George Pell's career in the Catholic Church

Cardinal George Pell Source: AAP

Cardinal George Pell is now the third most powerful person in the Catholic Church after a career that began in his Victorian hometown of Ballarat.

June 8, 1941 - Born in Ballarat, Victoria

December 16, 1966 - Ordained a Catholic priest

1971-1972 - Assistant priest Swan Hill parish

1973-1983 - Assistant priest Ballarat East parish

1973 - Shared St Alipius presbytery with Gerald Ridsdale (later revealed as Australia's worst pedophile priest) and Monsignor William McMahon

1973-1984 - Episcopal Vicar for Education in Diocese of Ballarat; founding member of Catholic Education Commission of Victoria

1981-1984 - Principal of Institute of Catholic Education (now merged with Australian Catholic University)

1984 - Administrator of Bungaree parish

July 16, 1987 - Ordained as Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Melbourne

1987-1996 - Parish priest Mentone, Bishop for the southern region of Melbourne

1988-1997 - Chair of Caritas Australia

May 27, 1993 - Accompanies Ridsdale to his first court appearance. Later says it was a mistake to show priestly solidarity and he did not know full extent of Ridsdale's crimes

June 16, 1996 - Appointed Archbishop of Melbourne by Pope John Paul II

August 16, 1996 - Installed as archbishop

October 1996 - Announces Melbourne Response protocol for handling child sexual abuse complaints in Melbourne archdiocese

March 26, 2001 - Appointed Archbishop of Sydney by Pope John Paul II

May 10, 2001 - Installed as archbishop

April 21, 2003 - Awarded Centenary Medal by Australian government

September 28, 2003 - Elevated to the Sacred College of Cardinals by John Paul II

2005 - Appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia

February 2007 - Appointed to Council of Cardinals on Organisational and Economic Problems of the Holy See

April 2013 - Appointed by Pope Francis to group of eight cardinals to advise on government of the universal Church and study plan for revising Apostolic Constitution of Roman Curia

May 2013 - Gives evidence to Victorian parliamentary inquiry into handling of child abuse by religious and other organisations in Melbourne

February 25, 2014 - Appointed as Prefect for the newly-created Secretariat for the Economy, Holy See

March 2014 - Gives evidence to Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney. The hearing focuses on the legal case of abuse victim John Ellis from Pell's time as Sydney archbishop

August 2014 - Second royal commission appearance via videolink from the Vatican, to Melbourne hearing on the Melbourne Response

February 29 - March 3, 2016 - Third royal commission appearance, via videolink from Rome hotel conference room to Sydney; hearing on church's handling of child abuse allegations in Ballarat diocese and Melbourne archdiocese.

June 29, 2017 - Charged with multiple, historical sexual assault offences, set to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on July 18.

Source AAP

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