Cardinal George Pell has died aged 81.
The Australian clergyman was a number one Roman Catholic conservative and former prime official on the Vatican.
Pell, a former archbishop of Melbourne and Sydney, served as Vatican financial system minister from 2014 till he took a depart of absence in 2017 to return to Australia to face expenses of sexual abuse.
In 2018 he was convicted of molesting two choirboys at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne when he was archbishop of the diocese within the Nineties.
Always sustaining his innocence, he spent 13 months in jail till his conviction was quashed by the Australian High Court in 2020.
The ruling allowed the then 78-year-old to stroll free, ending the case of essentially the most senior determine accused within the world scandal of historic intercourse abuse that rocked the Roman Catholic Church worldwide.
Even earlier than the sexual assault allegations, Pell was a polarising determine within the 20 years that he dominated the Australian Catholic hierarchy – revered by conservative Catholics however disliked by liberals for his opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion and girls’s ordination.
Pell had been residing in Rome since his acquittal in 2020.
His non-public secretary, Fr Joseph Hamilton, mentioned that he died in Rome on Tuesday.
Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli added that he had suffered coronary heart issues following hip surgical procedure.
“Cardinal Pell was a very significant and influential Church leader, both in Australia and internationally, deeply committed to Christian discipleship,” he mentioned in a press release on Facebook.