Cardinal Pell is due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 26 after Victoria Police charged him with a number of offences, which are alleged to have happened years ago. There are multiple alleged victims but police have released no further details of the accusations.
The 76-year-old responded to the charges last week, saying he was looking forward to clearing his name.
“I’m looking forward finally for having my day in court. I’m innocent of these charges, they are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me,” he said.
“I have kept Pope Francis the Holy Father regularly informed during these long months and I have spoken to him on a number of occasions in the last week, I think most recently a day or so ago.
“We talked about my need to take leave to clear my name, I’m very grateful to the Holy Father for giving me this leave to return to Australia.”
A Vatican spokesman said the Secretariat for the Economy will continue its work during Cardinal Pell’s absence.