Pell’s secret memo casts shadow at cardinal’s funeral

VATICAN CITY, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Pope Francis gave a funeral blessing to Cardinal George Pell on Saturday to reveal that he had written an anonymous memo describing the current papacy as “dead” hanging on air and incense.

About 300 people attended Pell’s funeral in St. John’s Second Cathedral. Peter’s Basilica. According to the rules for dead cardinals, the president of the College of Cardinals, Italian Giovanni Battista Re said the Mass.

Francis arrived at the end to give a final blessing in Latin over the dark brown wooden coffin on the floor. The coffin is burned and sprinkled with holy water.

Re details less than the biography of Pell, 81, who died Tuesday night in a Rome hospital of heart failure during hip surgery.

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Re said Pell will spend more than a year in prison before he is to stand trial on sexual assault charges in his native Australia in 2020.

“The last years of his life were marked by bad judgment and pain,” said Re.

SNAP, an advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by priests, in a statement called on the Vatican to “take care” in funeral arrangements “if the Church leadership wants to deepen in deep wounds”.

But Pell was given a Vatican funeral for the cardinal. The service also began with the reading of the full text of a message the pope issued Wednesday praising Pell for his perseverance in trying times.

Little talk after the funeral, especially among candidates and journalists, focused on the bombshell revelation.

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Last year, the famous Italian journalist Sandro Magister, who has a long record of obtaining Vatican documents in question, published an anonymous memo circulating in the Vatican criticizing the authority of Pope Francis is “sick”.

The day after Pell’s death, Magister said in his widely read report Settimo Cielo (Seventh Heaven) that Pell had written the memo and had given him permission to publish it under pseudonym “Demos” – Greek for the people. It contains what the author says are the following characteristics of the pope.

“Lecturers of each school, if for different reasons … agree that this pontificate has been a disaster in many or most respects; a disaster,” the memo began.

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“The first tasks of the new pope are to restore order, to restore clarity of doctrine in theology and morality, to restore proper respect for the law and to ensure that the criterion first for the appointment of bishops is to accept the tradition of the apostles,” the statement said. .

Father Joseph Hamilton, Pell’s secretary, declined to comment on Magister’s report and Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said there was no comment.

Hamilton told Reuters after the funeral that Pell’s body would be flown to Australia early next week to be buried in a crypt at St.

Commentary by Philip Pullella Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters’ Guardian Principles.


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