February 9, 2023

Pell’s personal secretary, Father Joseph Hamilton, declined to comment on the Magister’s report, telling the media that he was “more concerned with my grief.” The Vatican has declined to comment.

The memo said that the political influence of Pope Francis and the Vatican was “negligible” and that papal writings demonstrate an intellectual decline from the standard of Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict.

He said there has been no public support for the Catholic faithful in China who have been persecuted for more than 70 years and no public support from the Vatican for the Catholic community in Ukraine, especially Greek Catholics.

Pope Francis and Cardinal George Pell worked closely on reforming the Vatican’s finances.Credit:Vatican/AP News

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Francis seemed reluctant to criticize Russia by name, though he eventually did. in August.

Francis accuses a northern European cardinal of being “explicitly heretical” about Church teaching on sexuality and laments the “active persecution” of traditionalist Catholics. He was particularly critical of the German Catholic Church for its push to embrace the LGBT community, ordain women priests and offer communion to the divorced.

Despite reaching the 80-year-old age limit to vote in a papal conclave last year, Vatican commentators believed Pell was poised to play an influential role in selecting Francis’ successor should the pope resign or die.

Charging

He had been splitting his time between Rome and Sydney after he was cleared in 2020 of allegations that he sexually abused two choirboys when he was Archbishop of Melbourne. The Australian High Court overturned a previous court conviction and Pell was released after spending 404 days in solitary confinement.

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His home, near St. Peter’s Square, had recently become a focal point for conservatives preparing his platform, and his endorsement would likely have played an important role in electing a consensus candidate for cardinals who shared his commitments and doctrinal concerns.

A divisive figure both in Australia and internationally, his legacy is marred by a royal commission that found in 2020 that he knew of children who were sexually abused within the Archdiocese of Ballarat in the 1970s, and criticized him for not do more to eliminate pedophile priests. of the church

While other conservatives have criticized Francis’ crackdown on traditionalists and priorities of mercy over morality, Pell’s attacks on the pope went further than ever, likely to be seen as an extraordinary indictment of the current pontificate. , considering that Pell was a former close associate.

He regretted his involvement in a large financial fraud investigation that resulted in the prosecution of 10 people, including Pell’s old nemesis, Cardinal Angelo Becciu.

Outlining the priorities for a future Pope, Pell wrote: “The first tasks of the new Pope will be to restore normality, to restore doctrinal clarity in faith and morals, to restore due respect for the law…”, referring to the Catholic Church. Internal canon law of the Church.

The Papal Conclave selects the new Pope from the College of Cardinals, the process by which Francis and previously Benedict became Pope.

The election of the Pope establishes the direction of the Catholic Church. Francis’ accession to the post in 2013 marked a liberal shift after the conservative papacies of Benedict in 2005 and before him, Pope John Paul II in 1978.

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Pell noted that after the Vatican II reforms enacted in the 1960s, “Catholic authorities often underestimated the hostile power of secularization, the world, the flesh, and the devil, especially in the Western world and overestimated the influence and the strength of the Catholic Church”.

The memo also went into detail about the mess in the Church’s finances and went to great lengths to defend Becciu, saying he was not treated fairly because he was “deprived of his cardinal dignity without any proof” and removed from office on suspicion. financial crime

“He did not get due process. Everyone has the right to a fair trial,” the memo said.

“Lack of respect for the law in the Vatican risks becoming an international scandal.”