Cardinal George Pell: A Lifetime Achievement


Considering that the history of European settlement in Australia dates back just over 235 years, the country has had a sizable population of exceptional Catholics. Of course, there is the Holy Mary of the Cross better known as Mary McKillop.

When it comes to clerics, three giants come to mind. Bede Polding, British Benedictine, first Archbishop of Sydney.

Bishop Rocendo Salvado was a Spanish Benedictine who founded the famous New Norcia Abbey and ministered to the most difficult Aborigines of Western Australia.

And finally, Archbishop Daniel Mannix, the Irish-born Archbishop of Melbourne who, for a record 46 years, staunchly supported the eminent Catholic lawyer BA Santamaria against the Communist influence of the Labor Party, leading to the schism of 1955 and It led to the creation of the Democratic Labor Party. .

But Cardinal George Pell, who died on January 11 at the age of 81, was arguably the greatest clergy the country has produced.

Many have written about his trial, conviction, and subsequent overturn of that conviction (7-0 in the Australian High Court).

I will not dwell on that horrifying episode in Australian judicial history. Suffice it to say that despite spending 405 days in prison for a crime he never committed, it only strengthened Cardinal Pell’s faith.

Epoch Times photo
Cardinal George Pell arrives at the Melbourne County Courthouse in Melbourne, Australia, February 27, 2019. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

In his prison diary, he quoted the great Spanish saint, Teresa of Avila, and wrote:

Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you.
All things pass, God does not change.
Patience can handle anything.
He who has God lacks nothing
God alone is enough.

Highlights of Pell’s life

Cardinal Pell’s achievements were extraordinary and he played an important role in the life of the Church, both in Australia and internationally. Below is just a brief summary.

At the age of 45, he was consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne on 21 May 1987 at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Soon after, he was elected chairman of the Church’s foreign aid agency, Australian Catholic Relief. During his tenure, among other achievements, Pol He Killed Poto He worked extensively in Cambodia, which he rebuilt from field rubble, and was active in Zambia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

As Tess Livingston As I wrote in The Australian, the distribution of aid from Australian Catholics required major reforms in the Philippines after political operatives with a communist agenda infiltrated local institutions.

Pell made numerous trips to China to support persecuted underground churches loyal to the Vatican, and many of the “patriotic associations” who wanted to cooperate with Rome.

The Vatican’s current agreement with the Chinese Communist Party, which oversees the appointment of bishops in China, was signed and renewed by Pope Francis last year, apparently causing Cardinal Pell great pain.

At age 49, Pell received “the biggest surprise of my life.” Pope John he is what Pope Paul II has appointed to the Congregation for the Doctrine, the body of the Church that defends faith and morality. Benedict XVI).

Pell was the first Australian so appointed to serve the congregation until 2000. Afterwards, he served in many other Vatican institutions, including congregations for the worship of God and the sacramental discipline.

In 1996, he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne and announced that he had embarked on reforms in seminaries and catechism, standing in the “Teachings and Quadrilaterals of the Magisterium of the Church”. Building a priestly vocation was a priority.

Moreover, within weeks of his appointment, he established one of the world’s first formal church processes to address child sexual abuse.

Melbourne’s response, as it became known, was headed by an independent Queen’s lawyer and then by all parishes in Australia, and many parishes around the world, to deal with allegations of sexual abuse against clergymen. was used as a template for

After five years as Archbishop of Melbourne, he was appointed Archbishop of Sydney by Pope John Paul II in 2001 and created a Cardinal two years later. As in Melbourne, teaching the faith, establishing a college minister, reforming seminaries and building vocations to the priesthood were his priorities.

For thirteen years, his weekly column in Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph attracted a huge readership.

2008 was the highlight of his time in Sydney. World Youth As part of his day, his 500,000 young people from 200 countries, from his 16 to his 30, flocked to Sydney, plus hundreds of thousands from across Australia to stay up all night Saturday night. and attended Sunday meetings. Mass with Pope Benedict XVI at Randwick Racecourse.

The young pilgrims were accompanied by 600 bishops and cardinals, and the event was covered by 6,000 journalists.

Epoch Times photo
Pope Benedict XVI was introduced to guests by Cardinal George Pell (R) at a welcome ceremony at the Government House as part of World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia on 17 July 2008. (AAP Image/POOL/Greg Wood)

Another of Pell’s international achievements during this period was when he spent nine years vox clara (Clear Voice) The committee overseeing the new English translation of the Mass.

From both liturgical and translational points of view, the English translation of the 1969 Missal ( Novus Ordo) was poorly paraphrased and harsh.

“When you pray to Almighty God at Mass, it is not proper to speak in the same manner as you would at a barbecue.”

The Final Mass Text Created By vox clara It has been in use in the English-speaking world since it was approved in 2011.

work in the vatican

When arrested on child sexual abuse charges, Pell was appointed Rome’s economic secretary, essentially the Vatican’s treasurer, after being appointed by Pope Francis in 2014 to solve the Vatican’s financial troubles. was serving. But as Tess Livingstone reported in her The Australian, the confusion he uncovered was incredible.

Epoch Times photo
A nun stands in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on March 21, 2021. (Gregorio Borgia/AP Photo)

Under his watch, 4,000 Vatican bank accounts of unqualified individuals and organizations were closed. 200 people were referred to authorities on suspicion of money laundering.

Indictments have been launched to uncover a scandal involving former Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who allegedly transferred €15 million (US$20 million) from the Vatican Bank to a private film company and used $300,000 from the funds. I was. Sick children to rebuild his luxurious apartment.

Vatican Archbishop Angelo Betsch, who was acting as Cardinal Parolin’s secretary of state (who oversaw the aforementioned Vatican-Beijing agreement), suspended an external audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The company was contracted by Pell to improve the Vatican’s financial transparency to meet international anti-money laundering standards.

Becciu is currently the subject of the “trial of the century”, including a case of alleged financial misconduct in the Vatican.

Cardinal Pell has expressed his wish to those close to him to return to Australia in view of his health problems. He wanted to stay in Rome because he knew that In fact, Pell attended the funeral of the late Pope.

Cardinal Pell’s life epitomized the words of Jesus in the Gospel of St. John (10:10).

Request cat at pace.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

Rocco Loiacono

Rocco Loiacono is a senior lecturer and Italian to English translator at Curtin University Law School in Perth, Australia. His research in translation, linguistics and law has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals.