Australian Cardinal George Pell must stand trial on charges alleging he sexually abused multiple victims decades ago, a magistrate ruled Tuesday. Pell is the most senior Vatican official to be charged following an investigation into sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. The number of charges has not been made public. When she asked Pell how he pleaded, the cardinal said in a firm voice: "Not guilty." Wallington gave him permission not to stand, which is customary. When the magistrate left the room at the end the hearing, many people in the packed public gallery broke into applause. The details of the allegations against the 76-year-old have yet to be released to the public, though police have described the charges as "historical" sexual assault offences - meaning the crimes allegedly occurred decades ago.