Cardinal George Pell, essentially the most senior Catholic official to be convicted of kid intercourse abuse earlier than his 2020 acquittal, has died, in accordance with his secretary. He was 81.
Father Joseph Hamilton confirmed Pell’s dying on Tuesday night native time after being admitted to a Rome hospital for hip alternative surgical procedure. Hamilton stated whereas the operation was profitable, Pell subsequently suffered a cardiac arrest.
Born within the regional metropolis of Ballarat, Australia, on June 8, 1941, Pell rose by way of the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church to change into Vatican treasurer, thought of by many to be the third most senior place throughout the church.
He served in that function from 2014 to 2019 in control of Pope Francis’ monetary reforms, which largely stalled when he was referred to as again to Australia to face allegations of historic intercourse abuse.
He was convicted of these fees in 2018 and served 13 months in jail earlier than Australia’s Excessive Court docket acquitted him in April 2020. Pell strenuously denied the costs, which he dismissed in a 2016 police interview as a “product of fantasy.”
In its two-page abstract of the ruling, the Excessive Court docket stated that the jury “should have entertained a doubt as to the applicant’s guilt” and ordered that the convictions be quashed.
In a press release, the Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher expressed unhappiness at Pell’s dying. “This information comes as an ideal shock to all of us. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Cardinal Pell, for consolation and comfort for his household and for all of those that liked him and are grieving him presently,” he stated in a Fb submit.