Cardinal George Pell has returned to a Melbourne court briefly on historic sex charges. Australia’s most senior Catholic was surrounded by security.

Natalie Brown reports.


The scene was similar to Cardinal Pell’s first appearance in July, a ring of police and a pack of media.

Police had been considering an alternative entrance for him, but he arrived via the front steps, moving at a slow pace.

The short hearing confirmed the details of next year’s full committal hearing where more than 40 witnesses will give evidence over four weeks.

At that time, the court will decide if the former Vatican Treasurer should stand trial.

Police cordoned off the court entrance early and blocked part of the road outside.

Media waited for hours to secure a seat in the courtroom.

Cardinal Pell is the most senior Catholic official to face such charges.

The exact details have not been made public.

Pell has taken leave from the Vatican, and has denied all charges.

He’s indicated he would be in court whenever the case arose, rather than just send lawyers.

Natalie Brown, QUT News.