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Convicted, then pardoned, Cardinal Pell died in Rome

Cardinal George Pell breathed hi last Rome. Serious complications developed to him after his hip replacement surgery. He was removed from the callings of Vatican after his conviction in child sex by the Court that was later on overturned by High Court

Rome, 12 January 2023 (GNP):  Cardinal George Pell, 81, died in Rome. The officials at Vatican City confirmed this to the media.  His cause of death was due to complications of hip replacement surgery.

Cardinal Pell was charged and convicted in his native country Australia for child sex in 2018 that was finally squashed by the High Court in 2020. Two Choirboys blamed him that they were sexually molested by him after Sunday Mass in 1996 when he was the Archbishop of Melbourne.

Tried and convicted for these charges, Cardinal George Pell spent 404 days in solitary confinement till the full bench of the High Court in a unanimous decision ultimately overturned his convictions in 2020.

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Pope Francis brought him to the Vatican City in 2014 and deputed him to the newly established Secretariat of Economy for organizing and controlling the finances of the Vatican City.

In 2017 when he was formally charged with child sex in the Victoria s State County Court. The Court in its decision convicted him for sexually molesting two 13 years old choirboys in St’ Patrick Cathedral in Melbourne in 1996 when he was Archbishop there.

But this trial and conviction proved disastrous for his Vatican callings, resulting in the end of his career.

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse also pinpointed him for knowing about the involvement of clergy in children’s sexual molestation but taking no steps for its prevention and children’s protection in the 1970s.

However, George Pell categorically denied his involvement in any such criminal activities. His father was a publican and boxer, his mother was an Irish Catholic lady, George Pell was born on 8 June 1941 in Ballarat, Australia.

He was the Archbishop of Melbourne and then of Sydney. It was in Melbourne that he set up the Melbourne Response, which was the world’s first investigating protocol for the complaints against clergy’s sexual abuses and responses to the victims. This response and compensation system are often criticized for its loopholes.

His tenure in Australia was marked by polarization in the Australian church.