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 recognised, both in Australia and around the world, as his Vatican appointments as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy and as a 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.