Former Australian PM hails George Pell as a ‘saint’; Cardinal George Pell is a divisive figure even in death. His funeral in Sydney on Thursday was accompanied by angry protests and a former prime minister described him as a “saint”.
The funeral of the cardinal took place in Saint Petersburg. Mary’s Cathedral. Where police were force to intervene as protesters gather to confront the mourners.
Among others, Tony Abbott and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard attended his funeral. In his eulogy, Abbott praised the late Cardinal Pell, describing him as a “soldier of truth. A saint of our time” in a speech that was met with applause.
Outside, police separated Pell’s supporters from people protesting a memorial to the cardinal. Who was convict of child sex abuse before the verdict was set to be overturne in 2020.
Hundreds of Protesters Gathered
Former Australian PM hails George Pell as a ‘saint’; Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the cathedral after Australian police refused a court order to stop the demonstrations. Speeches against Pell and the Catholic Church were hel in a nearby park. With some holding placards and chanting “George Pell go to hell.
Three men, two men and one woman, were take into custody at St. Mary’s Cathedral. New South Wales Police said in a statement. Police say no charges have been file against them.
Joseph Samarasinghe, one of the mourners who attended the funeral, told AZ24 News: “We can learn from our mistakes. And I think now the church is more aware of the mistakes made by the clergy. So I think we’re on the right track.”
Meanwhile, protest organizer Kim Stern said. They would continue to fight against everything Cardinal Pell stood for until there was “full equality” in Australia.
“To those politicians, judges, members of the political class who are attending the funeral today. We want to say that we will fight against everything that the Catholic Church and Pell stood for.” And keep fighting until there is full equality in this country,” he said.
Cardinal Pell was the highest-ranking Catholic official to be convict of child sexual abuse. Before the conviction was overturne in 2020. He died last month at the age of 81.
Roman Catholic Church;
Pell, who was born in the Australian regional city of Ballarat on June 8, 1941, rose through the ranks of the Roman Catholic Church to become Vatican treasurer. Considered by many to be the third highest office within the church.
He held the role from 2014 to 2019, overseeing Pope Francis’ financial reforms. Which were largely stall when he was recall to Australia to face historic sexual abuse allegations.
Pell was convict of these charges in 2018. Served 13 months in prison before the High Court of Australia overturned his conviction in April 2020.
The cardinal is a divisive figure in Australia. Many took to Twitter in the wake of his death to show support for survivors of child sexual abuse.