no stranger to scandal, a shadow that has cast an indelible smear across its dwindling charisma in the past 30 years. There was once a time when it was above reproach, no matter the murky doings that went on behind closed doors, but no longer held in the grip of religious fear that kept their parents and grandparents quiet, the younger victims of abuse are opening up.

Who is it now?

The latest recipient of abuse charges is the Australian #Cardinal George Pell, the pope's chief financial advisor and so trusted by him that in 2013 he was appointed to head the advisory council of Cardinals to counsel him.

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In the hierarchy of the church, he is number 3 in the pecking order, but in that closeness to the Pontiff, he has laid the spectre of child abuse in his lap, for now, he, in turn, has been charged with alleged historical abuse of children.

Ordained in Rome in 1966 he returned to his hometown of Ballarat as a simple parish priest, rising slowly through the ranks until he was ordained Archbishop of Sydney and later Melbourne, by Pope John Paul II. In 2013 he first gave evidence to responses of child sexual abuse in Sydney, he appeared by video link in the Agust, giving further video testimony. Two years later he again appeared by video to give evidence of the church's handling of abuse allegations in Ballarat and Melbourne. Whilst at this time ascending to the highest echelons of the church, regarded at the time as the 'Pontiffs Pit-Bull,' because of his frank and extremely conservative views.

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Any case to answer?

Yesterday he was charged with multiple, historical child sex offenses of an unspecified nature, no time-span of charges or ages of the abused were revealed, and he is set to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on 18th July. Pell has taken an extended leave from the Vatican, apparently with the Popes blessing, as he maintains he is totally innocent of the charges levied at him and will fly back to Australia to vigorously defend himself. It is doubtful, even if fully exonerated that he will be back, even by the mere taint of scandal his reputation is sullied. He will probably be pensioned off to quietly live out his days in some Italian monastery, wondering where it all went wrong?

This has obviously come as a great embarrassment to Pope Francis, having only two years ago dismissed Cardinal O Brian, the highest member of the church in Scotland, for his offenses against young men. He has said that he will not tolerate any cover-ups, nor will he stand for any hiding of the truth, a fact- that if proven - must gall him from one of his most trusted advisors.

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The specter of historic abuse whether it be of a sexual nature or otherwise has clung around the church's neck far too long. From the scandals of the Magdalene Laundries, and sexual wrong doings in Ireland to Australia, the US, Germany, and the United Kingdom, there has been no hiding. It is time to face up to the fact that those who administer to the souls of others may need some ministering themselves. As to Cardinal Pell, only time will tell?