Cardinal George Pell, former financial adviser to Pope Francis, has died at the age of 81. Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli said Pell suffered fatal heart complications after hip surgery.
“For many people, particularly those of the Catholic faith, this will be a difficult day and I extend my condolences to all who are mourning today,” Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.
The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, told reporters that the death had been a shock.
“It will be for historians to assess its impact on the life of the Church in Australia and beyond, but it was considerable and will be long-lasting,” Fisher said.
sexual abuse allegations
George Pell’s passage through the Vatican has marked the recent history of the Catholic Church. In 2014, Pope Francis put him in charge of the reform to resolve conflicts related to the finances of the Holy See.
In addition, Pell spent 404 days in solitary confinement after being accused of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1990s, shortly after becoming Archbishop of Melbourne. . Ultimately, the High Court of Australia unanimously overturned his conviction in 2020
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