Cardinal George Pell

Cardinal Pell granted final chance to challenge sexual abuse convictions

Pell was granted leave to appeal the verdict in the High Court of Australia.

The ex-Vatican treasurer, 78, is currently serving a six-year jail term for abusing two boys in a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s.

He lost his first challenge against his convictions in August and has consistently maintained his innocence.

Pell is the most high-ranking Catholic official in the world to be convicted of child sexual abuse.

'I'm innocent of these charges' - Cardinal Pell

Cardinal Pell said he looked forward to clearing his name.

He will appear in a Melbourne court next month, following charges laid today by Victorian Police.

Speaking at a Vatican news conference, the Cardinal said the charges were false.

"I'm looking forward finally to having my day in court. I'm innocent of these charges, they are false," he said.

"The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."