Cardinal George Pell is set to return to Rome tomorrow, his first time back in the city since 2017 when he took a leave of absence from his role at the Vatican to face charges in Australia. Source: CNA.
Sources close to Cardinal Pell yesterday confirmed the trip, following an initial report by journalist Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun.
Cardinal Pell has been living in his former Archdiocese of Sydney since his acquittal by the High Court in April of charges of sexual abuse.
In 2014, Cardinal Pell was appointed by Pope Francis to take charge of the newly created Secretariat for the Economy and to lead efforts at reforming Vatican financial affairs. After charges of sexual abuse were brought by Victoria Police, Cardinal Pell took temporary leave of his role in 2017 in order to return to Australia and prove his innocence.
He spent 13 months in solitary confinement after he was initially convicted and given a six-year prison sentence, before being vindicated on appeal to the High Court.
The news of Cardinal Pell’s return to Rome comes just days after the dramatic resignation of Cardinal Angelo Becciu, whom Pope Francis asked to resign as prefect of the Congregation of the Causes of Saints after he was linked to an ongoing investigation of financial misconduct at the Vatican.
Cardinal Becciu had worked previously as the number two-ranking official in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, where he repeatedly clashed with Cardinal Pell over the reform of Vatican finances.
“The Holy Father was elected to clean up Vatican finances. He plays a long game and is to be thanked and congratulated on recent developments,” Cardinal Pell wrote in a statement on Saturday. “I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria.”
Cardinal Pell to return to Rome this week (By Courtney Mares, CNA)
George Pell nemesis Angelo Becciu quits over Vatican money scandals (The Australian)