Cardinal George Pell Dies at 81

    Cardinal George Pell Dies at 81
    Last updated Jan 11, 2023
    Image credit: dailywire


    • Cardinal George Pell, who served as Archbishop of both Melbourne and Sydney before becoming the treasurer of the Vatican, died on Tuesday at age 81 after heart complications following hip surgery, according to Church officials.[1]
    • Pell — Australia's most senior Catholic — was convicted in 2018 of sexual abuse while he was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996. After 13 months in prison, Pell's convictions were acquitted in 2020 by a unanimous decision in the Australian high court.[2]
    • Before the convictions were quashed, Pell was the highest-ranking Catholic to be imprisoned for child sexual abuse. In 2014 he was assigned to reform the Vatican's finances as head of the Secretariat for the Economy and was widely seen at the time as the third most powerful figure in the church.[3]
    • Pell attended the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Jan. 5. St Mary's Cathedral has confirmed that Pell's body will be repatriated to Sydney to be laid to rest in the church crypt after a Requiem Mass in Rome.[4]
    • Pell was also involved in an ongoing civil case alongside the Melbourne archdiocese brought forward by the father of a former alter boy. According to lawyers, the case will move forward against his estate.[5]


    Narrative A

    Pell was a champion for orthodox Catholicism in an age of liberalism and survived the painful story of being cleared of crimes he was found to have never committed. The victim of outrageous injustice, Pell's spiritual poise and strength throughout his legal ordeals show his true character. While abuse found within the Church should be rightly exposed, Pell's conviction was a miscarriage of justice.

    Narrative B

    After Pell's name was mired with accusations and charges, it's difficult to judge the truth surrounding allegations about him. However, at best, the Cardinal failed to uncover some of the worst cases of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church's history — a controversy that will taint his legacy, regardless of any good he achieved.

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