Cardinal Pell is the most senior Catholic cleric to be charged with child sex abuse.
AP Photo/Andy Brownbill
While Pope Francis has publicly acknowledged sexual abuse by clergy, the hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church still makes it difficult to report and address cases of abuse.
Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington D.C., prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2011.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File
In the Catholic understanding, priesthood is not simply a job that a someone can be fired from. Ordination is a deeply spiritual ceremony that is believed to transfer the power of the Holy Spirit.
Members of Chile’s bishops conference, in May 2018, who say they are open to whatever Pope Francis proposes to overhaul the Chilean church devastated by a clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal.
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
Pope Francis has been accused of a cover-up in the sex abuse scandal involving Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop. Experts explain why it's hard for the Catholic Church to hold clergy accountable.