He bade farewell to Cardinal George Pell at the Vatican on his final trip to Australia

the main points
  • Funeral services were organized by the Vatican.
  • He will be buried in the crypt at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, where he served as Archbishop.
  • Pope Francis recited a final blessing in Latin.
This article contains references to child abuse.
Australian cardinal who denounced the papacy Funeral on Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica, where the Pope gave the final blessing to the previously arranged Vatican bishop.
Cardinal Pell was bid farewell on Saturday at Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica — the same Vatican City church where Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s funeral was held last week.

Cardinal George Pell, the oldest Australian member of the Catholic Church, died at the age of 81, on January 10, shortly after undergoing hip surgery in a Rome hospital.

The funeral Mass was celebrated by the Italian Cardinal, Giovanni Battista Re, as Dean of the College of Cardinals, but the final blessing, delivered in Latin, was recited by Pope Francis.

Immediately after Cardinal Pell’s death, the Cardinal is revealed to be the owner of a note that has been circulating for months. In the note, he lamented that the current papacy had been a “disaster” and a “disaster”.

Pope Francis next to Cardinal George Pell’s coffin during his funeral mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, on January 14, 2023. Source: aap / Environmental Protection Agency

Cardinal Pell’s funeral came nine days after he attended former Pope Benedict’s farewell party, where the Archbishop of Sydney, the Reverend Anthony Fisher, said he was “in sparkling form – intelligent and wise”.

His coffin will be returned to Australia for burial in the crypt at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, where he served as archbishop.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet and Archbishop of Victoria Daniel Andrews have ruled out offering official services to the former Archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney.

As Vatican finance minister for three years, Cardinal Pell was a key player in the early years of Pope Francis’ papacy, whose goals included reforming the finances of the Holy See, which had a long history of scandals and mismanagement.

Cardinal Pell later returned to his native Australia to stand trial for pedophilia over allegations that he molested a choirboy when he was Archbishop of Melbourne.

A group of cardinals and bishops during a funeral service

Cardinals and bishops at the funeral service for Australian Cardinal George Pell at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, on Saturday. Source: aap / Kick USA

He spent a year in solitary confinement before a previous court conviction was overturned in 2020.

A representative of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney said services would be dedicated to the late Cardinal Pell on Sunday.
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