Pope praises Pell for persevering in times of personal trials | Reuters

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Pope Francis on Wednesday praised late Australian Cardinal George Pell for persevering in trying times, a reference to when he spent more than a year in prison on child sexual abuse accusations before he was fully acquitted.

Francis, in an Italian-language message sent to the dean of the College of Cardinals, also thanked Pell, who served as the Holy See’s economy minister, for laying the groundwork for financial reform in the Vatican with “determination and wisdom.”

Pell, a leading Catholic conservative, died on Tuesday night in Rome of cardiac arrest while in a hospital for hip replacement surgery. He was 81.

In his message to the dean, Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Francis said he was saddened by the news of Pell’s sudden death.

Francis called Pell, who always maintained his innocence, a “faithful servant who, without vacillating, followed his Lord with perseverance even in the hour of trial.”

The pope said he was grateful for Pell’s “coherent and committed” dedication to the Church.

Church sources in Rome said Pell’s body would most likely lie in state in a side chapel in St. Peter’s Basilica ahead of requiem Mass there, probably on Friday.

Traditionally, the dean of cardinals, in this case Re, says the funeral Mass and then the pope arrives at the end to give the final blessing.

Pope praises Pell for persevering in times of personal trials | Reuters

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