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The 76-year-old former Vatican finance chief will be the highest-ranking Catholic official to stand trial for sexual abuse charges.

Pell - at the moment on a depart of absence from his function - is essentially the most senior Vatican official to be charged within the Catholic Church.

Wallington committed Pell to trial on all but one of those charges.

"One would have to be living on Mars not to notice the centre of the allegations has been the Catholic Church", he told the court. The offences were alleged to have occurred over 12 months and the complainant alleged he was removed from the St Joseph's boys home and from his dorm, and taken to the locations where he alleged the offences occurred. Further details of the nature of the charges are unable to be reported for legal reasons.

A statement issued by Pell's lawyers and distributed by the Sydney Archdiocese, his last employer before his Vatican posting in 2014, said Pell had fully cooperated with police investigating the allegations "and always and steadfastly maintained his innocence".

Cardinal Pell has long denied the allegations.

Since Pell returned from Rome to face the court in July, he has laid low, staying at Good Shepherd Seminary in Homebush, a quiet Sydney suburb, and flying to Melbourne for his court hearings. After the announcement of the charges was made in June 2017, he said the idea of sexual abuse was "abhorrent" to him.

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Magistrate Belinda Wallington will rule in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on whether the prosecution's case against Pell is strong enough to warrant a trial by jury.

"It is hard to see how a jury can convict on the evidence of a man who said he can't recall what he said a minute ago".

Cardinal George Pell has been ordered to appear Wednesday in the Victoria state County Court where he will eventually stand trial.

She also struck out one charge related to alleged offending at the swimming pool, because the complainant was an "unsatisfactory witness".

A date for the trial has not yet been set.

The small print of the allegations have but to be launched to the general public, although police have described the fees as "historic" sexual assault offences.

"He will defend the remaining charges".