High-ranking Vatican Cardinal Dies at 81; Guilty Verdict of Sexual Abuse of Boys Later Overturned


Last Updated on 01/11/2023 by てんしょく飯


Australian-born Cardinal George Pell, a high-ranking official in the Roman Curia (Vatican), has died.



Pell was at the time the highest-ranking Catholic cleric convicted of sexually abusing boys.

He was 81, his secretary revealed on the evening of Jan. 10. Pell had received a guilty verdict for sexually abusing boys, but the Supreme Court reversed the verdict in 2020 and acquitted him.


Prior to his death, he had been admitted to a hospital in Rome for hip replacement surgery. The operation was successful, but he suffered a cardiac arrest afterward.


He rose to the position of Secretary of Finance, which is also considered the third highest position in the Catholic Church. His tenure was from 2014-2019, and he was responsible for Pope Francis’ fiscal reforms. However, the reform itself almost fell through when he was recalled to Australia due to allegations of sexual abuse.


Pell received a guilty verdict in 2018 on the above charges and spent 13 months in prison, but this verdict was overturned at his trial in April 2020. He strongly denies the charges, and during a police interview in 2016, he brushed them off as “a figment of his imagination.”


Archbishop Anthony Fisher Sydney expressed his condolences on Pell’s death in a statement to Facebook. He called for prayers for the repose of Mr. Pell’s soul and the peace of mind of his family and others.