Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell heads back to Rome from Australia

  • World
  • Monday, 28 Sep 2020

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Former Vatican treasurer George Pell is traveling to Rome this week for the first time since he was acquitted of child sex abuse charges in Australia, a Catholic church spokeswoman confirmed on Monday.

Pell left Rome in July 2017 to face charges for sexually assaulting two choirboys in the late 1990s. He was convicted in December 2018 and served just over a year in jail before Australia's High Court overturned the conviction in April.

The 79-year-old cardinal has been living in Sydney since his release.

"He always intended to return to Rome," said Katrina Lee, Pell's close friend who is an executive adviser to the Archdiocese of Sydney.

She confirmed a report in the Herald Sun newspaper which said Pell was flying to Rome on Tuesday, but said she did not know how long he was going for or the aim of the trip.

When he left Rome in 2017, Pell was head of the Vatican's Secretariat of the Economy which was working on cleaning up the church's vast finances and eliminating abuse.

His trip to Rome comes just days after a powerful Vatican cardinal, Giovanni Becciu, was fired after Pope Francis accused him of embezzlement and nepotism.

Pell and Becciu were at odds over reform of the Vatican's accounts.

In a statement sent to the Catholic News Agency on Sept 26, Pell said: "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."

"I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria," Pell said. He was charged with child sex abuse in the Australian state of Victoria.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Additional reporting by Philip Pullella in Rome; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


100% readers found this article insightful

Next In World

Jordan reports 883 new COVID-19 cases, 316,427 in total
German gov't net new debt in 2020 about 90 bln euros less than planned
Israel extends nationwide COVID-19 lockdown by 10 days
Backers of IP waiver for COVID-19 drugs make fresh push at WTO
Freight traffic at Latvian ports down 28 pct in 2020
Israel registers 8,066 new COVID-19 cases, 565,629 in total
U.S. sets COVID-19 death record for third week, hospitalizations fall
Hungary's government orders disclaimers on books with gay content
Lebanon reports highest 61 daily COVID-19 deaths
Parcel deliveries in Germany during Christmas season hit record high

Stories You'll Enjoy