Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell dies He was 81 years old
Cardinal George Pell died at 20.50 (local time in Rome) after suffering a cardiac arrest at the age of 81, the Catholic News Agency reported on Twitter.
card. George Pell has been the face of the Catholic Church in Australia for years.
George Pell, born in 1941 in Ballarat, Australia, was Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne from 1987 to 1996, and then Metropolitan of that city until 2001. In the years 2001-2014, he was the Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney, appointed cardinal by John Paul II. Later, he became one of the highest-ranking figures in the global hierarchy of the Church, becoming in 2014 the Prefect of the Secretariat for Economics, i.e. the de facto Minister of Finance in the Holy See. He was also considered a disciplined church leader who held strict conservative views against same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception.
In 2019, he was sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing two 13-year-old boys in 1996 in Melbourne Cathedral when he was Metropolitan of that city. According to the indictment, two choristers were sexually assaulted in the sacristy after mass. At that time, he received from Pope Francis a ban on public ministry and contact with minors. As the Vatican explained at the time, these are “precautionary measures” taken pending definitive confirmation of the facts. It was explained that the Holy See takes note of the judgment of the first instance.
His appeal was rejected, but the priest appealed to the Supreme Court. He acquitted him. In 2020, George Pell was released after 13 months in prison. “I knew I was innocent. I was aware that the most important judgment awaited me before the Creator – Cardinal said George Pell in conversation with Paulina Guzik (KAI).
Cardinal Pell came to Rome soon after and met the Pope three years later. He stayed in the Eternal City.
On January 5 this year, he attended the funeral of retired Pope Benedict XVI.
(Sources: PAP, Twitter, KAI, Onet)
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