SYDNEY (AP) – Australian police say they are charging a top Vatican cardinal with historical sexual assault offenses.

Cardinal George Pell is Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser and Australia’s most senior Catholic. He has now become the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal.

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Victoria state Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said on Thursday that police have summonsed Pell to Australia to face multiple charges related to “historic sexual offenses.” Patton says there are multiple complainants against Pell. He gave no further details about the allegations.

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Pell has repeatedly denied all abuse allegations against him.

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