Backers to help George Pell fund legal defence: report

File image of Australian Cardinal George Pell Source: AAP

Supporters of George Pell will reportedly help fund his legal defence when he returns to Melbourne to fight historical sex abuse charges.

Supporters of George Pell have reportedly set up a fund to help the cardinal fight multiple, historical sexual abuse charges.

Details of the fund emerged after the Catholic Church said it would not pay Cardinal Pell's legal fees after Victoria Police charged the Vatican's 76-year-old finance chief on summons last Thursday.

News Corp Australia reports that a bank account has been set up for donations to help Cardinal Pell when he returns to Melbourne from Rome to fight the charges.

John Roskam, the head of the Institute of Public Affairs conservative think tank, said he had been given bank account details for people wanting to assist Cardinal Pell with his legal bills.

"The point of this (fund) is that there are a lot of people who want to support the cardinal and want to give him the opportunity to clear his name," Mr Roskam told News Corp.

Australia's most senior Catholic insists he is innocent and is looking forward to fighting the charges in court.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has said that the Sydney archdiocese will assist with Cardinal Pell's accommodation when he returns to Australia but will not pay his legal bills.

A filing hearing will be held in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 26.

Source AAP

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