Decision seen as turning point in Catholic church sexual abuse crisis and victory for secular law

A survivors’ rights group has hailed as a “turning point” an Australian magistrate’s ruling that Cardinal George Pell, one of the most senior officials in the Vatican, will stand trial on historical sexual offence charges.

The decision by Belinda Wallington comes as the church in Rome continues to be dogged by accusations that it has failed to do enough to come to grips with a sexual abuse crisis.

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