(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 11.01.2023).- Following the death of Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop Emeritus of Sydney and Prefect Emeritus of the Holy See’s Secretariat for the Economy and of Vatican City State, Pope Francis sent a message to the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Giovanni Batista Re. In that message, the Pontiff says the following:
I LEARNED WITH SADNESS THE NEWS OF THE DEATH OF CARDINAL GEORGE PELL, PREFECT EMERITUS OF THE SECRETARIAT FOR THE ECONOMY. I WISH TO EXPRESS MY CLOSENESS TO YOU AND TO THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS, ESPECIALLY TO HIS DEAR BROTHER DAVID AND THE OTHER MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. I GIVE YOU MY HEARTFELT SYMPATHY, REMEBERING WITH GRATITUDE HIS CONSISTENT AND COMMITTED WITNESS, HIS DEDICATION TO THE GOSPEL AND TO THE CHURCH, AND ESPECIALLY HIS DILIGENT COLLABORATION WITH THE HOLY SEE IN HIS RECENT ECONOMIC REFORM, FOR WHICH HE LAID THE FOUNDATIONS WITH DETERMINATION AND WIISDOM. I RAISE PRAYERS OF SUFFRAGE SO THAT THIS FAITHFUL SERVANT, WHO FOLLOWED UNSHAKEABLY HIS LORD WITH PERSEVERANCE EVEN IN THE TIME OF TEST, MAY BE RECEIVED IN THE JOY OF HEAVEN AND RECEIVE THE RECOMPENSE OF ETERNAL PEACE. I SEND MY BLESSING TO YOU, TO THE FAMILY OF THE DECEASED CARDINAL AND TO ALL THOSE THAT SHARE THE GRIEF OF HIS DEATH.
Statement of the Australian Episcopate
For his part, the President of the Australian Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, expressed the following on behalf of the Catholic Church in that country:
It was with great sadness that I learned of the unexpected death of Cardinal George Pell in Rome on Tuesday evening (Rome time). Cardinal Pell provided strong and clear leadership within the Catholic Church in Australia, as Archbishop of Melbourne and Archbishop of Sydney and as a member of the Bishops Conference for more than 25 years.
His many strengths were widely recognized, both in Australia and around the world, as his Vatican appointments as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy and as member of the Council of Cardinals, an advisory group to Pope Francis, testify.
Cardinal Pell’s impact on the life of the Church in Australia and around the world will continue to be felt for many years. As we remember him and reflect on his legacy, I invite all Catholics and other people of goodwill to join in praying for Cardinal Pell, a man of deep and abiding faith, and for the repose of his soul.