ROME – A funeral Mass for the late Australian Cardinal George Pell, who died suddenly on Tuesday after suffering complications following a routine surgery, will be celebrated Saturday in St. Peter’s Basilica.
The funeral will be celebrated at 11:30a.m. Saturday morning in St. Peter’s Basilica, according to a statement from the Vatican’s liturgical office. Pell was ordained a priest in St. Peter’s in 1966 by Armenian Cardinal Gregorio Pietro Agagianian, one of the protagonists of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).
Pell died late Tuesday due to complications following a routine hip surgery at Rome’s Salvator Mundi hospital at the age of 81.
His death comes on the heels of the passing of retired Pope Benedict XVI, who died Dec. 31 and whose Jan. 5 funeral Pell had attended.
The Vatican announcement confirmed that the Mass will be celebrated by the Dean of the College of Cardinals, currently Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, with the pope coming in at the end to offer the final valediction and commendation for the deceased.
After his Rome funeral, Pell’s body will be flown back to Australia, where it will be buried in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, where Pell served as archbishop for 13 years before moving to the Vatican in 2014 as head of the Secretariat for the Economy.
Long one of the Catholic Church’s most influential prelates, Pell played an outsized role in both local ecclesial affairs in Australia, having been a leader of the Australian church’s conservative bloc and in the Vatican.
READ ON BELOW…Funeral for Cardinal George Pell set for Saturday in Rome | Crux