the main points
- In memoirs published under a pseudonym, Cardinal George Pell criticized Pope Francis’ papacy.
- The memoir criticizes the Pope’s silence on church-related issues including openness to the LGBTIQ+ community
- Cardinal Pell, who was previously the Vatican’s finance minister, has died at the age of 81.
Content warning: This story contains references to child abuse.
Cardinal George Pell will receive a farewell from Pope Francis at a mass in the Vatican amid new revelations The couple have clashed over the direction of the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Pell was formerly Australia’s largest Catholic dignitary Cardiac complications after hip surgery.
After his death, the cardinal’s conservative criticism of Pope Francis was revealed in anonymous memoirs, calling his papacy a “disaster” and a “disaster”.
In a memoir published under the pseudonym Demos, Cardinal Pell has criticized steps the pope has taken that he says have weakened the teachings of the Bible, Italian journalist Sandro Magister revealed on Wednesday.
Cardinal Pell wrote: “The commentators of every school, though for different reasons… agree that this papacy is in many or in most ways a disaster; a disaster.”
Cardinal George Pell was the Vatican’s chief finance minister before he left in 2017 to stand trial in Australia for child abuse. Source: AP / Andy Brownbill
The memoir criticizes the pope’s silence on issues related to the church including openness to the LGBTIQ+ community, women priests, and divorce.
A funeral mass for Cardinal Pell will be held in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday, where Pope Francis will deliver the final praise, as is customary for cardinals.
Prominent Baptist minister Tim Costello told news agency AAP that Cardinal Pell has more in common with former Pope Benedict than with Pope Francis, who is more inclusive and less prescriptive in his approach.
Rev. Costello said that Cardinal Peel was wrong that in a “post-Christian society” the best way for the church to get its message across was to give lectures.
“I think he still has the view that the church is the main force in society,” he said.
Reverend Costello added that Cardinal Pell came from a strong belief that the governing bylaws of the Catholic Church, known as canon law, were a competition to the Australian legal system.
“I think it was too slow to address child abuse among priests and not see them immediately transferred into the criminal law system,” he said.
New South Wales Premier Dominique Perrottet and Archbishop of Victoria Daniel Andrews on Thursday ruled out official services to the former Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney.
A state funeral or memorial would be heartbreaking for the surviving victims, Andrews said, but the cardinal’s legacy will be for others to judge.
Cardinal Pell was the Vatican’s finance minister before leaving in 2017 to stand trial in Melbourne on child sexual abuse charges, for which he was imprisoned before his conviction was overturned.
A prayer service for Cardinal Pell will be held at the Vatican in the coming days, followed by a funeral mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney. His body will be buried in the crypt of Saint Mary.
A spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney said the Mass will be dedicated to the late Cardinal Pell this weekend.
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